For Sam Maloof, furniture is about function. “Furniture should be felt,” he says. “I think that art is alive and wants to be felt, and it wants to be touched.” Photographer Gene Sasse pays homage to the master woodworker in an equally tactile experience, Maloof Beyond 90: An American Woodworker, a book so finely crafted, it’s a work of art itself.
Each copy is handmade, composed of 92 pages of original giclee photographs printed on archival paper, bound in leather and finished with a wood accent. Sasse began production on the limited-edition book in March, and will produce 500 copies, in addition to 50 artist proofs signed by himself and Maloof.
Sasse first encountered a Maloof piece in the late 1970s, when he photographed a collector’s home and was taken by a rocker and cradle by the artist. He set out in 2006 to record Maloof’s genius, and spent two years studying him at rest and at work. The purpose of Maloof Beyond 90 is to capture the essence—the soul—that Maloof weaves into his work, and to reveal his unending passion for life.
Contributors include President Jimmy Carter, fellow woodworkers Wendell Castle, Mark Johnson and Larry White, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston curator Jonathan Fairbanks.