Warren Lehrer, awarded a 2022 NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts) Individual Artist Grant in Literature to complete the writing of TRACE: A Surveilled Novel. The grant of $10,000 was submitted through City Lore. It is Lehrer’s third Individual Artist/Sponsored Project grant from NYSCA, his first in the Literature category. 

TRACE is a literary novel that presents as a document dump and is premised on the idea that every file you are reading has been culled with the help of current surveillance technology. The narrator/compiler is an NSA information analyst whose job is to surveil random subjects who are seemingly of no interest whatsoever, to see if by chance any of these unknown unknowns could be national security threats. TRACE is (will be) a cautionary reflection of the hyper-sharing, hyper-monitored and surveilled moment we’re living in and a timeless exploration of complex, flawed, prismatic characters. Lehrer is aiming for a 2023 publication date. Stay tuned. 

Warren Lehrer, awarded 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. “This award was developed by faculty for faculty, and only those who have demonstrated a record of sustained scholarship in the sciences, humanities, or professional studies, or consistent creative productivity in the fine and performing arts receive this distinction. Your contributions to developing new knowledge, enhancing the University’s vibrancy, and fostering the intellectual and cultural growth of our students are reflected in your selection for this honor.”

Warren Lehrer, awarded 2020 NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Artist Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts. From 3,536 applications, 72 fellows were selected. Lehrer’s received his first NYFA Fellowship in 1989 in the category Printmaking/Drawing/Artists’ Books. 

Five Ocean in a Teaspoon wins 2019 STA 100 Award (Society of Typographic Arts)
Each year, the Society of Typographic Arts “seeks to award the best 100 examples of innovative typography from around the world.”

Five Oceans in a Teaspoon wins 2019 Design Incubation Scholarship: Creative Work Award
Design Incubation’s Creative Work Award (given to one or two recipients a year) “demonstrates originality, scope, rigor, impact on communication design’s theoretical, critical, historical and/or visionary foundations.”

Five Ocean in a Teaspoon wins two 2020 Indigo Design Awards
One for Book Design and one for Mix Media/Moving Image. The Indigo Awards “reward outstanding and groundbreaking design from around the world.”

Five Oceans in a Teaspoon wins 2020 IPPY Gold Medal Award for Poetry
This is the top annual Poetry Prize given by Independent Publisher’s IPPY Book Awards. In its 25th year, the IPPY’s “Recognize Excellence in Independent Publishing,” showcasing the best books from the year throughout North America and the English-speaking world.

Five Oceans in a Teaspoon wins 2020 MUSE Creative Platinum Award in Book/Publication Design. The MUSE Creative Awards “is an international award that honors creative professionals whose work transcends time, inspires, breaks boundaries, ushers the present to the future.”

Five Oceans in a Teaspoon wins 2020 American Bookfest Best Book Award for POETRY. This award “recognizes the best books in mainstream and independent publishing throughout the United States.”

Warren Lehrer is awarded the 2019 Ladislav Sutnar Prize for “his pioneering work in Visual Literature and Design.”

Lehrer received the Lifetime Achievement prize on Tuesday November 12, 2019 in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Named after the Czech-American design pioneer, the annual award “recognizes individual artists from around the world of outstanding performance in the field of fine arts, especially applied arts and design. It also is awarded to institutions which promote modern art and design…” In addition to his contribution to visual literature, design, and as a lecturer, speaker, and performer, Lehrer was awarded the Sutnar prize for his “collaborations with musicians, actors, filmmakers, technicians, and other authors and artists,” and in recent years, for his “transposition of stories and texts into animation, video and interactive media.”

Awarded by the Arts Council of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, past awardees include Gere Kavanaugh, Steven Heller, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, MoMA, and The Taiwan Design Center. Lehrer was one of five “laureates” in 2019, which included legendaries Milton Glaser and Finnish designer Pekka Loiri. This year’s ceremony coincided with the 30th anniversary of the (1989) Velvet Revolution, commemorated by a student exhibition of posters and objects.

Lehrer received the Sutnar Prize from Dean Josef Mištera, the visionary founder of the remarkable Art & Design Institute which is now part of the University of West Bohemia. The medal (literally made of medal sheets cut with laser) is based on Sutnar’s self-identity, transformed into a 3-D object by Peter Vogel.

Listen to Warren Lehrer on Debbie Millman’s Podcast Design Matters.
“Writer, artist, and designer Warren Lehrer talks to Debbie about the intersection of images and letters and about the future of books.”
Released October 21, 2019. Listen on Soundcloud here.

 

Appearances/Events:

2022
November 29, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, NYU Tish, New York, NY 

November 19, Judith Sloan & Friends, The People’s Voice Cafe, Judson Memorial Church, New York, NY, Excerpt from TRACE and poems and songs from Five Oceans in a Teaspoon

November 2 & 3, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer & Writing + Typography = Composition Master Class, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

October 20, Teaching Writing + Design Composition, AIGA National Conference, Design Educators Symposium, Seattle, WA

September 19, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn New York

September 15, Group Pop-up Artist Book Exhibit & Live presentation, Gallery on Dobbin Mews, Brooklyn, NY

July 21, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, South Jersey Writers Group, virtual event

May 7, Benefit Performance for Peace in Ukraine, Gallery on Dobbin Mews, Brooklyn, NY, Lehrer’s talk: 50 Thought Clouds Keeping Me From Sleep

April 10-13, Codex Book Fair, Codex Foundation, Craneway Pavilion, San Francisco, CA

February 28, Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, Artist Book class

2021
March 2, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, Virginia Tech University, Sponsored by Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech School of Visual Arts, and Virginia Tech AIGA Student Group (Virtual)

October 5, Warren Lehrer: Fusing Writing & Design, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University, Boston Massachusetts (Virtual)

October 13, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, The Society of Printers, Boston Massachusetts (Virtual)

November 8, The Visual Literature of Warren Lehrer, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles California (Virtual)

2020
Jan 16 – March 28 Warren Lehrer Featured Artist Project Exhibition, Center for Book Arts
Jan 16, 6:30pm, Opening Reception. Mar 26, 6:30pm Artist Talk/Performance
Center for Book Arts Foyer Gallery, 28 West 27th St, 3rd Flr, New York, NY 10001

Jan 2-4 Intersections: National CBAA (College Book Art Association) Conference, New Orleans, Ace Hotel. In their Jan 3rd panel “Bridging Book and Film at the Intersection of Poetry and Typography” Warren Lehrer presents with two other extraordinary writer/artists—Judith Poirier and Emily McVarish—who bridge printed books and film in their work.

April 15, 12noon Performance/Talk: Giving Voice to Visual Literature. Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College. Lehrer’s talk surveying his 40 year visual literature journey is followed by a collaborative performance with Purchase College Junior Acting Company and jazz students under the guidance of theater professor Pamela Prather.

2019
Sept 19 – Nov 23 Five Oceans in a Teaspoon Exhibition City Lore Gallery, City Lore, 56 E 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

Sept 19 – 22 NY Art Book Fair PS1 MoMA, LIC, New York, with Paper Crown Press

Sept 27, 7pm, NYC Five Oceans in a Teaspoon Book Launch Reading/Performance. Chelsea (Market) Wine Vault Event Space. Bernstein & Lehrer with Special Guests. Brian Lehrer, Host. Click on the link above to make a reservation. Seating is Limited. 410 West 16th Street at Ninth Avenue.

Oct 5, 4pm Warren Lehrer Five Oceans Gallery Tour/Talk, City Lore Gallery, 56 E 1st Street, NY, NY. Part of the Open Arts LES (Lower East Side) Festival

Oct 10, 7:30pm Bay Area Five Oceans in a Teaspoon Book Launch/KPFA Benefit, Reading/Performance with Bernstein & Lehrer and Guests. Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA

Oct 11 Live At the Archive, Letterform Archives, Lehrer & Bernstein. 1001 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Oct 24 – 27 EAB Fair (Editions Artists’ Books Fair) with Paper Crown Press, The Caldwell Factory, 547 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001

Oct 31 Vis Lit of Warren Lehrer Lecture ending with Five Oceans, School of the Art Institute of ChicagoChicago IL. Workshop and critiques with students during the days Oct 31 & Nov 1. Stay tuned for more details.

