Warren Lehrer

“In Lehrer’s books… words take on thought’s very form, bringing sensory experience to the reader as directly as ink on paper can allow… [Once] considered too far ahead of his time… Now the times are beginning to catch up to him.”
Julie Lasky The New York Times Book Review

“An Oracle of the 21st Century Book… French Fries is one of the most fascinating books I have ever seen or read… The pages throb with energy and graphic vitality… French Fries proves that the book can be a movie, an existential feast, and a pastiche of literature and art…”
Philip Meggs AIGA Journal

In Lehrer’s ingenious, one-of-a-kind novel, A Life In Books, we see all the covers of all 101 books written by his narrator over the last several decades… A tour-de-force!”
Kurt Andersen Studio 360 Public Radio International

“We honor Warren Lehrer, innovator and boundary breaker, for his unique marriage of writing and typography… for extending the often rarified field of book arts to the broader worlds of contemporary design, art and literature… Like the person himself, his books are often very funny, yet caring and deep. They are nuanced and sophisticated works that take on serious issues of our day—war and peace, immigration, popular culture, the health care, criminal justice, education and entertainment industries, and the future of the book…”
The Center for Book Arts 2016 Honoree

“In A Life In Books, author and graphic design visionary Warren Lehrer crafts a vivid kaleidoscopic odyssey that frames one man’s life through not one, but one hundred different books and book jackets. In this quirky, yet unmistakably modern evocation of the illuminated manuscript, Lehrer’s book reminds us that we are what we do. And, for that matter, what we publish.”
Jessica Helfand founding editor Design Observer

A Life In Books is a book-lover’s fictional treat of books that never were. At first when we look at this extraordinary book, it looks like it’s going to be a funny book, with crazy, zany events. But A Life In Books is ultimately about how the sadness of life is transformed into art. The book is about survival, and how life requires constant adjustment, constant compromise, and the will to find the funny line at which you won’t compromise… By the end, Bleu Mobley is surviving in jail. We understand everything he does step by step because he takes us with him down his path, from the print shop of his junior high where he falls in love with everything about letters and words, to his reinvention as a writer of best sellers in order to support his daughter’s medical expenses, and his ultimate refusal to sell out a confidential source… As Whitman said, ‘I contain multitudes,’ and Bleu Mobley contains 101 books. Wonderful!”
Michael Silverblatt Bookworm, KCRW

“Lehrer’s typographic experiments anticipated new directions in 1990s graphic design. Books such as French Fries [1984] challenge readers to explore the act of reading; to break with the usual linear pattern, vary the pace, look back on earlier passages, or skip ahead… With his Portrait Series published in 1995… he showed how ‘visual literature’ could be used to engage broader audiences… Lehrer’s books evoke the subjective experience of their subjects with great particularity and vividness, suggesting the possibility of a new literary genre that makes full use of design’s rhetorical dimension.”
Rick Poynor No More Rules: Postmodern Design

Five Oceans in a Teaspoon is an engaging masterwork of poetic visualization that has only a handful of precedents in literary and design history… Lehrer’s graphic scoring turns each line, word, and breath into an opportunity for transformation. His designs turn short lines and statements into vectors of force in fields of action. The effect is remarkable and the range of graphic innovation impressive. Lehrer takes advantage of our expectations about reading, torquing our habits just enough to give us insights into the design space of language… If Five Oceans has fewer fireworks than Lehrer and Bernstein’s earlier collaborations, it has more depth and appreciation of the poetry itself, by virtue of adding nothing to the work but a diagrammatic structure. Bernstein fits many oceans into the well-defined parameters of Lehrer’s teaspoons; this is a true collaboration, and neither artist would or could have made this work without the other.”
Johanna Drucker Los Angeles Review of Books

“Warren Lehrer receives the Ladislav Sutnar Prize for his pioneering work and lifetime achievement in Visual Literature and Design. His work explores the turbidity and luminescence of character, the relationships between social structures and individuals, and the pathos and absurdity of life. In addition to his many books, Lehrer has been involved in the transposition of stories and texts into animation, video and interactive media.”
2019 Ladislav Sutnar Prize for Lifetime Achievement Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic

“One of the most imaginative and ambitious book artists of our time.”
Richard Kostelantetz American Book Review

