Matthew Davis – Kustodiev

Matthew Davis – Kustodiev, 2020
DCV, Berlin
Format: 16.5 × 23.5 cm
Pagecount: 48
Edition: 250
Design: Book Book
Print: Offset print, Office Offset and Flexo Office Offset
A copy of the limited edition of 250 can be purchased at: DCV

Artist Matthew Davis (b. 1969, Colchester, UK; lives and works in Berlin) operates between the micro and macro dimensions, between control and chance. Working with extraordinary precision, he applies drops of synthetic resin varnishes and enamel paints to canvases laid flat. Davis’s book Kustodiev presents recent works inspired by the lusciously colourful pictures of the Russian painter Boris Kustodiev (1878–1927).

Davis studied at the Camberwell College of Arts, London, and the Norwich School of Art and Design. His work has been shown at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin; Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna; Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven; and other museums and galleries.

A laser cutter was the perfect tool for cutting crisp and clear type into rubber plates. Previous tests for using rubber printing plates were useful for this project, but further tests were needed to determine the correct rubber and cutting depth.

Fascinating to watch, the laser cutter in action. (Always remember to cut your artwork mirrored.)

To print the cover we used our special Office Offset Flexo printing machine. What makes it special is the fact, that we basically  transformed an Offset press to a Letterpress machine.

It takes a little math and measuring to mount the rubber plates in the correct position.

Ink setoff can be an annoying issue in offset printing. Large printing presses use spray powder, protection varnish or LED-UV ink, which is cured by UV light. None of these more traditional methods were practicable for Office Offset (maybe UV ink, but this is another project). Our solution was to position two Office Offset machines to face one another. One ran faster than the other, shooting waste paper in-between the printing sheets.

The anti-ink-setoff setup. You can see how it works perfectly in the video below.

The cover and shortened text pages were printed on the Office Offset machine. The rest was offset-printed with one of our printers in trust. They printed and folded the sheets, and we took care of binding and cutting.

Loose and folded sheets before binding.

Setting up the binding station. Some adjustments were necessary in order to correctly position the shortened text pages.

Step by step binding. First the shortened text pages …

… then the image section and cover.

Final step: hand-numbering the limited printing of 250 copies.