Nov 8, 9 Lehrer Vis Lit presentation SUNY Council on Writing ConferencePurchase College, SUNY Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY

Nov 12 Lehrer receives 2019 Ladislav Sutnar Prize Ladislav Sutnar Arts Council, Pilsen, Czech Republic

Nov 15 Performance/Reading Flushing Town Hall, Lehrer & Bernstein and Guests. 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing NY

______________________________________________________________________

Warren awarded 2019 Queens Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant for Five Oceans in a Teaspoon Project.

Warren invited to speak at and participate in Think Tank/Conference called “Future Text” in Warsaw, Poland. April 8-13, 2019. Polsko-Japońska Akademia Technik Komputerowych, Warsaw. His presentation is called Composing Visual Literature: When Writing and Design Become One.

Warren awarded AE Ventures Fund Project Grant for Five Oceans in a Teaspoon Project in conjunction with Paper Crown Press Books.

November 2, 2018. Warren Lehrer presents at the 24th New Jersey Book Symposium
Rutgers University, Newark
Lehrer will give a talk about his work and present a reading.

October 5-7, 2018. &Now Festival of Innovative Writing, Notre Dame University. Off The Page: Collaborations in Visual and Sonic Poetry. With Judith Sloan

Warren Lehrer wins a 2018 Indigo Design Award in Mix Media/Moving Image for 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America. It was one of four recipients given by the prestigious international design competition in the Motion Graphics category. Lehrer’s motion graphics design/expressionist supertitles run throughout the 38 minute work and is an integral component of the multimedia symphony.

This 13 minute excerpt reel is made from the December 2017 performance at the Kupferberg Performing Arts Center. Music Director James John.

1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America
Composed by Frank London Libretto by Judith Sloan Projections by Warren Lehrer

1001 Voices: a Symphony for a New America is a three-movement symphony/oratorio scored for orchestra, chorus and visual projections. The multimedia work is about migration, transformation, and the search for home. It is a 21st century, musical/poetic expression of the challenges and aspirations of so many of today’s American cities and their inhabitants who hail from many different parts of the globe. It is inspired by stories of immigrants and refugees in Queens, NY—the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States. 1001 Voices serves as an antidote to the poisonous and flattening rhetoric about immigrants and refugees currently dividing the United States and the globe.

A true collaboration, 1001 Voices is composed by Grammy-Award-winning composer, trumpeter, and Klezmatics band member Frank London. The libretto is written by Judith Sloan and the animated projections designed by Warren Lehrer with the assistance of Brandon Campbell.

Originally commissioned and premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra, this work can performed by full orchestras and choirs as well as by smaller orchestras and contemporary music ensembles and as few as four vocalists. If you’re interested in the possibility of performing or producing this work or want more information, contact [email protected]

Drawing, 1975

 

From a 2014 interview with Warren Lehrer in Independent Publisher:
“I was a painting and printmaking major in college. On the side I wrote music and theater reviews for the school newspaper, and poetry and short stories for myself. One day I brought a stack of secret drawings to a painting teacher of mine. The intricate, puzzle-like drawings combined abstract marks, shading, letterforms and words. Leafing through the stack, my teacher shook his head and wagged his finger in my face. ‘You’re a good student, Warren, but you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Words and pictures are two different languages. They operate from completely different parts of the brain, and shouldn’t be combined.’ I left his office feeling like I’d been given a mission in life. And for better or worse I’ve been combining writing and picture-making ever since.” The drawing above, is from the secret stack Warren showed his painting teacher.

 

A few postcards, doodles—from 1960s and on up—that hint at a juncture between writing and drawing.

 


Two handmade paper pieces from the “Rhapsotea” suite,” 1979.

 

Hand-lettered, one of a kind alphabet book, 1977. Twelve inch square leaves in clamshell box. Each composition based on a different typographic character Lehrer found in his first type specimen book.




Two pages from limited edition letterpress printed book, Willow Weep, Don’t, 1978. Printed in two colors on mylar. 18”x30” x 10 pages. One of a series of books where Lehrer combined two songs (now known as mashup) in various typographic arrangements, on transluscent mylar. Willow Weep, Don’t, combined the lyrics of Willow Weep for Me, a song made famous by Billy Holiday, with Don’t Weep for the Lady, a song written about Lady Day, after she died. These books are no longer available for sale.

 

Assemblage/painting. Made sometime in the early 1980s.

 



Oems, 1978. One of a kind altered book of oems made by cutting into a book of poems by Frederick Lawrence Kramer.

 

Book/performance score written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published by EarSay, 1980.
Original music composed by Dan Plonzey. Hand lettering by Jan Baker.
10” x 16” x 96 pages. Hardcover, cloth over boards. Wiro bound. Printed in an edition of 300 copies, offset lithography on Cranes 100% rag paper, employing fourteen typefaces.

versations was Warren Lehrer’s first offset printed book, which grew out of his MFA thesis at Yale. It began his lifelong attempt to capture the rhythms and cadences of thought, speech, and interpersonal communication within the space/time capsule that is the book form.

versations is a setting for sixteen characters, eight conversations. Sarah the Doll Lady discusses her life as a survivor and dollmaker, a Hindu missionary named Om professes universality, Sailor Bob confesses to wanting to murder his wife’s doctor, there is a Chinese love affair, a French flirtation, and a conversation between a clarinet and cello. The book functions both as a book to be read alone and as a score for performance (in eight movements). Printed on all rag, transluscent paper, its pages reveal the echoes of voices past, present, and future. Cited by Judith Hoffberg in the Umbrella newsletter as the first artist book and first MFA thesis to be awarded an AIGA Book Award.

Out of Print. Limited number available. BUY $5,000 INQUIRE


sample pages and details










Written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published 1983 by Visual Studies Workshop Press and EarSay Books.
Original music composed by Warren Lehrer and Vince Luti. Lettering by Jan Baker.
8.5 x 12” x 152 pages. Printed via offset lithography at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY,
in two colors, black and gray, on Mohawk Superfine, an acid-free paper. Published in two editions:
hardcover with dustjacket, and a boxed edition, bound quarter cloth and paper over boards.
Both smythe sewn.

i mean you know is a book to be read quietly alone. It also functions as a score for a performance. The book/play takes place within a few hours of one day inside the minds of seven characters who co-inhabit the same building. This musical/theatrical setting juxtaposes interior narratives of disparate characters into various arrangements: solo, duo, trio, quartet, sextet, and septet. The characters are: Sasha, the artist; Violone, who is confined to a wheelchair and speaks through her violin; Myron, the mystic guilt-ridden millionaire; Ace Monroe, a British-born radio talk show host; Little Tracy, the toddler; Angelica, an African-American house painter and mother; and Trombonio, who speaks only through his trombone. Published in 1983, i mean you know further developed Lehrer’s interest in prismatic characters, musical structures, and his approach to using typography as a means of creating psycho/acoustic translations of speech and thought on the printed page. This book/performance score celebrates those synaptic gaps and utterances between thoughts and speech that bridge our sometimes imperfect search for meaning (i mean) and a desire to connect with others (you know).