“In A Life In Books, Lehrer has devised an ingenious novel that is compelling and beautiful in all sorts of ways… More than simply a fictional memoir, Lehrer’s novel is an aesthetic book object that can be read (and looked at) in a number of ways: it’s a kind of literary history of contemporary literature, a history of the book industry as well as of American pop culture in the neoliberal period; it’s a bildungsroman, a fictional memoir that verges into the realm of autofiction; a satire, a romance, a campus novel; a NYC novel (in part a 9/11 novel as well), and a short-story collection; it is a love song to the book-as-object, a legal defense, a collection of graphic art—all compiled into a single novel… Lehrer’s construction of the book-as-archive establishes clear contiguities between the life of an artist and his art… As such A life in Books is as much about one man’s life creating books as it is about how the books he creates write himself… Earlier examples of novelized literary compendiums (e.g., Tristram Shandy, Ulysses, Gravity’s Rainbow) do not employ an archival or documentary poetics, but [Mark Danielewski’s] House of Leaves and Lehrer’s A Life in Books, certainly do, for they deliberately transform the book object into a site for archiving textual media for expressive purposes.”
Brian niels Davis Books As Archives: Archival Poetics in Post-1980 Experimental Writing

“Lehrer pioneered what might be best termed “typographic performance” in his 1984 book/play French Fries, considered by historians one of the linchpins of the deconstructionist era in graphic design… While Crossing the BLVD can be viewed as an astute urban sociological study (Margaret Mead meets Jane Jacobs), more importantly it highlights the richness (as well as a little darkness) of a poly-cultural critical mass representing the sights and sounds, customs and mores of the ‘new’ New York. It is eloquent, poignant, and smartly designed… an entirely satisfying piece of design and authorship.”
Steven Heller Eye Magazine

“A celebratory chronicle of the immigrant experience in New York, Crossing the BLVD is a Whitmanesque book that reveals a staggering array of humanity… [It] chronicles life in Gotham in both its despair and boundless promise. The first-person narratives are drawn from audio interviews, while the book’s ever-changing graphics and typefaces mirror the rich pastiche of religion, language and tradition that coexists in the borough… chosen for its ability to convey the inspired resiliency of the myriad communities that contribute to the city’s dynamism.”
Brendan Gill Prize Municipal Art Society of New York 

“A stunningly unique take on the novel that unabashedly explores the relationship between the narrator and reader, as well as the fragile and often blurry line that distinguishes truth and fiction. Lehrer has upended the modern novel form and its narrative limitations, creating a rich and engaging story through visual literature… A Life In Books is mind-blowing… reality bending… a laugh riot and a visual feast.”
2014 IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award Independent Publisher

“Lehrer’s defiance of rules and established traditions has led him to new and adventurous modes of typographic expression and communication… His intriguing books are studies in human dialogue and the poetics of communication… Translating the spoken word into the visual word is not new. It is rooted in several historical experiments and Lehrer has ingeniously extended earlier efforts by exploring the most subtle nuances of the genre.”
Rob Carter American Typography Today: 24 American Typographic Designers

“Warren Lehrer’s books are graphically and typographically eye-popping, and his multi-media works have influenced two generations of designers. He’s worked in audio, print, video, and theater. He is a living, breathing example that what a creative person can do is limited only by the scope of their interests, imagination and passions… When you read one of Lehrer’s books, it tends to feel… like the future. For the sake of story, storytelling and the printed form, it is my most sincere hope that it is. Thank you, Warren Lehrer, for changing the way books can be seen and experienced for all times.”
Debbie Millman Design Matters

“Lehrer’s acclaimed and influential 1984 book French Fries broke the grid—and possibly the crystal goblet—creating a work in which the design was not mere accessory to story but an integral mode of its performance. In A Life In Books, he continues to make design a constitutive element… A Life In Books challenges readers to rethink the relations of the novel to the image, and of the whole book to our contemporary world.”
David Banash Eye Magazine

“In the early 1980s, Warren Lehrer designed and set the text of a play he had co-written with Dennis Bernstein. The title of the play is French Fries, and its setting is a fast-food joint. The printed text is less a script than a typographic performance, full of drama, full of action, and every bit as garish as the setting may deserve—extending the tradition of typographic theater dating back to Russian printer and playwright Ilya Zdanevich’s 1923 typographic performance of his play Lidantyu Faram.”
Robert Bringhurst, Warren Chappell A Short History of the Printed Word

