Photo Book Works at Abecedarian

Louise Levergneux 1a

Photo Book Works is an international exhibition of artists’ books incorporating photographic imagery and/or processes as a primary element.

This is the third Photo Book Works exhibition Abecedarian has hosted and, although the exhibition’s parameters remain the same, the works in this show are more varied in approach and content than in exhibitions past.

Click here to view the online catalog of the exhibition.

The works in this exhibition do much to support the viewpoint that the physical, printed book is most emphatically not on its way out, as some loudly proclaim, but rather that the book as physical object remains and will remain a constant.
Frans Baake Aits and Ayots 1a

The exhibition is juried by Rupert Jenkins, a former letterpress compositor who is director of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and also combines works from the collection of Abecedarian gallery director Alicia Bailey with selections from the holdings of private collector Carol Keller. Photo Book Works represents artists from the United States, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Argentina and Australia.

Juror Rupert Jenkins remarks:

“It doesn’t need to be said that books – in this case books sourced in photography – now come in varieties and forms hitherto unimagined. They always have, of course – hand painted and inked by monks, mass produced by German inventors, scrunched into pockets for reading underground, hand made, machine made, made in the cloud and delivered to your door in three days. Like all the most vividly creative collections, these particular works interpret our countless ways of seeing and experiencing the world, and they make us better for recognizing how varied and creative those individual worlds – our universe, so to speak – is seen to be.”

Charlene Asato Uluhe Tangle 1a

As Jenkins notes, the books in this show have one commonality – their innovative use of images in book form. Most noticeable to the gallery visitor are the varying strategies employed by the artists, who weave visual stories not just through their imagery, but through the diverse materials and structures they have chosen.
Amanda Watson-Will Like Weather1a

Some of these structures are comfortably familiar to the lay-person more used to a traditionally bound, linear approach to photography books. Others incorporate pop-ups, woven imagery, concertina folds, metallic surfaces, or loose objects to fully exploit the potential of marrying single images with the book form.
Francesca Phillips White Monks 1

Artists: Alex Appella, San Antonio de Arredondo, Cardoba, Argentina;
Amanda Watson-Will, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia;
Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli, Irvine, California;
Anne Lovett, New Paltz, New York;
Beth Uzwiak, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Bill Westheimer, West Orange New Jersey;
Charlene Asato, Mountain View, Hawaii
Elsi Vassdal Ellis, Bellingham, Washington;
Emily Artinien, Chicago, Illinois;
Ewa Monika, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
Francesca Phillips, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain;
Frans Baake, Enschede, The Netherlands;
Geirmundur Klein, Rotterdam, the Netherlands;
Hanne Niederhausen, Boca Raton, Florida;
Jane Simon, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;
Joan MacDonald, Pine, Colorado;
Kevin Laubacher, Portland, Oregon,
Kristin Flanagan, Houston, Texas;
Laura Russell, Portland, Oregon;
Leah Oates, Brooklyn, New York;
Lila Pickus, Colorado Springs, CO;
Linda Morrow, Long Beach, California;
Lise Melhorn-Boe, Kingston, Ontario, Canada;
Louise Levergneux, South Jordan, Utah;
Michael Clements, Herefordshire, England, UK;
Michael Peven, Fayatteville, Arkansas;
Mirabelle Jones, San Francisco, California;
Paula Gillen, Boulder, Colorado;
Philip Zimmermann, Tucson, Arizona;
Shu-Ju Wang, Portland, Oregon;
Susan Brown, Anacortes, Washington;
Tara O’Brien, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Thomas Finke & Jean Buescher Bartlett, Denver, Colorado & Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Mamiko Ikeda in Hand Lettered

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Fans of Denver artists’ Mamiko and Homare Ikeda will likely be delighted at Mamiko’s Couple in a Box series. The small boxes (measuring 8 x 3 x 3/4) contain two hand-drawn scrolls with story panels depicting various aspects of Mamiko and Homare’s daily routine. The short narratives are delightful and universally appealing. Crafted from paper, each hand painted with watercolor, the laminated boxes open matchbox style. Two scrolls of paper, sumi ink, bamboo picks and string are nestled inside. Each scroll and set is unique and sells for $50.

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Also on display are monoprints by Mamiko that effectively combine monotype printing with brush calligraphy. Each of these works convey the meditative aspect Mamiko approaches all creative endeavor with.