This is the one vintage limited edition book of Lehrer’s still available at affordable prices.
ISBN-10: 0898220351     ISBN-13: 978-0898220353
BUY NOW i mean you know Deluxe Edition Boxed $110 plus shipping
BUY NOW i mean you know Hardcover with dustjacket $50  plus shipping


sample spreads















A few page details



Written by Dennis Bernstein & Warren Lehrer. Designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published 1984 by Visual Studies Workshop Press and EarSay Books.
8”x11”x 104 pages. Three colors on acid-free Mohawk Superfine. Hardcover [ketchup-resistant faux-leather cloth, die-cut over boards]. Color separation by Phil Zimmermann.

The book/play presents a day in the life of the original DREAM QUEEN restaurant (a restaurant that grew to become the third largest burger chain in the western hemisphere). Before the book/play begins, 83-year-old Gertie Greenbaum is found dead in a pool of blood and ketchup. Four customers and three employees (each set in his or her own typographic voice and color) give testimony to how Gerite died. They also continue their day discussing food, money, religion, politics (at the height of the Cold War), love, loss, dreams, memories, and transforming aspirations. The text is illuminated with icons and images that evoke the fast food tableau and the internal projections of the characters.

ISBN: 0961387106
Out of print. collector’s copies available
BUY NOW Original First Edition: Pristine condition, limited number available, $4,000.
BUY NOW Original First Edition: Slightly damaged or irregular copies, $800.
INQUIRE


sample page spreads
















A poster announcing a performance of French Fries, designed by Joan Lyons using printers “waste sheets.” Below that front and back of the original mailer/prospectus designed by Lehrer.


A book by Warren Lehrer,
based on weavings by Sandra Brownlee, with chants and stories by Dennis Bernstein.
Published 1988, Ear/Say books.
7 x 7.5” x 464 pages. Printed offset lithography in dozens of colors on Mohawk Superfine, an acid free paper. Published as a softcover trade edition of 700 copies, and a boxed-hardcover deluxe edition of 15 copies with original tipped-in weaving by Sandra Brownlee and inset trash-can copy by Leonard Seastone. Pre-press work by Phil Zimmermann. Printed by Lori Spencer at the Center for Editions at SUNY Purchase.

GRRRHHHH: a study of social patterns is a 464 page extended visual fugue based on the long forgotten but pivotal animals of the earth, first discovered between the warp and weft of the hand loom of artist/weaver Sandra Brownlee. After scanning Sandra’s eight “Unusual Animals” weavings (and some of her drawings that led up to the weavings) into a computer-paint program (as it was called at the time), as well as collaging, drawing, and sequential imagemaking, the stories of the animals began to animate themselves to Lehrer in odd and mysterious ways. The book, divided into six movements, illuminates the evolutionary and social patterns of these mythological creatures, beginning with the birth of the universe as we know it, the formation or creation of the first animal Grrrhhhh, a rather dog-like creature, and ending with the question of cohabitation (survival) or mutual destruction. Meet the first underwater creature Walazool, the first birds Theasia and Uniliv, and the nomadic land-based Roka clan with their golden rods. Also, read a near-definitive list of animal expressions from albatross around his neck to worming his way out of it; as well as chants and stories by Dennis Bernstein, aided by a complete glossary of newly discovered words and phrases.

ISBN: 0-9613871 1-4
Out of print. collector’s copies available
BUY NOW Rare Collector’s copies of the Paperback available- pristine @ $500.
BUY NOW Slightly wornirregular copies @ $200. Only five left.
BUY NOW Boxed, Deluxe copies w/tipped in weaving by Sandra Brownlee and trash can copy @ $5000.


sample spreads

from movement 1: A Zenocracy of Pre-Thumb Thought. (Birth of the universe/formation of the first animal Grrrhhhh, a rather dog-like creature.) Each of the five 12 page signatures in this movement are printed in a different darkish color. 




High contrast thumbnails of 1st movement spreads gives a sense of the visual narrative/cinematic qualities.


Two spreads from the 2nd movement: The Fluency of Bashara. (First underwater creature, Walazool.) Printed in two colors.


Some spreads from the 3rd movement: Faunaluvious in Athenasia. (First two birds, Theasia and Uniliv.) Printed in two colors.








Some spreads from Building a Bridge Between Tremors: (The first land mammal, Roka, a nomadic golden clan.) Printed in a green, a purple, and two passes of a golden bronze.














Some spreads from Ontogeny of Beastial Inclinations: (The use of animals as symbols of human experience and cosmology, including a near definitive list of animals expressions.) Printed in black.











Some spreads from the last movement, Flux of Ubiquitous Intentions: (a look at a multitude of earthy animals, peaceful and predatory patterns, sacrifice, nitrogen cycle, co-existence and/or extinction.) Printed in many colors, including a split fountain of forest green to a rusty red, also using a combination of “plates” from previous movements.













Left: Boxed edition with handwoven cloth on cover, tipped-in original weaving, and trash-can copy. Right softcover edition.

postcard for event with GRRRHHHH dance choreographed by Janet Bogardus. Below, original prospectus.


Emigré 12, Press Time 1989, Eight page visual essay written and designed by Warren Lehrer and Philip Zimmermann. This issue of Emigre Magazine was devoted “to the art of pre-press and printing, featuring the work of graphic designers who utilize these disciplines as an integral part of the design process.” The issue included visual essays and poster designs by Allen Hori, Rudy VanderLans, and Warren Lehrer and Phil Zimmermann. It also included an essay by Ed McDonald about the life and work of H.N. Werkman, and a letterpress printed insert by Julie Holcomb.

Lehrer and Zimmermann’s essay and poster discusses the process of working in a fluid, hands-on approach to writing/designing and printing. It equates the mix of oil and water, and rotation of inky rollers inherent to offset lithography—to basic elements of nature, and to the revolution of the earth on its axis and orbit around the sun. It also compared Lehrer’s process working in the light of day with Zimmermann’s process (at the time) working in the darkroom.
Sold Out. You might be able to find collectors somewhere.


sample pages, page spreads, details




For the cover, Rudy VanderLans “randomly overprinted several of the inside signatures.”

Audio CD of contemporary opera written and composed by Harvey Goldman and Warren Lehrer. Published by La La Music, 1992.

This full-length audio CD is a musical setting of attitudes and longings for voices and instruments. Nine pieces explore the search for the big ITs—power (Tag Yer IT), an AIDS cure (It Just Might Work), love (Hymn for Her), victory (I for an I), god (You and Me), material wealth (You Got Nothin), the ineffable (Something or Other); and other pronouns (They, He is a She Dog). A collaboration between Warren Lehrer and Harvey Goldman, this post-minimalist opera, has received some good airplay on new music radio programs throughout the country. Composed with the aid of midi-synthesis, the recording features Goldman and Lehrer on digital and acoustic instruments and voice, as well as baritone Alan Seale, sopranos Patricia Ruiz, Nina Heller and Angela DeCicco, extended vocals Stacy Schuman, spoken word Judith Sloan and Brother Blue. Includes 12 page booklet with complete lyrics.

BUY physical CD $9.99plus shipping

 

p r o j e c t   i n f o r m a t i o n   c o m i n g   s o o n

The Portrait Series: a quartet of men
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Published 1995, Bay Press, Seattle
Four book suite, Illustrated Paperbacks. Each book measuring 6.5” x 9.75.” Total, 1020 pages.
Four color covers, black and white interiors.
Includes: Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue, aka Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill; Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso; Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs;  Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charles Lang

The Portrait Series documents and portrays eccentric Americans who straddle the wobbly line between brilliance and madness. These stoop philosophers, sit-down comedians, and off-the-cuff bards, puncture the predictability of everyday life. Each volume is proportional in size to a standing human figure, with a photographic portrait of the subject on the front cover; a portrait of them from the back on the back; and inside, the guts—life stories and perspectives told in short stories, vignettes and extended soliloquies. Expressive but very readable typographic/pictorial settings attempt to capture the shape of thought and reunite the spoken word with the printed page. The first four books in the series form a quartet of men. Together, they challenge traditional notions of madness, heroism, masculinity, and what a book can be.