French Fries attempts to visualize the text with each character typecast into a distinct color and typographic arrangement. Without a discernible grid, the typography flows freely across the pages, interspersed with images and marks evoking the ambiance and mood of the situation. Except for the work of the French designer Robert Massin, I had never seen an approach to typography quite like this before… Somewhere between seeing the books of Edward Ruscha and Warren Lehrer’s French Fries, I discovered that my options as a graphic designer had expanded by tenfold.”
Rudy Vanderlans Emigre Magazine

French Fries (1984) anticipates many of the design techniques later made possible by computer technology…. This high watermark in the preparation of art for offset printing pales in comparison to its design… The spatial syntax of this remarkable tour de force is complex, uninhibited, and unconstrained by the norms of page design.”
Philip Meggs/R.Craig Miller U.S. Design 1975–2000 American Craft Museum catalog

“Warren Lehrer has built a career collapsing the boundaries that most of us take for granted. Blazing a new path, A Life In Books proves that motion design and literature (among other things) need not be strangers…. Creating an “illuminated novel” today could be interpreted as nostalgic, but the hardcover book, enhanced by animations and a multimedia performance is decidedly high-tech, a hyperlink mosaic of multimedia.”
Justin Cone Motionographer

“One of only a handful of makers of the past few decades who have consistently created longer form works claimed by the canon-makers as part of the fledgling field that is sometimes called Artists’ Books… Warren Lehrer’s new ‘illuminated novel’ is hilarious… thrilling… genre-crossing… Mobley’s 101 books form a kind of history of public intellectualism, resonant with people like Buckminster Fuller, William Gaddis and the Oulipo movement.”
Tate Shaw Afterimage

“We honor Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan for exploding the paradigms of oral history and reinterpreting them for our multimedia century… for their remarkable and stunning book and audio CD Crossing the BLVDfor its boldness and creativity as it charts a lasting record of this vibrant, diverse community in New York City—the new Ellis Island.”
2003 Innovative Use of Archives Award Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan NY

“Lehrer creates a rich soundscape in the reader’s imagination… correlating the rhythm of language to the way the mind works… His books explore the rich dissonance of sound and life surrounding each of us… challenging the line between life and art…”
Nancy Soloman Afterimage

“Graphic designer, writer, book artist, and performer, Warren Lehrer is internationally known for his many books that incorporate text and imagery… Lehrer has been influential in crossing boundaries among words, design, art, and performance in both fictional and documentary narratives. His lectures are a combination of visual presentation and theater performance.”
Andrea Marks Writing for Visual Thinkers: Narrative Structures

“Lehrer’s books defy conventional notions of writing and bookmaking… Collectively, the subjects of The Portrait Series, make up a riveting group of eccentrics… Their stories echo in your mind long after the sound of them has ceased…”
Zoe Ingalls The Chronicle of Higher Education

“In A Life In Books, Warren Lehrer has written a profound commentary on this nausea-inducing unique moment in the grand transition from Silly Mind to Machine Mind. Amusingly and smartly enough, he may have helped transition ‘the last great American novel’ to the first ‘great illustrated novel’ which is how novels started. A Life In Books is brilliant, beautiful, delicious for eyes and mind.”
Andrei Codrescu poet, novelist, journalist, public radio commentator, editor Exquisite Corpse

“Warren Lehrer has spent a decade writing and designing a book that is way more than a book. A blend of writing and design which extends to performance art… A Life in Books is a typographical and design tour de force.”
Ellen Shapiro Print Magazine

A Life In Books is a masterpiece of visual storytelling, boldly integrating illustration and typography into its engaging story.”
David Gutowski Largehearted Boy

A Life In Books is a tour de force of graphic design, illustration and writing… Exploiting a wide range of illustration styles to delight the eye, Lehrer offers a funny, thought-provoking and refreshing twist on the graphic novel.”
Ken Carbone Huffington Post

“Last week, the Center for Book Arts in New York City debuted an exhibition that truly takes poetry off the page. Artist Warren Lehrer is well known for playing with forms, combining book art with contemporary art in ways few have imagined. Warren Lehrer: Books, Animation, Performance, Collaboration aims to showcase that ambition through books, typography, animation, and performance—and by animation, he means taking the visualization of literature to a whole new level. Like Lehrer’s previous work, it is quite compelling. With his animations, Lehrer is still proving his boldness, making words loop, twist, and stretch both on the page and the screen.”
Rebecca Rego Barry Fine Books & Collections

“Unlike so many contemporary graphic stylists, Lehrer begins from a deep engagement with content he has created himself… In the four new publications by Lehrer, the implications of a new kind of literature are at last being pursued. [The Portrait Series] is articulated with enormous feeling and care by an author with an ear superbly attuned to the cadences of spoken language.”
Rick Poynor Frieze Magazine

“Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan are transforming the field of oral history through their innovative approach to presentation… More like lyric poetry than narrative, Lehrer’s graphic style and approach to portraiture is revolutionary for the field… Lehrer and Sloan’s latest collaborative work is a vibrant and inspiring collection of stories from immigrants… For people who have so often been otherized, stereotyped, and misrepresented, Crossing the BLVD is an excercise in authenticity. Each of the stories is accompanied by beautiful portraits of the subjects laid out in an unusual graphic style of Lehrer’s invention, and the sheer volume and range of the subjects covered, rare. Visionary!”
Courtney Martin The Oral History Review

Crossing the BLVD boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century… electrifying collage of voices, faces, and spirits, capturing the true elasticity and inclusiveness of American culture.”
Eve Ensler author, oral historian, performer The Vagina Monologues

“In Warren Lehrer’s extraordinary books, full of typographic innovation, he seeks to trap thought, sound and speech in time and space on the printed page. The result is theater… The reader (viewer/listener) experiences the pathos within the mundane aspects of everyday life… reality, fantasy, along with art and literature, travel parallel but inseparable roads.”
Phillip Meggs Print Magazine

“Warren Lehrer’s work knows no boundaries. It sits at the intersection of design, art, multimedia, music, and performance. He is a collaborator, par excellence. In Design, Lehrer’s work in the areas of book arts, experimental typography, and narrative have literally influenced generations of designers and design students.”
Terry Irwin Head, Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design

“I have never seen a book like this. [Crossing the BLVD is] a remarkably beautiful, lovingly put together example of bottom-up journalism.”
Amy Goodman anchor and Executive Producer Democracy Now!

“I’ve been working with refugees and immigrants as a cultural producer for twenty years, and Crossing the BLVD is simply the best project/book representing the real life experiences of immigrants in the new America.”
James Bau Graves Director, Center for Cultural Exchange, author of Cultural Democracy: the Arts, Community & the Public Purpose

A Life In Books is unlike any book I’ve every read before… For anyone who loves books—it is a fascinating look at the life of an author, and how the books that he has written grew out of his life experiences. You will encounter books within A Life In Books that you will wish were real books… An amazing and very beautiful book.”
Michael Kindness Books On The Nightstand

“A book of stunning originality, tremendous visual flair and cinematic depth, Crossing the BLVD will forever change the way we think about our cities, our communities, our neighborhoods, our neighbors, and ultimately, our own backyards. It’s as if we’ve all been invited to an enormous block party, where Lehrer and Sloan have personally introduced us to some of their most fascinating neighbors. By the end of the book, strangers somehow feel like friends, and the boulevard feels a lot like home.”
Alan Berliner filmmaker & media artist

“The visual identity and relations of elements in Warren Lehrer’s books are unmistakably his… Meaning moves forward and outward like soundwaves in a musical piece. His polysemiotic narratives offer the reader numerous possible readings by the nature of their internal formal presentations, as well as thematic interweaving of themes, characters, and points of view…”
Johanna Drucker The Century of Artists’ Books

“Animating the fight against globalization, Lehrer’s innovative video uses kinetic typography to illustrate the need to preserve local cultures.”
Michael Dooley Salon

“In the short animated video titled Globalization: preventing the sameness of the world, the words of hyperkinetic poet/musician/philosopher, and leader of the gypsy, punk, cabaret band Gogo Bordello are captured by documentary artists Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan. In the spirit of Eugene Hütz’ words, their work like Gogol Bordello’s ‘mutates the tradition and keeps it alive… Lehrer and Sloan defy categorization.”
Anthony Papa The Huffington Post

“Warren Lehrer’s A Life in Books deserves broad recognition. It provides a profound reflection on narrative and the boundaries of truth and fiction, as well as on writing and the status of the book as a medium. It broadens the scope of authorship through expressive typography, as well as textually, through a very fluid, readable and witty writing style encompassing many genres, discourses, and invented genre. Its protagonist Bleu Mobley paints a panoramic portrait of America—of humanity—one person at a time, frequently giving voice to ordinary people, to the rejected and disenfranchised… The reader is offered a behind-the-scenes look at the artist and the creative process. Lehrer is a book composer, as Bleu Mobley would have it, and his composition is well worth interacting with.”
Kristof Van Gansen Image [&] Narrative

