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Walton Ford. Pancha Tantra. Art Edition

Edition of 100
Six-color intaglio print, 9 x 12 in. on 14 x 18.5 in. paper, hardcover volume, leather-bound, in clamshell box, finished in Luxor book cloth, 14.8 x 19.7 in., 356 pages
US$ 15,000
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This Art Edition of Walton Ford’s SUMO-sized monograph is a grand-scale portfolio of animal portraiture, rich in allusions and messages. The publication comes with an original six-color intaglio print, Limed Blossoms, depicting a ruby-throated hummingbird about to meet the fate of his fallen comrades in a hunter’s clever trap.

Limited Art Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies, each with signed print Limed Blossoms

Walton’s World

The beautifully savage beasts and birds of Walton Ford
Art Edition
(No. 1–100)
  • Limited to 100 individually numbered copies, each signed by Walton Ford
  • Printed on archival-quality paper
  • Finished with a sumptuous calf-leather cover and gold embossing
  • Packaged in a clamshell box covered in Luxor book cloth
  • With an original six-color intaglio print, Limed Blossoms, made especially for this book by Walton Ford

Working with master printer Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, New Hampshire, Ford used the traditional techniques of line etching, aquatint, drypoint and spit-bite aquatint to make the print Limed Blossoms. The edition of 100 copies was printed by hand on 100% cotton archival-quality Rives BFK paper, using an American French Tool etching press. Each print is numbered, and signed by the artist.

Both editions feature a complete professional biography as well as an appendix with substantial excerpts from the textual sources for the paintings, from Vietnamese folktales and the letters of Benjamin Franklin to the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini and John James Audubon’s Ornithological Biography. Walton Ford’s life-sized watercolors of animals could be mistaken for 19th-century natural-science illustrations or British colonial paintings. Except they’re not. Something strange and usually sinister is happening in each of Ford’s works, whether it’s a turkey crushing a small parrot with its claw, a collection of monkeys wreaking havoc on a formally set dinner table, or a buffalo surrounded by a pack of bloodied white wolves… in the middle of a proper French garden. Executed with the deft skill of a natural-history artist, Ford’s works vibrate with an intensity of uncanny familiarity; they are both reassuring in style and disturbing in content. With titles like Au Revoir Zaire, Dirty Dick Burton’s Aide de Camp, and Space Monkey, his paintings not only blur the lines between human and animal history, but also open the doors to a world of real-life fantasy, dreams, and nightmares.

For this hand-crafted, limited-edition volume, Ford’s paintings have been color-separated and reproduced in Pan4C, the finest reproduction technique available today, providing unequaled intensity and color range. The book includes 11 horizontal and 4 vertical fold-outs, along with dozens of details, which present the work at a scale that practically allows the viewer to enter the ancient and peopled landscapes, feel the brush of a bird’s feathers against flesh, and experience the hot breath of a wild cat about to go for the jugular.

Collected together for the first ever in-depth exploration of Walton Ford’s œuvre, Ford’s bestiary takes its name from one of the texts he frequently cites in his work: The Pancha Tantra, the ancient Indian book of animal folktales collected from the 3rd to 5th centuries B.C. that is considered to be the precursor to Aesop’s Fables. Stories derived from many of the texts that served as the germinal seed for these paintings fill the book’s appendix; and an original essay by New Yorker staff writer Bill Buford substantiates the notion that this contemporary artist is more than just one to watch, but one who will stand the test of time. Available in an Art and a Collector’s Edition, Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra is limited to a total of 1,600 copies, signed by the artist and presented in a custom clamshell box.
The artist

Walton Ford, born 1960, studied filmmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, but soon realized he was a painter. For the last 20 years he has been creating large-scale narrative watercolors. His work has been widely exhibited, including solo shows at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

The author

Bill Buford is an author and New Yorker staff writer, as well as the founding editor of Granta, which he edited for 16 years. His books include Among the Thugs and Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as a Kitchen Slave. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

Walton Ford. Pancha Tantra. Art Edition
Edition of 100
Six-color intaglio print, 9 x 12 in. on 14 x 18.5 in. paper, hardcover volume, leather-bound, in clamshell box, finished in Luxor book cloth, 14.8 x 19.7 in., 356 pages
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