This publication is the first monograph on Matthew Angelo Harrison, an important young American artist who engages with the legacies of racism and colonialism in his sculptures and installations. His works merge manufacturing technologies with the formal concerns of modernism and minimalism, the artist questions ideas of authorship and reproduction. Harrison's sculptures often include found objects—including traditional African figurines and auto industry ephemera—encased in resin blocks.
Harrison freezes and entombs his sculptures in a way that makes them appear haunted, simultaneously ancient and futuristic, a paradoxical state that heavily influenced our design approach. At first glance the book is a standard art catalogue: artist name set large on the cover, essay pages, plates with big images and small captions. But odd crops and unexpected off-centre bleeds emerge through the book, echoed in caption placements and the overall grid. Things appear disconnected but then connect and snap into place the more pages are explored.
The artist is a Detroit native who once worked making prototypes in an auto manufacturing plant. Of huge inspiration to us was the book's remarkable conversation between Harrison, musician/theorist DeForrest Brown, Jr., and curator Taylor Renee Aldridge, touching on Detroit, techno, anti-Black racism, labor, and automation. Our use of LCD type on the cover and throughout—technologically out of date yet still somehow contemporary—connected all of those thematic dots. Electronic type as often found on older employee attendance machines, with their clock-in and clock-out times rendered on liquid crystal displays, as exhausting daily typographic memento mori.
Trim Size: 8 × 11.5 inches
Number of Pages: 216
Binding Method: Hardcover smyth-sewn cold glue
Paper: Sappi Magno Gloss 135gsm (case), Arjowiggins Curious Metallics Ionised 120gsm (endpapers), Munken Polar Rough 120 gsm (interior), Magno Gloss 150gsm (interior)
Typefaces: LCD (Alan Birch, Letraset, 1981) and Quadrant Text (Vincent Chan, Matter of Sorts, 2021)
Creative Director: James Goggin
Book Designer: James Goggin, Shan James
Jacket/Cover Designer: James Goggin, Shan James
Other Credits: Lithography: Colour & Books
Matthew Angelo Harrison
Winner - AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2022
Book Title: Matthew Angelo Harrison
Design Firm/Agency: Practise
Publisher: The MIT Press
Author/Editor: Natalie Bell and Elena Filipovic
“The LED typeface used was such a powerful, compelling interpretive gesture and reference. For me it was a simple, thoughtful addition that made the whole catalogue come to life in a new way.”
- 50 Books Winner