Françoise and Douglas Kirkland
Physical Poetry Alphabet

Douglas Kirkland is one of the doyens of portrait photography in the motion picture industry, notably in Hollywood. This publication, however, is different: it is a circus, a celebration of design and a movie – all rolled into one and presented in an exuberant and lush book. Working with Françoise Kirkland, the‭ ‬inimitable acrobatic sky dancer Erika Lemay, Milanese fashion director Simone Guidarelli, and designer William Thoren the team created a modern-day abecedarium. The playful creation harks back to the corporeal origins of the alphabet, echoing similar exercises in Western culture from the Renaissance to the great works of Art Deco, notably Erté’s famous alphabet suite.

Besides Douglas Kirkland’s impeccable photography, the reader is invited ‘backstage’ to the making of these images with contributions by Erika Lemay, William Thoren and Françoise Kirkland. The book also has an nine-page introductory essay by book designer and typographer Ornan Rotem on the development of the alphabet and the relationship between the human body and letters.

The book will be published both as a trade edition and, for collectors, 200 copies of a special edition with a unqiue cover inside a box with an original signed poster by Douglas Kirkland. Details to follow.

ALPHABET Douglas and Francoise Kirkland Production, starring Erika Lemay at Mouche Gallery from Physical Poetry on Vimeo.

  • 88 pages

  • Over 80 images

  • 247 x 290mm

  • ISBN 


  • Publication date: 

    June ’18

  • Hardback

  • £ 45