Craft in America


Artist books exhibited at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

See artist books exhibited at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Bonus video from the STORYTELLERS episode.

AIRED: December 11, 2020 | 0:04:07

Here at BIMA, we have an amazing artist book collection. It's international in scope and

continues to grow. An artist's book is something that is only conveyed through time. For example,

if you look at a painting, you have visual access to the entire piece of art all at one time.

That's not true with artist books and some are in more traditional book forms and there

are many different arts medium that are used. The most typical might be different printmaking

processes or letterpress printing but they can become very sculptural. They can be in

more of a box form or a tunnel form. It's as complicated as the artists are themselves. The

viewer is also of course bringing whatever they bring to it. That's part of the exchange there.

The welcoming piece as you come through the doors of the Sherry Grover Gallery

is the SCOTUS Marriage Decision in Haiku. The majority opinion is Love is Love is Love.

With Vanilla, you have to hold it up as if you're eating an ice cream cone and then

you turn it you imagine like the vanilla ice cream is just beginning to melt. That's about

the amount of time it's going to take to read this book. All Sorts is based on the citrus

label collection at the University of Florida. It's a tunnel book format and a tunnel book is a

three-dimensional format that takes your eye into the book. American Totentanz is a contemporary

interpretation of Hans Holbein's Totentanz from 1526. Totentanz translates to dance of death.

It took three years in the making and utilizes 24 individual woodcuts with up to eight colors each.

In Words Every Child Has A Right To Know, Lou Cabeen looked at words that the Oxford Junior

Dictionary deemed no longer relevant to children under 10 years old and were being deleted from

the dictionary so she created this book and it's printed flash cards because of course, what would

be more subversive than teaching children about these words. You Cannot Put A Fire Out, it's based

on the poem by Emily Dickinson. It's a pop-up book. It's focused on a fire and flood and these

are metaphors for various forces, creative sparks, and how you cannot necessarily control them.

Mortal Coil is hand-stitched paper on a paper backing in this large spool-like coil

and it's dealing with stories of loss in life.

Conventional Burdens conveys how women have been viewed and treated. The whole idea of this

crinoline dress form is its own kind of cage and then the corset of course, being another

and then the bird cage. The actual text or what you might read as a book is the very elaborate

fabric piece that rolls up tight enough to fit actually into the corset within the body of

the figure. You can turn the finial on top of the birdcage and it will lower and raise up the dress.

An artist book is an art form that is only revealed through some kind

of activity of manipulating and engaging.

Cynthia Sears has described artist books as the trojan horse of the art world

until something emerges you really don't know what it is.


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