ISBN-10: 0393324664 ISBN-13: 978-0393324662
BUY NOW Special 4 Book Suite Gift Sale! $25 plus shipping
Or purchase as individual volumes:

Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue, aka Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 267 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-36-4
Limited number of single books available:$12 incl shipping and handling
BUY NOW Also available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.
Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 253 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-35-4
Suggested Retail Price: $12 incl shipping and handling. Also available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.
BUY NOW
Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 261 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-37-2
Suggested Retail Price: $12 incl shipping and handling. Also available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.
BUY NOW
Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charlie Lang
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 253 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-34-8
Suggested Retail Price: $12 incl shipping and handling. Also available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.
BUY NOW

books, a few pages, page spreads, and details

During his forty-plus years, Claude has lived the life of a bohemian artist, underground doctor, spy, philanthropist, homeless person, inventor, and entrepreneur. This intimate portrait of Claude Debs, an orphaned survivor of child sexual abuse turned fiercely independent citizen of the world, follows Claude’s pilgrimage from the Middle East to France, Russia and America. It offers heretical and searing observations on hyper-sexuality, marriage, lying, the art of alchemy, and hard-fought living. It also lays bare the intimate reflections and fractious soliloquies of one-side of a twenty year friendship, as seen by the other. Illuminated with photos of Claude.






See and read more pages and excerpts and find out more about the Claude Portrait book:


Based on a hard-boiled, soft-hearted, retired dock worker who expounds on the meaning of life from his four room railroad flat in Long Island City, New York, where’s he’s lived for over seventy years. Surrounded by memorabilia and seasonal icons of good cheer, Nicholas Detommaso delivers a continuous stream of barbed commentary on familial duty, work, war, money, religion—and the best way to chop garlic. Undiminished by a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, a lifetime of backbreaking work, and his share of disappointments, this irascible character reveals a tender regard for friends and family, and a stubborn inclination for life. Illuminated with objects and pictures from Nicky D’s collection.








See and read more pages and excerpts and find out more about the Claude Portrait book:


This book gives voice to the stories behind the stories of Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill, a.k.a. Brother Blue, the official storyteller of Boston. The great grandson of a slave owner and his slave, Blue rises through the white dominated spheres of the military, the ministry and academia, then sheds institutional life to become a roaming town crier, street poet and raconteur — fueled by a transformative power of sacred service. Renowned for spinning parables of struggle and hope on street corners and in prisons, schools, subways, and churches — Brother Blue entrusted me with writing this portrait based on his seldom heard accounts of growing up during the depression under the spell of mythically heroic parents; serving as a black lieutenant during World War II in the segregated US Army; and riotous attempts at turning the hallowed traditions of the Ivy League and the church on its head! Illuminated with photographs of Brother Blue.




See and read more pages and excerpts and find out more about the Brother Blue book.


Charlie Lang is a gifted musician struggling to step outside the revolving door of a mental health system that has defined and sustained him for over seventeen years. In a world that rewards strength over sensitivity, the protagonist’s exceptional intuitive powers are a blessing as well as a curse. Culled from years of friendship and conversation, this portrait book chronicles the journey of an imaginative, unconfinable spirit, in search of dignity, love, artistic expression and transcendence. Charlie’s poetic, sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious reflections bear witness to life in and out of hospitals, day treatment centers, half-way, and all-the-way housing. The text is illuminated by original drawings by Lang.






See and read more pages and excerpts and find out more about the Charlie Portrait book.


Original mock-up dummies of the Portrait Series used to develop the idea, secure grants and a publisher.



Listen to an excerpt of Warren reading/performing “Fleur de Lune” from the Claude book.

About the Male Quartet:
“The first four books in The Portrait Series focus on men. Taken together, these books form a group portrait as reflective of the voices stirred within me as it is of the subjects.” Lehrer has written and spoken openly about his ambivalence toward and disassociation with maleness. These four men, all break/broke the mold, and served as an inspiration to him, and others. “I offer these books to Claude, Brother Blue, Charlie, and Nicky D. as gifts in return for their trust and friendship. I also offer these books to you as an opportunity to visit with, listen to, and try to understand a life, a life’s perspective, the lives of four eccentric, prismatic, and resilient men.”

The first book in the Women’s Series, morphed into a play, written with Judith Sloan, titled A Tattle Tale, inspired by the life story of Andrea Gibbs, a deputy sheriff in Mississippi who, along four black male deputy sheriff’s, blew the whistle on brutalities and murders taking place in youth detention centers and county jails. Her efforts helped instigate a Justice Department investigation which resulted in federally mandated reforms.

A Tattle Tale premiered as a solo show performed by Judith Sloan, as a run at La MaMa Experimental Theater and later at Independent Art at HERE, both in NYC. A half hour radio documentary about Andrea Gibbs and A Tattle Tale, produced by Laura Sydel, aired on NPR’s program Horizons. Here is a short audio clip from the documentary, titled Eyewitness In Mississippi, of Judith performing from A Tattle Tale.

Listen to an excerpt of Judith Sloan performing Andrea Gibbs from A Tattle Tale, as recorded and mixed by Laura Sydell and Judith Sloan for NPR/ A Tattle Tale: Eyewitness in Mississippi.

Aspects of The Portrait Series also morphed into what became the Crossing the BLVD project, which portrays 79 women, men, and children hailing from all parts of the globe.

Wednesday April 18, 2018 Warren Lehrer helped launch a new Book Arts program at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, with a keynote performance of A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley. It was a wonderful event.

In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading based on his illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Warren presents an overview of his protagonist’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.

A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s controversial author protagonist who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading, Lehrer presents an overview of Mobley’s life in books via many of his book covers, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of book excerpts.

Lehrer began his performance/reading tour of A LIFE IN BOOKS as Keynote Speaker at NY Art Book Fair at PS1 MoMA and has since presented it at over 50 venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, including: Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University Art Museum, Neuberger Museum of Art, San Francisco State University, Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Institute, VCU (Virginia Commonweath University), NYU, University of Minnesota, University of Memphis, University of Florida, Scripps College, Rutgers University, University of Texas/Houston, University of Arizona (Tucson), SUNY Purchase, SUNY Brockport, NSCADU, Haystack Mountain School of Arts, Halifax Central Public Library, Visual Studies Workshop, Center for Book Arts (NY), Minnesota Center for Book Arts, &Now Festival, Brooklyn Book Festival, Ko Festival, Miami Book Fair, Queens Council on the Arts, College Book Art Association (CBAA) Conference, The Greene Space @WNYC, Central Booking. . .

 

Nicky D from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published 1995 by Bay Press
6.5” x 9.75” x 261 pages. Paperback. Four color cover. One interior (black).
Part of the Portrait Series.

Based on a hard-boiled, soft-hearted, retired dock worker who expounds on his life story and meaning of life from his four room railroad flat in Long Island City, New York, where’s he’s lived for over seventy years. Surrounded by memorabilia and seasonal icons of good cheer, Nicholas Detommaso delivers a continuous stream of barbed commentary on familial duty, work, war, money, religion—and the best way to chop garlic. Undiminished by a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, a lifetime of backbreaking work, and his share of disappointments, this irascible stoop philosopher and sit-down comedian reveals a tender regard for friends and family, and a stubborn inclination for life. Replete a few of his ‘famous recipes.’

ISBN 0-941920-37-2
BUY NOW Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 + $3 shipping and handling
BUY NOW Portrait Series: 4 book set, Special Sale: $25 + shipping and handling
[includes: Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue; Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso; Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs; Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charles Lang]


sample page spreads and details



















Click for more info about the Portrait Series Quartet

Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published 1995 by Bay Press
6.5” x 9.75” x 253 pages. Paperback. Four color cover. One interior (black).
Part of the Portrait Series.

