Monday, September 11, 2017

For the 9/11 anniversary: one of the most extraordinary first editions you will ever have a chance to own.

Pericoli, Matteo, Manhattan Unfurled (Random House, 1st ed., 3rd printing 2001). ISBN 0-375-50491-5. An Italian architect and illustrator who lives in New York, Pericoli took a Circle Line boat tour around Manhattan in 1998 and was seized of the idea to draw what he had seen.

Three years later, this book was the result: two, accordionized, 22-foot panels showing everything there was to be seen at the time on the East and West Sides.

In an accompanying essay, architecture critic Paul Goldberger echoes E.B. White’s concern over bomb-laden aircraft in “This Is New York,” writing, “This drawing was completed before the horrific events of September, 11, 2001, which changed everything as far as the Manhattan skyline is concerned. Chaos is no longer an aesthetic concept but a catastrophic fact of life. The skyline, which we have always thought of as changing slowly, organically, suddenly becomes capable of wrenching, instantaneous, cataclysmic change. In the Darwinian world of the Manhattan skyline the largest buildings were always the most powerful, but on September 11 the World Trade Center did not drive smaller, weaker buildings away but were taken away themselves.”

A brilliant artistic achievement, and evocation of a time about to be swept away. Very good condition, in a very good blue-grey slipcase.

HBB price: $50 obo.



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