“Warren Lehrer’s invented bibliography is a brilliant, ambitious, and compelling novel… A bold work of the imagination, A Life In Books is an “illuminated novel,” in the sense of Mobley’s memoir being lit up by a retrospective monograph of his work, and so many visual touches that make dipping into the book so much fun. The essential backstory turns out to be about what the future holds for books as material objects. I truly hope this audacious novel gets the attention it so richly deserves.”
Nicholas Basbanes Fine Books & Collections (author of On Paper, The Eternal Passion for Books)

A Life In Books is unique, incredible, affecting, meticulous, the perfect hide-and-seek game, and honestly, one of those works that seems so obvious and fertile as a structure, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been done before.”
Stephen Farrell design innovator, Vas An Opera In Flatland and Toc: A New Media Novel

“Lehrer is a 21st century oral history, new journalism mastermind. Studs Terkel in cyberspace. More visceral than most biographies, The Portrait Series is an extraordinary set of books.”
Matthew Finch City In Exile

“The tastiest book this season and for seasons to come, French Fries, Warren Lehrer’s latest tour de force is a remarkable accomplishment. Each page becomes theater and you are the voyeur…”
Judith Hoffberg High Performance Magazine

“Lehrer is adept at representing our multicultural society, which for him means not a sociological construct but the lives and struggles of real people. In A Life in Books, Lehrer has designed a sort of Chinese puzzle whose myriad ideas, stories and characters—from all parts of the globe—intersect, overlap, and dovetail… [It is] a tale of growing up, marriage, fatherhood, physical incapacity, healing, poverty, financial success, incarceration, and continuous self-reflection. Like Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, and Ben Katchor, Lehrer participates in the search for fresh and innovative ways to show, as well as tell, his many stories. Astonishing.”
Robert Berlind The Brooklyn Rail

Crossing the BLVD is a paradigmatic American studies text. It is an innovatively designed, beautiful, moving, funny, stimulating, horrifying, and illuminating book… If you are interested in visual culture, oral history, class and culture, music, immigration, ethnicity, urban history, race, queer studies, narrative and storytelling, gender or transnationalism and globalization, you will find touchstones for your own thinking and your classroom discussions… The people profiled in this book of migration stories remain tangibly alive in your memory… More than a book for American studies scholars or students, it is a pleasure to read — a book to be read for the sheer enjoyment of it.”
Kirsten Swinth American Quarterly

“An ingenious first novel filled with over 100 provocative titles all written by Lehrer’s protagonist author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and work, fictions and realities. Mobley recalls his life growing up in a public housing project in Queens, becoming a journalist, professor, bestselling author, pundit, and finally prisoner for refusing (timely enough) to reveal a confidential source.”
Sam Roberts The New York Times Close Up

“Immigrant life in Queens, as told in the intimate, rich, comic, ironic and sad stories so often seen but not heard in America’s big cities… The first-person narratives are engaging… The stories are so different, and yet many of the immigrants’ lives are so similar… What links them all is the desperation and desire that brought them here. As one immigrant says in Crossing the BLVD, ‘America can do without you, but you can’t do without America.’”
Lynne Duke The Washington Post

Crossing the BLVD is a powerful social record… Most of the subjects live in Queens, but their stories resonate far beyond the borders of this multicultural New York borough. What often gets lost in the national debate on immigration is the human dimension, an understanding of the lives of those people who give up everything to come here. Crossing the BLVD lets them tell their stories… Extraordinary… a living work of art.”
Benjamin Genocchio The New York Times

“New York’s undersung borough of Queens, home to the new Ellis Island (the airports), may be the most diverse county in the country today, and documentarians Lehrer and Sloan have innovatively brought it to life… Crossing the BLVD is a poetic, arresting, vividly printed mosaic.”
2003 Best Books of the Year Publisher’s Weekly

Crossing the BLVD is a one-of-a kind amazingly designed book… portraits of immigrant Americans, images of their belongings, maps, and innovative typography combine to bring these lives up off the page…”
2004 Best Books/CDs of Independent Culture The Utne Reader

“This stunningly innovative book goes beyond pathos and into the kaleidoscope of experience that defines real immigrant life, in all of its complexity… In Crossing the BLVD, the words of New York’s immigrants soar, in print and in sound as well… The book and audio CD lets you read, listen, browse and understand.”
Debbie Nathan City Limits