During his forty-plus years, Claude has lived the life of a bohemian artist, underground doctor, spy, philanthropist, homeless person, inventor, and entrepreneur. This expressionistic, intimate portrait of Claude Debs, an orphaned survivor of child sexual abuse turned fiercely independent citizen of the world, follows Claude’s pilgrimage from the Middle East to France, Russia and America. It offers heretical and searing observations on hyper-sexuality, marriage, lying, the art of alchemy, and hard-fought living. It also lays bare the intimate reflections and fractious soliloquies of one-side of a twenty year friendship, as seen by the other.

ISBN 0-941920-35-4
BUY NOW Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 + $3 shipping and handling
BUY NOW Portrait Series: 4 book set, Special Sale: $25 + shipping and handling
[includes: Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue; Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso; Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs; Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charles Lang]


sample spreads














Click for more info about the Portrait Series Quartet

Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue, a.k.a. Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published 1995 by Bay Press
6.5” x 9.75” x 267 pages. Paperback. Four color cover. One interior (black).
Part of the Portrait Series. 

This expressionist portrait gives voice to the stories behind the stories of Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill, a.k.a. Brother Blue, the official storyteller of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The great grandson of a slave owner and his slave, Blue rises through the white dominated spheres of the military, the ministry and academia, then sheds institutional life to become a roaming town crier, street poet and raconteur — fueled by a transformative power of sacred service. Renowned for spinning parables of struggle and hope on street corners and in prisons, schools, subways, and churches — Brother Blue entrusted me with writing this portrait based on his seldom heard accounts of growing up during the depression under the spell of mythically heroic parents; serving as a black lieutenant during World War II in the segregated US Army; and riotous attempts at turning the hallowed traditions of the Ivy League and the church on its head!

ISBN 0-941920-36-4
BUY NOW Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 + $3 shipping and handling
BUY NOW Portrait Series: 4 book set, Special Sale: $25 + shipping and handling
[includes: Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue; Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso; Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs; Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charles Lang]


sample spreads








In 1998, Shambhala Lion Editions produced an audio book of Brother Blue reading excerpts from Lehrer’s Brother Blue portrait book. [Out of print. Copies can be found online.]

The cut “You and Me” on Harvey Goldman and Warren Lehrer’s 1991 New Music CD The Search for IT and Other Pronouns features the powerful voice of Brother Blue. The text of You and Me is culled from several pieces in the book.

Listen to an excerpt of YOU & ME

Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charlie Lang
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Published 1995 by Bay Press
6.5” x 9.75” x 203 pages. Paperback. Four color cover. One interior (black).
Part of the Portrait Series.

This expressionist portrait of Charlie Lang, documents the gifted musician at a time when he was struggling to step outside the revolving door of a mental health system that defined and sustained him for over seventeen years. In a world that rewards strength over sensitivity, the protagonist’s exceptional intuitive powers are a blessing as well as a curse. Culled from years of friendship and conversation, this portrait book chronicles the journey of an imaginative, unconfinable spirit, in search of dignity, love, artistic expression and transcendence. Charlie’s poetic, sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious reflections bear witness to life in and out of hospitals, day treatment centers, half-way, and all-the-way housing. The text is illuminated by original drawings by Lang.

ISBN: 0-941920-34-8
BUY NOW Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 + $3 shipping and handling
BUY NOW Portrait Series: quartet of men (4 book set), Special Sale: $25 + shipping and handling
[includes: Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue; Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso; Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs; Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charles Lang]


sample page spreads and details

















Book written by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan. Photography and design by Warren Lehrer.
Published 2003, W.W. Norton Inc. New York/London.
6.5” x 9.75” x 400 pages. Four colors on acid-free paper. Hardcover (with audio CD), and Paperback.

At the center of this multimedia project sits the 400 page, four color book—which portrays the lives of new immigrants and refugees who live in the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States—the borough of Queens, in the city of New York. For three years, writer and artist Warren Lehrer and actress and oral historian Judith Sloan traveled the world by trekking the streets and neighborhoods of their home borough in search of migration stories, culture and soul. This book documents some of the many people and stories they encountered along the way. First person narratives, culled from interviews and storytelling workshops, are illuminated by Lehrer’s photographic portraits of the subjects alongside reproductions of the objects they have carried with them from home to home. The Talmudic structure of the book juxtaposes multiple perspectives: neighbors who came from opposite ends of the earth, intergenerational points of view within families, teammates, classmates, friends, enemies, and co-workers. Narratives are annotated by Lehrer/Sloan’s observations, as well as historical perspectives on the countries of origin, changes in U.S. foreign/immigration policies, and other contextual matter. In five movements, the book features the voices of 79 individuals as they reflect on the good, the ugly, and the unexpected in their stories of crossing oceans, borders, wars, economic hardship, and cultural divides. Collectively, the stories, images and sounds of Crossing the BLVD serve as a magnifying glass for the future of America. Other branches of the project include public radio documentaries, an audio CD, a traveling exhibition and performance.

ISBN-10: 0393324664    ISBN-13: 978-0393324662
Paperback, in second edition. Suggested Retail Price: $21.95

BUY NOW W.W. NORTON
Harbound book packaged with audio CD. Out of print.
BUY NOW! Some hardbound copies available at $100 plus shipping.
 
Audio CD BUY physical CD $9.99 plus shipping
BUY on iTunes Full CD $9.99 or individual tracks $0.99


sample spreads, page details, audio CD




Some page spreads and details from the 1st movement: New Pilgrims








Some page spreads and details from the 2nd movement: Run for Your Life






Some page spreads and details from movement 3: Ties That Bind









Some page spreads and details from movement 4: Neighborhood Stories








Some page spreads and details from movement 5: Unlikely Bedfellows












Packaged with the hardcover book or as a stand alone item, The Crossing the BLVD audio CD features original new music compositions by Scott Johnson (of John-Somebody fame) and text-based audio compositions by Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer that cross the boundaries between music and speech, journalism and expressionism, tradition and the avant-garde. All sampled voices are culled from interviews of new immigrants and refugees by Lehrer/Sloan on their three-year journey through the borough the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States. Produced by Judith Sloan, the CD also includes music by Crossing the BLVD participants including the gypsy-punk-cabaret band Gogol Bordello, Nigerian gospel singer Kingsley Ogunde, and Romanian-American musicians Christine and Dinu Ghezzo. A rich and original musical soundscape, the Crossing the BLVD album reflects the immigrant experience at the crossroads of a paradoxical and ever-changing America. Selections aired on National Public Radio stations nationwide, featured as a “Global Hit” on PRI’s The World, and on New and World Music programs.

Crossing The BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America
Audio CD, Music Compositions by Scott Johnson, Audio Compositions by Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer, Producred by Judith Sloan. EarSay with W.W. Norton, 2003
SAMPLE & BUY physical CD $9.99 plus shipping
SAMPLE & BUY on iTunes Full CD $9.99 or individual tracks $0.99


Traveling exhibition of photographs, sounds, and stories, Warren Lehrer & Judith Sloan.
Includes: 90 photographic portraits, 13 sound stations, a mobile photo-storybooth, and reading stations. The Crossing the BLVD book serves as a catalog. The exhibition is often paired with public programing including performances, panel discussions, workshops, a local satelite exhibition, and the use of the Crossing the BLVD book as a text or common reader.

The CTB exhibition premiered at the Queens Museum of Art in 2004 and has, so far, traveled to 14 locations in the United States including: The Maryland Institute College of Art; The Hudson Museum, Orono Maine; Art Museum University of Memphis; Godwin-Ternbach Museum; Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY Purchase); Weber State University (Utah); Ohio State University; University of Tennesse, Knoxville; Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester), Rutgers University; the Bronfman Center Gallery at NYU, and other sites.

