Ten Years of Artists' Books

We recently mentioned a number of exhibits of book-related art currently on view in New York. Ten Years of Artists’ Books curated by Donna Seager will remain on exhibit at the Brooklyn Library through January 24, 2016. But if the warm weather isn’t enough to tempt you eastward, it’s still possible to view the exhibit catalog on Issuu. Stunning.

transforming a book

November 13, 2015

donated books

In connection with the “Unhinged” exhibit at the Whatcom Museum, Carly and Kevin James of Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress will lead a two-hour workshop to transform a discarded book into a sculptural object. Bring your own book or select one donated by the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.

AHA! After Hours Art: Salvaged Book Event
Thursday, November 19, 2015 – 5:30 – 7:30pm
Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress, 112 Grand Ave., Suite 101, Bellingham
$18 General/$15 Museum Members
Class size is limited; register by contacting Mary Jo Maute at 360-778-8961 or mmaute@cob.org.
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Reminder: get Unhinged

October 5, 2015


Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge is now open at the Whatcom Museum (Lightcatcher) in Bellingham. The exhibit explores book art through the work of 60 prominent artists from the U.S., Great Britain and Australia, and will remain on view through January 3, 2016. The museum offers 55-minute docent tours of the exhibit, free with admission, beginning at 1:30pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Regular museum hours: Wednesday-Sunday, Noon – 5pm, Thursdays open until 8pm, Saturday open at 10am. The museum will be closed Wednesday, November 11, Thursday, November 26, December 24-25 and January 1.

See it. Your idea of book may never be the same.

one for the calendar…

August 11, 2015

Whatcom Museum - Unhinged

This should be good: Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge is an upcoming exhibition focusing on the limitless potential of books for artistic inspiration. It opens at the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building on Sunday, September 27, 2015, and continues through January 3, 2016.

The show surveys recent directions in book art through the diverse work of 60 prominent artists in the field from the U.S., Australia, Canada and Great Britain. Curated by Barbara Matilsky, Unhinged highlights a myriad of styles and processes. Some artists carve old volumes or twist their pages into unique, sculptural configurations. Others make their own books and experiment with a multitude of different formats: accordion, concertina, pop-up, tunnel, among others. Some artists reconfigure ancient book forms, such as the scroll or codex, to create unique artworks. Books, which may be intimately-scaled or large installations, are often combined with other materials, both manufactured and natural, such as plastic, crystals, and twigs, to astonishing effects.

The exhibition also presents artists’ personal experiences, including messages about identity, human justice issues, and environmental concerns. From political statements to metaphysical ideas, book artists interpret their medium through expressive and sometimes humorous constructions.

The exhibition features artists who revolutionized the field, including Doug Beube, Julie Chen, Timothy Ely, Ann Hamilton, Buzz Spector, and Richard Minsky, as well as younger artists who have become internationally renowned, such as Long-Bin Chen, Brian Dettmer, Andrea Deszö, and Guy Laramée. Unhinged also includes many artists from Washington State: Casey Curran, Donald Glaister, Morse Clary, Marie Eckstein Gower, Deborah Greenwood, James Koss, Jessica Spring, Elsi Vasdall Ellis, Thomas Wood, Suze Woolf, and Ellen Ziegler.

Mark your calendar and find additional information on the Whatcom Museum site.

Mesa Arts Center - Boundless

…the Friday, May 9, 2014, opening reception for BOUNDLESS: The Book Transformed in Contemporary Art at the Mesa Arts Center, featuring altered books by Doug Beube, Long-Bin Chen, Melissa Jay Craig, Casey Curran, Brian Dettmer, Liz Hamman, Andrew Hayes, Guy Laramée, Jacqueline Rush Lee, Dan Mayer, Alex Queral, Isaac G. Salazar, Mike Stilkey, Julia Strand and Margaret Whiting.
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image: Margaret Whiting, Deforestation (detail), 2013, Law books
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Thanks to Nance Van Winckel for the heads-up

Book art opportunity

November 3, 2013

Guy Laramée - Wireland

We have mentioned before (here and here) the stunning carved books of Guy Laramée.

During the month of November, Foster/White Gallery in Seattle exhibits the Canadian artist’s work and you can view it up close. The show is now on view during gallery hours (Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm), the opening will be held this Thursday, November 7, 2013, and the work remains on display through November 30.

Visit Foster/White online, on Facebook (where there is a link to the “CBS This Morning” segment on Laramée) or at 220 Third Avenue South (Pioneer Square) in Seattle.

Image: Foster/White Gallery, Wireland by Guy Laramée, 2013

book sculpture by Long-Bin ChenWhile we do not advocate that you subject your own (or anyone else’s) library to such treatment, we strongly urge you to examine the remarkable works now on exhibit at The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston (through July 6, 2013). Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art features five artists — Doug Beube, Long-Bin Chen, Brian Dettmer, Guy Laramée and Francesca Pastine — each exploring the book as a sculptural medium. Do take some time to browse the photos and videos and to visit the pages on each artist as well as the artists’ websites. You may not feel quite the same about books and magazines once you’ve seen this work.

Now…about those annoying telephone directories…
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Book sculpture by Long-Bin Chen


October 26, 2012

Incarnate by Maskull LasserreIn case the pumpkins, plastic gravestones and proliferation of spider webs have escaped your notice, we offer a few slightly-more-literary takes on Halloween. The photo at left is, in part, a carved book, Incarnate (Three Degrees of Certainty II), by Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre.

If your refrigerator magnets have gone a little stale or seem too bland for the occasion, might we suggest Vampire Magnetic Poetry?

The ever-vigilant Harriet (the blog of the Poetry Foundation) has alerted us to poetic Halloween costume options suggested by The Academy of American Poets.

And what could be more Halloweeny than a reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven? TeachersFirst offers a breakdown, by stanza, which highlights Poe’s use of various poetic devices. Once you’ve studied the forms, listen to Anne Waldman reading The Raven.

Um, finally, you may want to browse the graves of poets, provided helpfully by Poets.org, including a list of poets’ grave sites by state.

the book as art…

January 6, 2012

Ganjin's Cave by Guy LaraméeSometimes a book is more than a book… Guy Laramée is an artist accomplished in many media, including elaborately carved books. Visit his website to view The Great Wall and Biblios series, and see additional images at Foster/White Gallery.

found poetry…4

October 17, 2011

found poem by j.i. kleinbergHere are a few more additions to the found poetry file:

Austin Kleon discovers poetry on the pages of a newspaper and reveals them with a black marker. He has published a book of his blackout poems — Newspaper Blackout (Harper Perennial, 2010) — and invites contributions on his website.

Sara Naumann is a mixed-media artist, currently living in Amsterdam, who combines her love of words and images to create found poetry. Lots of examples on her website.

Originally published in 1973 and now in its 4th edition, A Humument, A Treated Victorian Novel, by Tom Phillips, is a classic of found poetry. Phillips has spent decades discovering chance phrasings and reworking the pages of the novel, A Human Document, by W.H. Mallock. Every page is an artwork, entirely different from the one before and after. Read more about Phillips and his book (including images) here, read his occasional blog here, or download Phillips’s Humument App here.

To see earlier posts on found poetry, click here.