Crossing the BLVD collects the searing first-person stories of 79 Queens residents, recent immigrants from everywhere. Each profile is a collage of text and image, and the pages of this book frequently incorporate two or three narratives plus notes and bold photographs of the participants, their streetscapes, and iconic artifacts. The effect is dazzling but organic and appropriate; documentary artists Lehrer and Sloan have produced a collective oral history as vibrant as a live event. Strongly recommended for public and academic collections.”
Janet Ingraham Dwyer Library Journal

“A meticulously illustrated chronicle… Lehrer’s 101 cover designs for Mobley’s books are pitch perfect. And like the best film title sequences, which establish moods or introduce plotlines, these fictional covers are vehicles by which Lehrer illuminates Mobley’s tale of success and failure… In A Life In Books, Lehrer has created a parallel art world”
Steven Heller The Atlantic

“The navigational complexity of bookspace has rarely been more thoroughly or deliberately designed than in the work of Lehrer. Part score, part exhibitionary artifact, Crossing the BLVDs execution is almost staggering…”
Johanna Drucker Afterimage

“In the era of cookie-cutter books and rubber-stamped stories, Warren Lehrer’s A Life In Books is fresh, original, idiosyncratic, beautiful, and important.”
Rabih Alameddine novelist and painter, author of Koolaids, The Perv, Hakawati, and I, the Divine

“In the new typographical and geographical adventure Crossing the BLVD… immigrants from all over the world tell their harrowing, thrilling, inspiring stories… then arriving in Queens, NY — sometimes to thrive in freedom, sometimes to meet new obstacles. These stories are our parents’ and grandparents’ stories relived by new Americans who came from Congo, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Colombia… Collected in this gripping new book, filled with photos and maps and portraits. The text jumps and continually changes clothes and sizes…because that’s how people talk. Especially when their tales are worth hearing.”
Paul Bass New Haven Advocate

In A Life In Books, Lehrer has kneaded together a memoir, interviews that he ‘conducted’ with his (faux) author protagonist, and a retrospective survey of the author’s 101 books, into one of the most exciting (auto-) biographical novels in recent years… In addition to being a writer, Lehrer reveals himself to be a lover of typography and book design. In A Life In Books he has created and developed a total literary life, with all its textual and visual details. Truly, he handles the ‘reproductions’—of the book covers, select page interiors, reviews and letters—building them into the text, with unbelievable care. Deservedly, A Life In Books has won numerous prizes for its fascinating story and extraordinary format.”
András Váradi Élet és Irodalom (leading weekly Hungarian literary and political magazine)

“[A Life In Books is] an entertaining and provocative work that combines text and graphic art in a fascinating way. What attracted me straightaway was the splendor of color: page after page you encounter cover designs invented by Lehrer, along with text that uses at least 60 different typefaces. You can read Lehrer’s book in different ways—I kept going back and forth between the stories within the stories of Bleu Mobley’s work and his confessional. In ‘Riveted in the Word’ a scholar struggles to regain language after a massive stroke; In ‘The Sitter’ a 101-year-old woman, considered by most to have lost her marbles, is still pretty sharp and philosophical. Bleu’s line of book lamps, light up a table and give it a warm literary feeling… Marvelous!”
Pradeep Sebastian The Hindu (one of India’s largest daily newspapers)

Crossing the BLVD… has an immediacy and rich depth to it, reflecting the diversity of the most ethnically varied county in the country… Unlike other volumes about ethnic New York: It is not a guidebook to neighborhoods nor a sourcebook for ethnic shops and restaurants; rather, its focus is on immigrants’ lives… Designed by Lehrer, the book’s distinctive layout—with color photographs, visual artifacts and blocks of text in different sizes and typefaces, conveying different voices — has the feeling of an open conversation.”
Sandee Brawarsky Jewish Week

“The indefatigable hero of Warren Lehrer’s hilarious tour de force, has created 101 books of all shapes, subjects, and genres. Mobley is as complex and idiosyncratic as the range of books he has made, and Lehrer’s extraordinary design reflects his hero’s colorful complexity.”
JAB (Journal of Book Arts)

A Life In Books is a literary multimedia satirical romp through the last half century of publishing with all its conceits and marketing tricks from ‘Outsourcing Grandma’ to toilet paper poems and a children’s books on capital punishment ‘How Bad People Go Bye Bye.’ Wonderful!”
2013 Best Books Edgy Lit