 

The multimedia documentary exhibition reflects the changing face of America, and the living history of the immigrant experience, post 1965 USA Immigration Act. 90 photographic portraits by Warren Lehrer portray the pride, beauty, struggle and colorful humanity of individuals who have crossed through war zones, borders, oceans, and cultural divides. Many of the photographic compositions incorporate elements of the subject’s story and reflect the daily crossings people make between cultures, expectations, and in their search of a new and not so new identity. Some portraits are juxtaposed with others to form group portraits of families, neighborhoods, co-workers, teammates, classmates, fellow exiles or band-members. Portraits are paired with short narrative excerpts of the subject’s monologues; contextual maps of the country or countries of origin overlaid with maps of Queens neighborhoods; panoramic landscapes; and reproductions of objects and images that Crossing participants have carried with them from home to home. Sound stations produced by Sloan in collaboration with Lehrer of text/audio compositions and original music by Scott Johnson, enable visitors to hear the voices of those portrayed in the exhibition. There is also music of some of the Crossing the BLVD participants, including Gogol Bordello, Christine and Dinu Ghezzo, and Kingsley Ogunde. An ambient soundscape of people praying, voices on the streets, found and composed music, bring visitors into this crossroad of the world upon entering the exhibition. The Crossing the BLVD Mobile Story Booth invites visitors to contribute their photographs and their own (or their parent’s or grandparent’s) migration stories to the Crossing the BLVD archive of first-person narratives.
INQUIRE about booking the Exhibition

 





Listen to “Crossing Queens Boulevard.” Malika Kalontarova, voice and hand drum. Arthur Gulkarov, voice. Scott Johnson, electric guitar. Audio composition by Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer.





Listen to “Cargo Flight to Nowhere.”Bovic Antosi, spoken word. Kingsley Ogunde, vocals and piano. Audio composition by Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer.

 








The Crossing the BLVD exhibition helps instigate and facilitate dialogue across cultural and disciplinary boundaries at universities, museums and community centers throughout the United States—through public events, panel discussions, performances and readings, lectures and worksops. Themes and topics have included: • Immigration: Old and New • Impact of Post 9/11 Laws • Refugee and Human Rights • Cross-Cultural and Cross-Religious Dialogues/ Race and Immigration • U.S. Foreign Policy, War/Peace and Immigration • Art and Social Change. It provides an opportunity for collaboration within universities and with local community organizations. Its concerns overlap with the following areas: • Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Religion, Oral History • Asian Pacific American, Middle Eastern, Latino/a, Caribbean, Africana Studies • American/Ethnic/Cultural Studies • Performance/Media/Communication Studies • Photography/Visual Arts/Artist Books • Graphic Design/Music and Sound/

 

Above, Warren Lehrer leads a workshop for design students who have created their own companion exhibition in conjuction with the Crossing the BLVD exhibition at Weber State University in Utah. The exhibition provides a template for students to do their own visual art, audio, and oral history projects.

Lehrer and Sloan presented performance/readings from Crossing in conjunction with the exhibition. Judith now presents Crossing as a solo show and directs ensemble productions with other actors and with college and high school students.

 


Sloan and Lehrer produced Crossing the BLVD documentaries and audio works for a variety of public radio programs. Here are two of those pieces:

Labib’s Cafe: Sharing the Bad TimesIn an Egyptian cafe on Steinway Street in Astoria, hate is spilled and calmly mopped up four nights after the Sept. 11th attack on the World Trade Towers. Judith Sloan talks with owner Labib Salama and his customer Nasser Elgabry about the return of the four boys who ransacked his coffee shop. Aired Sept. 30, 2001, Jan. 5 2002, and March 9, 2002 on PRI’s The Next Big Thing. Produced, narrated, edited by Judith Sloan with the assistance of Warren Lehrer.

Draguh Tata (Dear Dad)When Raluca Oncioui opened up a Christmas card one year she found out her father had a secret son in Romania. The family tells the story of coming to America from Communist Romania, and coming together after years of keeping secrets. Aired Weekend America, Dec 13, 2008. Voices: Raluca Oncioui, Ian Oncioui and Liviu Oncioui. Yuri Lemeshev, accordion. Produced by Judith Sloan with Warren Lehrer.

“Video manifesto” animated and directed by Warren Lehrer. Soundtrack by Judith Sloan.
Animated with the assistance of Brandon Campbell.
Featuring the voice of Eugene Hütz. Accordion, Yuri Lemeshev.

This video, directed and animated by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell, features the words of Eugene Hütz—leader of the gypsy-punk-cabaret band Gogol Bordello—sharing his views on ‘globalization’ and putting forward an alternative vision of what he calls “multi-kontra-culture.” This animation, with sound production and arrangement by Judith Sloan, is an extension of Lehrer/Sloan’s multi-media project, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, which documents and portrays new immigrants and refugees in the United States.

Lehrer and Sloan were hanging out on a Lower East Side rooftop one hot summer evening, drinking vodka and sharing stories with members of Gogol Bordello, when Eugene came out with his critique of globalization and “multiculturalism,” and offered up a kind of extemporaneous manifesto of multi-kontra-culture. They liked his vision so much, they ended their book with it (W.W. Norton). Sloan mixed it with some street noise and the accordion of Yuri Lemeshev, also from Gogol Bordello, and made it the last cut on the Crossing the BLVD CD. That cut called “Globalization” is the soundtrack of this 4 minute 15 second animation, which Lehrer made in collaboration with artist/animator Brandon Campbell.

The video was featured on slate.com, Print magazine’s online blog imprint, the Huffington Post, and other sites, and has become part of the Crossing the BLVD exhibition.


some storyboard moments / stills from the video


Music composed by Frank London, Libretto/Lyrics by Judith Sloan, Animated Visuals Warren Lehrer with assistance from Brandon Campbell.

This excerpt reel is from a December 2017 performance by the Queens College Choral Society and a 30 piece Orchestra under the Music Direction of James John. Featured soloists: tabla Deep Singh, erhu Feifei Yang, mezzo-soprano Linda Collazo, soprano Elizabeth Muñoz, tenor Deepak Marwah, baritone DeAndre Simmons. Spoken word performed by Judith Sloan in English with additional translations performed in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic by Francis Madi Cerrada, Monna Sabouri, Alicia Waller, Kai Liu, Krussia. Performed at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College.

1001 Voices: a Symphony for a New America is a three-movement symphony scored for orchestra, choir, actors, and visual projections. This multi-media orchestral work is about migration, transformation, and the search for home. It is a 21st century, musical/poetic expression of the challenges and aspirations of so many of today’s American cities and their inhabitants who hail from many different parts of the globe. It is inspired by stories of immigrants and refugees in Queens, NY—the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States. A work of beauty and insight, 1001 Voices serves as an antidote to the poisonous and flattening rhetoric about immigrants and refugees currently dividing the United States and the globe.

More excerpts and information about the project coming soon. . . .

Illuminated novel written, designed and illustrated by Warren Lehrer.
Some illustrations made in collaboration with Melina Rodrigo Smyres, Donna Chang, Jonathon Rosen.
Published 2013 by Goff Books.
Hardcover, 7.5” x 9.75”, 380 page, 4 color throughout, smythe sewn, printed on acid free paper.

A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written and designed by Lehrer’s [fictional] author-protagonist, Bleu Mobley. Nearly a year after the controversial author is thrown into prison for refusing to reveal the name of a confidential source, he decides to break his silence. But it’s not as simple as giving up a name to the grand jury. Over the course of one long night, in the darkness of his prison cell, he whispers his life story into a microcassette recorder, tracing his journey from the public housing project of his youth, to a career as a journalist, then experimental novelist, college professor, accidental bestselling author, pop-culture pundit, and unindicted prisoner. In A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books. Each book is represented by its first edition cover design and catalog copy, and 34 of the books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the author’s confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (but ethically challenged) visionary.

