“Igor Stravinsky”

"Armitage, who lived primarily in Southern California from 1923 until his death in 1975, was a theater impresario who wore many significant hats—including that of book designer. With experience designing publicity materials for the performers he represented but no training in the book arts, he rejected traditional and modern typography and forged his own take on design. For Stravinsky, Armitage prints the beginning of a polemic about art on the cover and continues it inside, where he features an abundance of Stravinsky portraits—eight in all—shot by the young modernist photographer Edward Weston. Pose after pose of the great maestro testifies to the designer’s appreciation of Weston as much as of Stravinsky. Rather than merely rejecting the tradition of the single dignified image, Armitage also seems to be winking at the notion of the celebrity portrait. A self-described bad boy of design, Armitage saw himself as revolutionizing the traditional book experience of looking, holding, and reading. Rather than offering an expected 'final word' on the artist’s practice, he fashioned an imaginative interrogation of Stravinsky’s oeuvre with 11 texts by 11 writers—a bouquet, rather than a summation, of ideas."—Louise Sandhaus, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986, pp.48