Word | Image | Object
A curated exhibition on view September 1-29 at Tallyn’s Reach Library in Aurora, Colorado.
Twenty-two works created by some favorite contemporary artists working in the book form.
According to family lore, I fell in love with books as objects long before I mastered the memorization and subsequent actual reading of the Dr. Seuss books most frequently read aloud to me – Hop on Pop and The Cat in the Hat.
The object of my first book romance was a cloth book with pages – Kay Clark’s All By Herself. That book, with pages of shoelaces to be tied and untied, buttons to be buttoned and then unbuttoned, then buttoned up again, embodied much that continues to delight in the world of artists’ books. Words and images and interactivity.
These days I have the honor and good fortune to work with artists making a variety of cloth books, such as Candace Hicks, whose embroidered book covers resemble those of another mid-twentieth century book icon – composition books.
And Beata Wehr, whose cloth books incorporate objects she finds during her multi-continent travels, the stitches she uses to attach creating patterns that appear once a page has been turned.
Representing contemporary cloth books in Word | Image | Object is Behind & In Front, a letterpress printed book by Penelope Anstruther.
My childhood didn’t include a household television; instead we listened, as a family to full length readings on LP of classics such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Those stories were hard to enjoy in a room with restless siblings who pinched and prodded rather than, or perhaps in addition to, listening. I much preferred the Little Golden Book Read Along audio books and tapes that I could enjoy on my own. The act of listening to a previously print publication is explored in Macy Chadwick’s Observations on Listening.
Cassette tapes, along with other disappearing artifacts of the twentieth century such as spiral bound appointment books, still live as materials and substrates used by contemporary book workers such as Jim Johnson’s Appointments 1998
and Josh Hockensmith’s Heart Sutra ReMix
The exhibit also includes pop-up books (Carol Barton, Shawn Sheehy), richly colorful works (Sarah Nicholls, Barry McCallion, Ellen Knudson), books with texts beyond the expected (Denise Bookwalter, Laura Wait, Autumn Thomas, Islam Aly), books holding mysterious or magical objects (Dolph Smith, Mary V. Marsh/Tony Bellavar, Rebecca Chamlee, Rhiannon Alpers) and books that focus on telling a story (Lisa Rappaport, Sue Carrie Drummond).
Included in the exhibit are works by
Alicia Bailey – Aurora, Colorado; Autumn Thomas – Aurora, Colorado; Barry McCallion – East Hampton, New York; Carol Barton – Glen Echo, Maryland; Denise Bookwalter – Tallahassee, Florida; Dolph Smith – Ripley, Tennessee; Ellen Knudson – Gainesville, Florida; Islam Aly – Cedar Falls, Iowa; Jim Johnson – Denver, Colorado; Josh Hockensmith – Pittsboro, North Carolina; Laura Wait – Santa Fe, New Mexico; Lisa Rappaport – Richmond, California; Mary Marsh/Tony Bellavar – Oakland, California; Macy Chadwick – Petaluma, California; Penelope Anstruther – Oakland, California; Rebecca Chamlee – Simi Vallery, California; Rhiannon Alpers – SanFrancisco,California; Sarah Nicholls – Brooklyn, New York; Shawn Sheehy – Chicago, Illinois; Sue Carrie Drummond – Jackson, Mississippi