Written and designed by Warren Lehrer, A LIFE IN BOOKS is a unique exploration of one man’s use of books as a means of understanding himself, the people around him, and a half century of American/global events. It celebrates the mysteries and contradictions of the creative process, grapples with the future of the book as a medium and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction. The printed book is enhanced by films and animations which are part of the traveling exhibition, are incorporated into Warren Lehrer’s A LIFE IN BOOKS performance/talk, and can be accessed online.

Winner of 9 Awards including Independent Publisher’s Outstanding Book of the Year Award, the International Book Award for Best New Fiction, and a Print Magazine Regional Design Award.

ISBN 978-1-939621-02-3 Distributed by PGW (Publishers Group West)
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sample pages, page spreads, details, bleu mobley book covers

















Some Mobley book covers and A LIFE IN BOOKS page details







A few titles published under Mobley’s (self-help) nom de plume Dr. Sky Jacobs




A LIFE IN BOOKS can also be used as a teaching tool: as a text and a resource in Creative Writing, College Freshman Writing, Writing for Artists, Writing for Designers, Graphic Design, Illustration, Book Arts, Fiction Writing, Short Story Writing, Ethics, Semiotics, and Critical Issues (in Contemporary Literature and Art) classes, as well as for workshops in Unleashing Creativity, or any of the above subjects.

With the help of a STUDY GUIDE, students use A LIFE IN BOOKS as a point of departure to generate their own book or multimedia project ideas, titles, catalog copy, cover designs, and book excerpts. By developing book ideas laterally, writing titles, catalog copy, and then excerpts (of short story length), students build confidence incrementally, leading them to more long form writing. Appropriate for beginning, intermediate, advanced liberal arts and studio arts students. Classes could also choose to participate in the A LIFE IN BOOKS Writing Contest, or select a particular Bleu Mobley title of their choosing to complete as a class or interdisciplinary set of classes.

As a text, A LIFE IN BOOKS presents a panoramic view of a paradoxical and multi-cultural America spanning 50 years in the life of Bleu Mobley, the people in his life and the characters in his books. It stimulates thought and discussion about the relationship between a writer/artist and the work they produce. Ethical dilemmas are raised throughout A LIFE IN BOOKS, as is the quest for freedom and the prospect of sacrificing freedom(s) for a greater cause.

The videos, additional text excerpts (not included in the printed edition), interviews, articles, and other supplemental materials—including the Exhibition and Warren Lehrer’s Performance/Reading can also be used to study and discuss A LIFE IN BOOKS, and serve as an example of how creative writing can manifest itself beyond the confines of a book through other media.

INQUIRE about using the book/A LIFE IN BOOKS project as a teaching tool.
FIND OUT MORE about the performance and traveling exhibition.
VISIT the A LIFE IN BOOKS project website.
BUY the book now!


Lehrer’s illuminated novel A Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley sits at the center of a multimedia project which includes:
                • Performance/Reading Tour
                • Bleu Mobley Traveling Exhibition
                • Animations, Animated Spots, and Short Films


In his performance/readings, Lehrer presents an overview of Bleu Mobley’s life and work with projections of his book cover designs and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts. A Life In Books presentations are funny, entertaining, and thought provoking. They focus on: the creative process (how life events and the life of one’s times influence an artist’s work, and vice versa); the future of the book; and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction. Whenever possible, Warren likes to engage audiences in a Q&A afterwards, and sign books. In some venues, he combines an A Life In Books performance/readings with an overview presentation of his own 30+ year career as writer and artist. Workshops for writers and artists are also possible.

Lehrer began his performance/reading tour of A LIFE IN BOOKS as Keynote Speaker at the 2013 NY Art Book Fair at PS1 MoMA and has since presented it at over 50 venues throughout the U.S. and Canada. Inquire about booking a performance/reading and/or artist talk by Warren Lehrer.


The traveling exhibition presents itself as a retrospective survey of the extraordinary publishing career of Lehrer’s protagonist, the prolific and controversial author/book visionary Bleu Mobley. It includes all 101 “first edition” cover designs accompanied by “original” catalogue descriptions. It also includes Mobley’s earliest books, “composed” in the letterpress shop of his junior high school, as well as “reproductions” of select interior spreads, and Mobley’s book-like objects. There are videos of filmed performances (of Bleu Mobley book excerpts), and animations of pop-up books, and ‘spots’ featuring individual Bleu Mobley titles. There are also artifacts such as letters, notebooks, flyers, articles, and the actual microcassette tapes that became the narrative foundation of A LIFE IN BOOKS. The book serves as an exhibition catalog.

While the book presents a very personal and complex portrait of Bleu Mobley and the wide array of characters who inhabit his life and books, the exhibition “celebrates the creative output of an American master who, in so many ways, and for so long, helped us better understand our own lives, relationships, institutions, and a half-century of American/global events.” The exhibition can also function as a resource for colleges and classes using the book as a text and point of departure for creating their own works of visual literature. The exhibition is designed to travel easily and inexpensively. It is ideal for museums, non-profit galleries, university galleries, art and literary centers, libraries and bookstores with exhibition spaces.
Inquire about booking the exhibit.

 

Here are photographs from the [April 2016] premiere installation of the A LIFE IN BOOKS exhibition at the O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston, Downtown. Photos by Warren Lehrer and Mark Cervenka.

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Written by Dennis Bernstein. Visualized by Warren Lehrer.
Introduction by Steven Heller.
Published by Paper Crown Press, September, 2019.
6”x6”x 302 pages. Hardcover, quarter cloth binding. Archival paper.
Full color cover with embossed type, metallic foil. Black and white interior.

Longtime collaborators, Bernstein and Lehrer have joined forces again! Five Oceans in a Teaspoon is a (large) collection of (short) visual poems, written by poet/investigative journalist Dennis J Bernstein, typographic visualizations by designer/author Warren Lehrer. As with his journalism, Bernstein’s poems reflect the struggle of everyday people trying to survive in the face of adversity. Divided into eight chapters, the book reads like a memoir in poems. It spans a lifetime, lifetimes: growing up confused by dyslexia and a parent’s alcoholism; graced by pogo sticks, boxing lessons and a mother’s compassion; becoming a frontline witness to war and its aftermaths, to prison, street life, poverty, love and loss, open heart surgery, caring for aging parents and visitations from them after they’re gone. Lehrer’s typographic compositions give form to the interior, emotional and metaphorical underpinnings of the poems. Together, the writing and visuals create a new whole that engages the reader to become an active participant in the navigation, discovery, and experience of each poem.

Many of the poems included in the collection have appeared in literary magazines, newspapers, and online publications. Eight of the visualized poems appeared as works in progress in Type Tells Tales, an anthology of “Typographic Narratives” by Gail Anderson and Steven Heller (Thames & Hudson). The book is part of a multi-branched project including an exhibition, performance/readings, and animations. Stay tuned for more information.

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preview of some sample pages and spreads



















animation sampler

Lehrer has made and continues to make animations based on select poems from Five Oceans in a Teaspoon. Based on the page compositions—and always rooted in Bernstein’s words—the animations allow for a different kind of typographic realization/performance of the poems. In Living with Alzheimer’s, we experience letters struggling to become words, searching for memory; thoughts halt, rotate and stretch in a confusion of pleasure, frustration, habit and empathy. In the animated poem Knitting Club, a circle of women spin yarns that unfold into patterns of storytelling, textiles, music at once down to earth and of the spheres. The animations can live on their own or function as links to the printed book. They can be seen online and shared through social media, and are featured in Lehrer/Bernstein’s live performance/readings, in exhibitions, public screenings and projections. Please share them with others. To see more animations, visit the Five Oceans website.

Animations art directed by Warren Lehrer, written by Dennis J Bernstein. Animations produced with the assistance of Brandon Campbell, Najeebah Al-Ghadban, Austin Shaw. Original soundtracks composed and performed by Andrew Griffin.