“In their extraordinary attempt to document ‘signs of migratory life’ … [Lehrer and Sloan] undertook the impossible task of telling the story of modern-day Queens while providing a window into the geopolitical and cultural history of the postcolonial world. Undeterred, they succeed because they focus on 79 powerful individual stories that deserve telling… The stories selected counter a prevailing trend toward oversimplification of American demographics and cultural history. Crossing the BLVD is an important project encouraging people to listen attentively to rarely heard stories.”
Anika Singh The Next American City

Crossing the BLVD is a rich, complex, bold and graphic book that makes visible people who might otherwise remain relatively invisible and ‘other.’ ”
Visible Language

GRRRHHHH is a delight! Lehrer’s playfulness is prolific and joyful, and that is the heart of his work…”
George Gessert Northwest Review

“Behind the drab storefronts and nondescript homes that define the borough, Lehrer and Sloan discover a soulful place teaming with immigrants from Mexico to Australia whose stories unfold in a kaleidoscope of color…”

“I’ve been interviewing authors and doing books for 24 years, and I can tell you Crossing the BLVD is one of the best books I’ve ever read! It’s so innovative, so rich, so fabulous. The book is beautifully designed. It’s like a work of performance art. Thank you, thank you, thank you [Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan] for putting this book into the world and giving a voice to these people.”
Faith Middleton The Faith Middleton Show Connecticut Public Radio

“A fascinating book about new immigrants in America. Filled with vivid descriptions and very human stories of remarkable and extraordinary people. Crossing the BLVD is a whole post-graduate education in so many different cultures and world events. The BLVD is a metaphor for making it in America.”
Michael Krasney KQED

“Lehrer/Sloan’s fascinating book offers unique insights into the rich and combustible cauldron of cultures and ethnicities in the most diverse corner of America — the Borough of Queens, New York. Crossing the BLVD reveals the impact of changes in immigration law through the oral histories of asylum seekers caught in mandatory detention, refugees fleeing war and persecution, and those pushed out of their countries struggling to re-create their lives. The significance of this extraordinary volume is that, ready or not, it provides a glimpse of the new America which is emerging.”
Ron Daniels Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

Crossing the BLVD brings alive the most polyglot place on the planet. One moment I am in the tiny one-bedroom of Bhutanese exiles, the next in the taxi of a philosopher-poet from Bombay, then with Renata the table tennis champ from the Czech National Team. An outstanding book on the new New York!”
John Kuo Wei Tchen historian, NYU/Museum of Chinese in the Americas, author Yellow Peril

Crossing the BLVD brims over with the energy, heart and spirit that went into creating this important work. A fitting tribute to the world it so lovingly documents.”
Dave Isay documentary public radio artist, Story Corp founder, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship

Crossing the BLVD is a love poem to our diversity. Celebrated emblems of hard work and innovation, anthropological artists’ Lehrer and Sloan compiled these stories from across the globe right here on Queens BLVD and by extension, through the rest of the city. The stories are so compelling, it brings tears to your eyes at points. You will hear yourself somewhere, sooner or later in here.”
Robert Knight Wake Up Call, WBAI

“Hail, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan, for making a new art worthy of the new America that is quietly and not so quietly being born again out of the lives and imaginations of its newest immigrants. They combine the art of storytelling, the book, the visual, and the sound of voices, to create a true Whitmanesque vista of our infant century.
Andrei Codrescu poet, novelist, journalist, public radio commentator

French Fries’ active and colorful pages are a triumph… How much of what is audible can be made visible? This book asks and shows us how to push our habitual limits… and stretch our literacy.”
Betsy Davids Fine Print

“Bernstein and Lehrer’s new book, Five Oceans in a Teaspoon, is a masterful contribution to the genre they’ve helped shape… Lehrer is able to interpret the text so successfully because he approaches the poems as a writer as well as a designer. His instinct for wordplay destabilizes and extends Bernstein’s concise writing—drawing out double meanings, alternative interpretations—providing an unconventional reading experience. Turning the page is like listening to a perfect jazz solo, inevitable, but unpredictable. Once again, Bernstein and Lehrer show the potential of visual literature as a mature field. Beyond self-reference and inter-art discourse, the interplay of text and image (and text-as-image) packs a powerful intellectual and emotional punch.”.”
Levi Sherman Artists’ Book Review

1001 Voices: a Symphony for a New America is a sprawling, mammoth multimedia work for orchestra, ethnic instruments, actors, visual projections, and a 190-piece choir. It celebrates the mix of languages and cultures found in Queens, and examines our changing ideas of migration and home… The mix of storytelling, music, and visuals unfolds poetically, and appeals to the diverse, sophisticated and hip audiences orchestras are trying to reach today.”
John Schaefer Soundcheck, WNYC