Mamiko Ikeda Niwa garde fmt

Born in Tokyo, Mamiko learned Japanese style calligraphy from her mother, Shotei Miur, a master calligrapher. Mamiko moved to Colorado in 1995 to study Native American culture, in particular their storytelling. Her interest in storytelling and manga animation are evident in the Couple in a Box series.

 

Online catalog here

Regula Russelle winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Artist Award

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Abecedarian Gallery is thrilled to note that one of our favorite book artists, Regula Russelle of Cedar Fence Press is the winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Artist Award.

 

Regula’s work has been featured in exhibitions at Abecedarian, most notably The Beautiful Book exhibit in 2009, and her work is held in gallery inventory (available for purchase here).

 

The annual award, presented by MCBA and the Minnesota Book Awards, and sponsored by the Lerner Publishing Group, recognizes excellence throughout an artist’s body of work, as well as their significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.

The following is from the MCBA press release:

“Art-making is cultural work,” says Russelle. “It has political and spiritual dimensions. The central themes in my books and prints are the deep questions in my life. Mostly, I am haunted by the great American question, ‘What might we become?’ How do we shape a day, a week, a communal life, the way of the city, and the larger world beyond? Who is my neighbor, my kin?”

Russelle began making one-of-a-kind books during graduate work at Hamline University in the mid-1990s and has been making books on her own and with others ever since. In 1999, she established Cedar Fence Press, a small independent press that publishes limited edition books and prints. She teaches book arts and papermaking for undergraduate and graduate students at Augsburg College and beginning through advanced letterpress printing at MCBA.

Russelle was awarded the 2007 Minnesota Book Award for Fine Press, and had been named a finalist for the same award three times previously (in 2000, 2001 and 2006). In collaboration as Accordion Press, Russelle and fellow artist CB Sherlock were awarded a 2007-08 MCBA/Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship. Other honors include an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board Grant and recognition from the International Society of Bookbinders. Her work is shown and collected internationally.

Photo Book Works

in the Reading Room October 1 – 30, 2010

Merck’s Manual 2


Photo Book Works is an international exhibition of artists’ books incorporating photography as a primary element. Photo Book Works was juried by Mia Semingson whose exhibition 39+ is on view in the main gallery. For this exhibition, Semingson selected the work of 31 artists from the United States, Great Britian, Switzerland and Australia.
Images of the works in the exhibit can be viewed here

Included in Mia’s statement are the following remarks:

“The artists included in this exhibition bring their images back to the tangible realm and weave visual stories not just with images, but with the materials they have chosen and the structure that houses their work. All of these ingredients deliver the artist’s concept to the viewer.
As technology changes and upgrades, as we reach deep into our pockets to purchase the next version of Photoshop, one thing remains and will remain a constant – the book. And I will defend books to my death – they are a technology that is here to stay, a wonderful constant presence in a rapidly changing world.”

Oneiro 2


Photo Book Works includes work by the following artists:

Adam Milner, Boulder, Colorado;
Aileen Bassis, Jersey City, New Jersey;
Al Rodríguez, San Diego, California;
Anna Mavromatis, Houston, Texas;
Bessie Smith Moulton, Falmouth, Maine;
Charles Hobson, San Francisco, California;
Cristina de Almeida, Bellingham, Washington;
Elizabeth M. Claffey, Denton, Texas;
Elsi Vassdal Ellis, Bellingham, Washington;
Ginger Burrell, San Jose, California;
Jill Timm, Wenatchee, Washington;
John Watson, Springfield. Oregon;
Judith Hoffman, San Mateo, California;
Kelly O’Brien, Alexandria, Virginia;
Laura Russell, Portland, Oregon;
Lauren Henkin, Portland, Oregon;
Lee Steiner, Pearland, Texas;
Louise Levergneux, Salt Lake City, Utah;
Mary Jane Henley, Tucson, Arizona;
Mary L. Taylor, Marshfield, Massachusetts;
Megan Adie, Basel, Switzerland;
Monica Oppen, Sydney, Australia;
Paula Jull, Pocatello, Idaho;
Philip Zimmermann, Tucson, Arizona;
Sabina U. Nies, Ashland, Oregon;
Sally Waterman, London, United Kingdom;
Scott K. Murphy, St. Joseph, Minnesota;
Steve Kostell, Chapaign, Illinois;
Thomas Finke & Jean Buescher Bartlett, Denver, Colorado & Ann Arbor, Michigan;
Victoria Bjorklund, Tacoma, Washington

Abecedaries in the Reading Room

Exhibition open May 20 with an opening reception May 21 from (5-8pm) during the 3rd Friday Artwalk and remains on display through June 19.