1001 Voices: An Anthem for a New America
An installation of visual poetry written by Judith Sloan, visualized by Warren Lehrer.
2017, CUNY Law School/Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice
Long Island City, New York

The poem—written by Sloan, visualized by Lehrer for 17 contiguous street-level windows at 2 Court Square in Long Island City—portrays a message of welcome and inclusion as it celebrates the Law School’s mission: “law in the service of human needs.” The installation features an excerpt from Sloan’s libretto of 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America, which pays homage to recent waves of immigrants and refugees to the United States and re-envisions Emma Lazarus’ sonnet The New Colossus (written in 1883 for the Statue of Liberty). The symphony was commissioned by the Queens Symphony Orchestra. Music composed by Frank London. Libretto written by Judith Sloan. Projected Visualizations designed by Warren Lehrer. At a time when “sanctuary” cities like New York are under attack for their efforts to protect immigrants and asylum seekers, this public work adapted from the symphony—located across from the Court Square subway station on a bustling street in the most diverse county in America—sheds the light of poetry and art on a national crisis that is dividing the country and calling into question the meaning of the “American Dream.”

The window installation is part of the Sorensen Center’s Justice Through Art Initiative, a collaboration between the CUNY Law School community and artists “in order to bring new perspectives and depth to social justice issues and legal challenges.” Lehrer’s panoramic design sets discrete phrases within the poem into their own panels—through typography, photography, color, shape, metaphor. Each of the 17, six-and-a-half foot wide panels float within a street level window. The panels are double-sided, enabling viewers to interact with the poem inside and outside of the building. The installation instigates a series of dialogs and performances beginning in September, 2017, at CUNY Law School.


The Panels

















installation and site photos

September 2017. 1001 Voices: An Anthem for a New America
Installation of a new panoramic window installation of visual poetry at CUNY School of Law, LIC, NY.
A presentation of The Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice.

The poem—written by Judith Sloan, visualized by Warren Lehrer for street-level windows at 2 Court Square—portrays a message of welcome and inclusion as it celebrates the Law School’s mission: “law in the service of human needs.” This installation is part of The Sorensen Center’s Justice Through Art Initiative, a collaboration between CUNY Law’s community and artists in order to bring new perspectives and depth to social justice issues and legal challenges. At a time when “Sanctuary Cities” like New York are under attack for their efforts to protect immigrants and asylum seekers, this public work—located across from the Court Square subway station on a bustling street in the most diverse county in America—sheds the light of poetry and art on a national crisis that is dividing the country and calling into question the meaning of the “American Dream.”

Lehrer’s panoramic design sets discrete phrases within the poem into their own panels—through typography, photography, color, shape, metaphor. Lehrer describes, “I want viewers to experience the wordscapes as a field and as single panels in whatever direction they/you/we may be heading.” Each of the 17, six-and-a-half foot wide panels float within a street level window. The panels are double-sided, enabling viewers to interact with the poem inside and outside of the building.

On view now. Come visit the window installation at 2 Court Square, LIC, NY 11101. Across from the Citibank building at the Courthouse Square subway: M, E, G, 7 train.
Click Here for more info.

 

 

 

Working Cover Art

*** COMING IN 2023 ***

Written by Rick Black. Visualized by Warren Lehrer.
Projected pub date: 2023. Publisher TBA.
6.5” x 6.5” x 200 pages.

Grief is love with nowhere to go. Sometimes it gets locked up inside for years.
Letter Box: The Geometry of Loss is a unique, exquisite and powerful book that addresses how a person can deal with personal loss, feel the bottomless pain, yet manage to move on. Written by former New York Times reporter Rick Black, it is the story of a young man’s coming to grips with the unexpected death of his mother from cancer. The sparse prose—which consists of only a few words per page—is choreographed for the page by visual literature pioneer Warren Lehrer. His typographic settings give delicate and surprising form to the interior, emotional and metaphorical underpinnings of Black’s words. Together, the writing and visuals create a moving, beautiful, and distinctively cinematic book experience. Letter Box: The Geometry of Loss is a vehicle for readers of all ages to process their own emotions through a visual and literary odyssey. Self Help/Memoir/Poetry/Art.

Stay tuned for information. . .


sample spreads










Working Cover Art

*** COMING IN 2023 ***

Written and designed by Warren Lehrer.
Projected pub date: 2023. Publisher TBA. 400+ pages.

TRACE: A Surveilled Novel presents itself as a document dump and is premised on the idea that nearly everything you are reading between its covers is known by virtue of surveillance technology: phone and email intercepts, social media posts, police reports, medical records, personnel files, surveillance camera footage, DNA records, online interactions of any kind, and many other sources.

The narrator/compiler is Sandra Silverberg-Gianopoulos, code name Dada Miner, an “information analyst” working for an NSA subcontractor. Sandy heads a top-secret unit whose job is to surveil random subjects who are seemingly of no interest whatsoever, to see if by chance any of these unknown unknowns could possibly be national security threats. Sandy is an empathic, curious, even ethical snoop, but—during the course of tracing a subject—she accidentally discovers a secret related to her own family and loses sight of the mission and the all-too-porous boundaries that shape it. Sandy’s crossing of lines leads her to meet family members she didn’t know she had and become involved with a group of climate change activists. She reassesses the dangers that most threaten her country and the world, takes stock of her complicity in the larger systems of surveillance, and decides to go public with the documents that make up TRACE.

TRACE is divided into four folders, 40 files that read like short stories, scenes, and character vignettes. It is a genre-bending literary novel that is at once a cautionary reflection of the hyper-sharing, hyper-monitored moment we’re living in and a timeless exploration of complex, flawed, prismatic characters..

Stay tuned for information. . .


sample spreads


Working Cover Art

*** COMING IN 2023 ***

Poems written by Adeena Karasick. Book visualized by Warren Lehrer.
Projected pub date: 2023. Publisher TBA.
7” x 9” x 96 pages.

This work is the first collaboration between poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist Adeena Karasick, and pioneer designer/author and vis lit practitioner Warren Lehrer. The book features two poems—written by Karasick, visualized by Lehrer—about re-entering the world after a pandemic that never seems to end.

The title poem, Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings, is an ecstatically wrought, post-Covid celebration of openings. It tracks the pain of openings read through socio-economic, geographic and bodily space. Employing fragmentation, layered language, and sonic wordplay, Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings explores a range of intralingual etymologies of the word “opening,” laced with post-consumerist ironic and erotic language, theoretical discourse, philosophical and Kabbalistic aphorisms. The poem foregrounds language as a material, physical organism of hope—highlighting the concept of opening as an ev- er-swirling palimpsest of spectral voices, textures, whispers and codes transporting us through passion, politics and pleasure as we negotiate loss and light.

Described in the book as A Panddendum, the second poem, Touching in the Wake of The Virus navigates how in the wake of the pandemic, we must renegotiate the sense of “touch.” After being in solitude for 2+ years, and riddled with fear of further contamination, it explores the nature of touch; how do we touch, and in what ways; (what’s appropriate, inappropriate, riotous, propriotous), when we are always on the surface of contact. With reference to Derrida’s notion of how touch is fundamental to being human; Touching in the Wake of The Virus asks, can one / ever really touch anything; touch nothing / touch / without being touched / how does one touch without touching, without touching too much, where touching is already too much.

Lehrer’s sensuous, textural, textual rendering explores the same questions as it plays with and diagrams approach/withdrawal, navigating between and through a landscape of barriers and openings, seeking intimacy, daring to touch and be touched. His typographic compositions give form to the interior, emotional, metaphorical, historical and performative underpinnings of both poems. Together, the writing and visuals create a new whole that engages the reader to become an active participant in the experience of the poems. The book is a work of poetry, art, design, performance score and commentary about the shared global and very human experience of being separated and trying our best to come back together.

Stay tuned for information. . .


sample spreads

from Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings




from Touching in the Wake of The Virus