Transition from a detailed to a blurred field of corn and back suggests the history of a large, immigrant farming family over a 60 year span. Inside covers depict the family in the late 1920s and the late 1960s.
Karen Hanmer’s Chicago studio practice is unusually varied, including small editions of artists’ books, larger editions of inexpensive multiples, installation, and one-of-a-kind design bindings. Her work fragments and layers text and image to weaves together themes of history, technology, personal and cultural memory and the American Midwestern landscape. The work often has a playful presentation, taking the form of puzzles, maps, games, or decks of cards. Many include text, often archival, usually first person accounts. Hanmer exhibits internationally, and her work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Library of Congress to UCLA and Graceland. Hanmer is one of only eight graduates of the American Academy of Bookbinding’s Fine Binding program. She is a leader in the book arts community, serving on the editorial boards of The Bonefolder and the Guild of Book Workers Journal and as frequent exhibition curator. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in basic binding skills.