In the Reading Room is an exhibition of Abecedaries (an abecedary is a book arranged in alphabetical order) by artists from throughout the US, UK, South Korea, Puerto Rico and Italy.

Artists included in this exhibition are:

Cari Ferraro (San Jose, California)

Falconer-1-ABC cropped Curt Lund (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Dan Smith (Brooklyn, New York)

Dave Buchen (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Emily Marks (Sonoma, California)

Heidi Zednik (Ashville, North Carolina)

Hong In Young (An-yang-city, Kyoung-ki-do, South Korea)

Joshua Falconer (Ventura, California)

Karen Hanmer (Glenview, Illinois)

Laura Davidson (Boston, Massachusetts)

Lisa McGarry (Florence, Italy)

Marian Crane (Phoenix, Arizona)

Marie Philomena Noorani (Richland, Washington)

Megan Chandler (Normal, Illinois)

Otis Lab Press (Los Angeles, California)

PBI ABCers (Northport, Alabama)

Philippa Wood and Tamar MacLellan (Lincoln, United Kingdom)

Rebecca Chamlee (Simi Valley, California)

Roberta Lavadour (Pendleton, Oregon)

Shawn Kathleen Simmons (Silver Lake, Ohio)

Shu-Ju Wang (Portland, Oregon)

Sushmita Mazumdar (Arlington, Virginia)

Suzanne Vilmain (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Wendy Partridge (Cincinnati, Ohio).

And thirdly, also in the Reading Room – The Black Book Project. This is a multi-medium collaboration between 44 Colorado artists working on 14 teams.  Each team is comprised of 3 to 4 artists who, at the time of the project’s inception, had never met. The first week of March, 2010, each team was given one standard black spiral sketchbook, and participants were asked to cycle the book among their teammates as many times as possible over a 10-week period. There were no rules about how the artists could use the books or what content they could contribute.

One Unit Per Increment

May 20 – June 19, 2010

This exhibition features works created by artists in a regular unit (hourly/weekly/monthly) as part of an ongoing practice – once a day or once a week or once a minute for a chunk of time or continuing chunks of time.

Recording our thoughts and observations is an ongoing human activity. For visual artists, the impulse to create a tangible result of these observations is a widespread practice. The results of several such projects make for a lively and engaging display at Abecedarian Gallery.

Many of the projects in this exhibition honor and celebrate ritual and process within various set parameters.

Some, such as Denver’s Homare Ikeda

Untitled have committed to an ongoing studio practice that spans many years. Ikeda begins each day in the early morning with less than 30 minutes spent in creating 7, 9 or 11 gestural sumi ink drawings. For Ikeda the exercise gives him a chance to begin hiw work without critical thought, to simply pick up the tools, to start making marks.

parallel tea texts: january
Heidi Zednik, of Asheville, North Carolina, speaks of a continuing commitment

to simply have some sort of record of the days, however small the observation’

. On exhibit are selections from two of her 2010 projects. Walnut ink drawings on found paper, starting with a stack of vintage computer-punch-cards and a second project, typed text on stained tea bags. The text reflects some thought(s) of the day. Each months’ teabags are tied with string, becoming a single “standing month” or object.

January Untitled 3Another Asheville artist, Tony Bradley, has dedicated years to the practice of daily drawings and virtually all his two-dimensional work is an outgrowth of this practice. He has created portfolios of his mixed media on paper works into a series of Monthly Reports.

Another ongoing project is that of Genie Shenk, a California artist, who has been creating visual documents of her dreams since 1982, preserved and presented in a book for each year. Two of her dream books are included in this exhibit.

Dreams 2007

Also honoring specific experiences are the daily drawings of Elizabeth (Tilly) Strauss whose drawings, spanning over 100 days, document the relationship between the artist and a dying friend.Curtains for Jen

Other of the projects were designed with very specific intent – New South Wales artist Sara Bowen states she started The Daily Drawing project

‘to try and recapture my enthusiasm for drawing. As a child I always carried pencil and paper and didn’t care what I drew; I drew anything, anywhere. It dawned upon me that I could start again . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the experience’

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Daily Drawing B

Book artist Alicia Bailey wished to quickly process the early phases of a series of ideas. Her Book a Week series forced her to create books quickly and get ideas either out of her system or recognize their worth as more fully developed projects.

