SHAKESPEARE x OFILI: OTHELLO
David Zwirner Books, 2019
I was delighted to be asked by David Zwirner Books to create the overall design for their new book series entitled Seeing Shakespeare, bringing the world’s leading contemporary artists together with William Shakespeare. Each cover shows an illustration by the artist, so the spine and back cover of the book needed to tie the series together. The X is used as a graphic element to show the interaction between the artists and the plays, and it will be printed in a spot colour that resonates with the tone of each book.

The first book in the series is Othello, one of Shakespeare’s most contemporary and moving plays, with its emphasis on race, revenge, murder, and lost love.

In the twelve etchings that artist Chris Ofili has produced to illustrate this play, Othello is depicted with tears in his eyes, which flow below various scenes visualized in his forehead. Ofili asks us to see in Othello the great injustices that still plague the world today. These images add feeling to Shakespeare’s words, and together they form their own hybrid object – something between a book and a visual retelling of the tragedy.

With a foreword by the renowned critic Fred Moten, this edition is the first of its kind and puts Othello’s blackness and interiority front and center, forcing us to confront the complex world that ultimately dooms him.

COMING SOON! Available from October 2019.

Future titles in the series include A Midsummer Night’s Dream illustrated by Marcel Dzama and The Merchant of Venice with images by Jordan Wolfson.

︎ book series design
︎  155×231 mm | 176 pages
︎ davidzwirnerbooks.com

Mark
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