“Unlike many books of oral stories which fall flat on the printed page, Brother Blue: a narrative portrait is so alive, so vibrant, that at times I was sure I was hearing the voice of this remarkable storyteller/philosopher… Absolutely Delightful!”
Shanta Nurullah The Bloomsbury Review

“The arrival of the first set of Warren Lehrer’s Portrait Series is something of an event… echoes of Henry Miller… vivid evocations of family life and history. Absolutely defining and unmistakable.”
Paul Zelevansky JAB (Journal of Artists’ Books)

“Each book in The Portrait Series is a vibrant visual and narrative biography of an eccentric, prismatic and resilient personality… Riveting! Lehrer defies categorization.”
Linda Kaplan Wagner Gannet Newspapers

“With The Portrait Series, Lehrer continues his pioneering work in ‘visual literature’ in which the look of the words on the page is as important as the words themselves.”
David Warner Philadelphia City Paper

“Lehrer delivered a dynamic performance based on selected episodes of the life of the “controversial author” Bleu Mobley. The articulation between the script and the projected animations, designed to augment the print version of A Life In Books, was carefully choreographed. As a result, Lehrer’s presentation was a compelling experience for the audience.”
Samuel Teixeira Materialidades da Literatura

“Warren Lehrer is witty, ingenious, sly, serious, a graphic wizard and literary innovator. His crazily ambitious illuminated novel uses art and artifice to test our assumptions about how life is supposed to be in modern America… So much more than a book, A Life In Books is an experience.”
Dan Bailes The Vision Thing

“Perhaps the biggest leap in my life as a book collector came when attracted by a four line description in a catalogue, I ordered a copy of Dennis Bernstein’s and Warren Lehrer’s French Fries… Never had I seen a book like it, nor have I since… Each page is a riot of homespun wisdom and raucous exchanges, overlapping life’s daily events… French Fries has also been my wisest investment, as I have watched the book increase tenfold in value.”
Rose M. Glennon Bookworks

French Fries is a delicious, outrageous, funny, funky, sad, sometimes lyrical, warm, weird, mad, off the wall, on target, right on the mark, crazy, digestible, hilarious, word-laden book. I love it!”
Collette Inez poet, professor, Columbia University

“(In French Fries), Lehrer and Bernstein have not merely presented us with a play, but with a remarkably sophisticated artist’s book.”
Renée Riese Hubert & Judd D. Hubert The Cutting Edge of Reading

“Lehrer’s magnum opus GRRRHHHH: a study of social patterns is the first book to really convince me that computer imagemaking has come of age… Don’t most of us, at one time or another, feel the impulse to invent a basic mythology or a new language? How many books in every generation take it from the beginning and set out to replace Eden? GRRRHHHH, Lehrer’s latest participatory read, attempts no less… GRRRHHHH reverses the text-image balance found in most illustrated books, where the text is the basic continuous element and the images deepen what the text presents. Instead GRRRHHHH is a visual book, in that images are the continuous element, present on every page, while the text is more sporadic, though fully essential… A work of remarkable beauty, it is his big book—the one that takes on a big subject, gathers together large resources, takes years to produce, and shows a midcareer peak of creative development.”
Betsy Davids Fine Print

“The marriage of the ancient/future technologies of loom/computer may seem an unlikely union… However, In Warren Lehrer’s GRRRHHHH, the computer responds beautifully to the natural grid of warp and weft inherent to weaving, and Sandra Brownlee-Ramsdale’s weaving in turn is admirably suited to the matrix of pixles inherent to computer graphics… Brownlee-Ramsdale’s potent style and image refer to times of special social significance. It is this referral to which Lehrer is responding. He has taken that reference and built on it and with it, actualizing a history of social patterns… and social context…”
Deborah Hickman FiberArts

The Search For IT and Other Pronouns is an aesthetic colossus, straddling theater, music, social satire and design… a carefully constructed study in counterpoint, filled with lots of surprises… The CD booklet is a work of art…”
David Garland New York Public Radio

The Search For IT and Other Pronouns is a brilliant, fantastic work. Absolutely riveting!”
Charles Amirkhanian KPFA

Versations is one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed books of the past decade…”
Mathew Jennett Pharos

Versations resounds, echoes, and repeats in loud and soft — You almost cannot ever be the same once you’ve touched, felt and sensed this book… It touches, it should be touched.”
Judith Hoffberg Umbrella