Alicia Bailey - Book a Week project

100 Days - Installation ViewTatiana Ginsberg (Santa Barbara, California) made a cup out of handmade paper every day for 100 days, drinking her daily tea from it, letting the tea soak and stain the paper bowl. Ginsberg has studied in Japan and is familiar with the way Japanese tea ceremony ritualizes an aspect of everyday life. Thinking about the pauses in the day provided by cups of tea or coffee, she made cups that reacted to and recorded the specific act of drinking. Ginsberg is also exhibiting Shadow Drawings, daily works drawn from the shadows cast by insect ravaged leaves.

Photography has been a mainstay in the realm of personal recording/documentation. The photographers included in the exhibit have each approached the notion of connecting with the personal or physical landscape.

July 25 ,2004Denver artist Anna Newell-Jones spent one year working on Daily: A Self-Portrait a Day For a Year, motivated by what she says was a ‘desperate desire to see who I really am.’ The photos are funny, sad and everything in between, but are always unflinching.

What Comes AroundIn a year long project, beginning on her 39th birthday, Lafayette, Colorado artist Mia Semingson investigates the relationship of one day’s image to the next.

Views from the Interior: the First Seven-Year Cycle

Connecticut artist Janet Pritchard’s Views from the Interior: The First Seven-Year Cycle records her multi-year connection a personal landscape by acting as recording witness to it.

Unfolding Each Day - openAlso documenting experience is Denver artist Sammy Lee, whose work Unfolding Each Day is a photographic journal of the year 2005, handsomely housed in a multi-faceted box that gives evidence of her architectural training.

Another artist using photography as the basis for a daily project, Chicago’s Stacy Sears photographed the sky each day, using the photographs as a starting point for a daily painting practice.One Month

And lastly, Nikki Thompson, Katerine Case and Sara McManus used the format of daily postcard mailing as a tribute to their friendship. They sent each other postcards once a month for a year, then each created an artists’ book from the postcards.OUPI_all3_39post_a

In Retrospect: works on paper and books by Ann Lovett, Maureen Cummins and Nava Atlas

A Reading Room exhibition, In Retrospect opens April 1 and remains on view through May 8, 2010. It is the first venue in a several state tour of this exhibition by three notable contemporary book artists and the only scheduled venue west of the Mississippi.
Ann Lovett

Maureen Cummins

Nava Atlas

In Retrospect presents the work of three artists who explore contemporary culture through the lens of the past. Their shared source of inspiration is the book, a form that, while intimate and familiar, also carries with it the weight of history and the voice of authority.

As such, it provides a reference point from which to challenge personal and cultural constructions of knowledge. All three artists delve into public and private archives to gather images, documents, texts, and ephemera as source material. Rearranging and combining these found elements with new material, they create provocative new works that expose biases and question assumptions about what we know and how we know it.
For the viewer, new meanings and interpretations emerge as official versions of history and reality are subverted.
The found materials in these books are textual as well as visual, both common and rarified; the collections from which they are culled are varied and diverse, from libraries and museums to flea markets and dumpsters.

Maureen CumminsThe work of Maureen Cummins is inspired by old letters, documents, and photographs that she collects and lives with in her studio. She infuses wrenching subjects (including slavery, insanity, and torture) into motifs such as quilts, photo albums and ledgers, subverting the traditional values and gentility usually embodied in these ordinary objects.

Ann LovettAnn Lovett draws source material from historical archives and museum collections, as well as from personal documentation. Her work explores individual and collective memory, the culture of memorials, and institutional control of sites of war, trauma, and loss.

26. Atlas6Nava Atlas draws from personal collections of everyday ephemera, including pinup photos, advice columns, vintage food images, and old comic books. These texts and images, arranged in ironic juxtapositions, question intransigent assumptions about gender.

In the books as well as their related wall installations, intimacy and insight emerge in a variety of ways. By employing beauty and craft—in the form of sensual materials, compelling imagery, and both ancient and modern technologies—these artists draw their audience into difficult subject matter. They seek to navigate the very dualities of life itself: pleasure and pain, appearance and reality, past and present, what is represented and what is experienced.

In voices ranging from contemplative to impassioned, from ironic to vehement, the works in this exhibit generate an experience of wonder and revelation that is both personal and political.