Ives-Sillman, Inc. was one of few publishers to produce silkscreen prints and photographs in monographic portfolios. Over two decades, 1958 until Ives’s death in 1978, Norman Ives and Sewell Sillman were collaborators with some of the most important artists of their time.
In the late 1950s, Norman Ives and Sewell Sillman established a partnership, Ives-Sillman, Inc. In 1962 Ives-Sillman published a portfolio of ten Josef Albers’s silkscreen prints titled Homage to the Square. Because of its success, a second portfolio, Homage to the Square: Soft Edge–Hard Edge, followed. By 1966 they published Ten Variants, a third portfolio based on Albers’s earlier paintings. Another Albers’s collection, Six Variants, was issued three years later.
Discussions regarding this ambitious portfolio began in 1956 with Yale University Press. Two years later Ives and Sillman were engaged to design and produce Albers’s complex portfolio titled Josef Albers: Interaction of Color, a massive volume illustrating the famous color course that Albers developed during his years in Germany, at Black Mountain College and at Yale. This costly and unwieldy 2,000-book project took five years to complete and was offered for sale in 1963. Over the years it has been reprinted in dozens of languages and formats. The original edition is recognized as an iconic work, both for its content as well as its thoughtful and elegant design.
In the next year, Ives-Sillman was invited by Wadsworth Athenaeum to produce a portfolio of silk-screened prints by ten young American painters—George Ortman, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Stuart Davis, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Poons, Robert Indiana and Ad Reinhardt.
Josef Albers Formulation:Articulation was published in 1972 in collaboration with the art book publisher Harry Abrams. Like Interaction of Color, it was an immense undertaking. The two-part portfolio, edition of 1,000, with sixty-seven double-spread pages, featured the best of Albers’s work over a forty-year period. It is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, SFMOMA, the British Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum.
During Walker Evans’s tenure at the Yale School of Art, Ives-Sillman published a portfolio of 14 Evans gelatin silver prints. These were made from Evans’s original negatives and under his supervision.
In the 1970s Ives-Sillman designed and printed a portfolio by Romare Bearden, Prevalence of Ritual and another by Jacob Lawrence, The Legend of John Brown. They also produced editioned prints for Jean Dubuffet, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Piet Mondrian, Diter Rot and others.
In 1973 Ives-Sillman published Orion and Scorpio, two sculptures by Erwin Hauer. Their final edition came in 1978 shortly after Ives’s death with Herbert Matter’s 13 Photographs: Alberto Giacometti.
“It has taken nearly two years of intensive work to produce the 127 prints for this double portfolio, Formulation: Articulation… And I am most grateful to my intensive collaborators, Norman Ives and Sewell Sillman, for their imaginative and untiring assistance in solving the multiple challenges in design and color.”
— Josef Albers