T HE A RT OF T HE BOOK Sixteenth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials
T HE A RT OF T HE BOOK Sixteenth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials
Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
Tennille Davis Shuster
Kent Manske and Nanette Wylde
T HE A RT OF T HE BOOK Fourteenth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials
May 1 to May 30, 2021
Front Cover: Leslie Pearson, Prayers for a Whole Heart (detail), handmade artist's book, 9 x 23 x 5" Back Cover: Lia Roozendaal, Codex Devolution (1 of 5), 2021, photograph, 32 x 23" Photo Credits Jody Alexander: r.r. jones Charles Hobson: Alice Shaw Andrew Hayes: Steve Mann Leslie Pearson: Justin Pearson Lisa Kokin: Lia Roozendaal Tennille Davis Shuster: Ron Jones Brian Singer: Rob Villanueva Direct inquiries to: Seager Gray Gallery 108 Throckmorton Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 415-384-8288 seagergray.com All rights reserved. Catalog can be purchased through the gallery for $20 plus handling and shipping. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jody Alexander Penn Valley, California
When Alexander's returned from Japan in January 2020 she began this series, calling it What It Was, to hold onto a certain feeling she gets when she’s in that part of the world. Shortly after she came home, the country was in lockdown due to COVID-19. The isolation caused some fear and anxiety, of course, but it also added meaning to her work. Although he couldn’t know what the future would hold, she says that exploring memory and experience while working on these pieces kept her rooted in the here and now, giving her comfort and strength, mentally and emotionally. No. 5 and 6 are hand sewn from old European linen and hand painted with imagery gathered from Japan using stencils and watercolor paints. No. 21 and 22 are old European linen dyed with acorns and pomegranates that she found near her studio in Nevada County’s Penn Valley in Northern California. The stencils were inspired by ancient fan substrates (where the paper or silk had rotted away) that she saw in a Tokyo exhibit. “I call them fan skeletons,” she says. “This imagery matched the way I was feeling this winter as the pandemic continued to isolate us: raw and down to the bone but pieced and stitched together and holding on.”
Jody Alexander What it Was #5 & #6 (mask and book), 2020 (left) old European linen, stencils, watercolor, linen thread Mask 5 x 8 x .25", Book 5 x 7 x .5"
What it Was #21 & #22 (mask and book), 2021 (right) acorn and pomegranate dye and Japanese indigo cotton Mask 5 x 8 x .25", Book 5 x 7 x .5"
‘Shortcomings’ is the original title of the graphic novel by cartoonist Adrian Tomine. It was published by Drawn and Quarterly in Montreal, Canada in 2007. The genre of this art form with seven to nine cells per page, in a gridded format, is drawn in black and white with ‘speech bubbles’ floating overhead of the characters in the book. In the Speechless series, an ongoing collage project, is the removal and outlining of the drawings and speech bubbles using a surgeon's knife. Reducing the content to line drawings, the pages become veiled layers, a dissected essence of the story that the brain comprehends as both linear and abstract. Between the two, narrative and abstraction, it invites the viewer to literally read between the lines and pages. The final artwork is presented as four pages deep separated by 3/16th inch foam core. The backing of the meticulously cut mash-up of the collage is another version of Shortcomings that is sliced into strips then stacked on top of one another.
Doug Beube Lost for Words, 2016 collage from Speechless Series 16 x 20 x 2"
Bubble Heads, 2017 (lower right) collage from Speechless Series 8 x 10 x 2"
Brooklyn, New York
Wash is a text-based installation featuring a collection of specially crafted soap bars etched with racial slurs and epithets. (For the current exhibition at Seager Gray Gallery, “Other” is one bar of soap being shown). Carefully set onto a wall of soap dishes, this arrangement invites participants to wash their hands with a bar, letting the ink flow from the letters and mix with the white suds and lather. The work explores what it is to be an ‘other,’ the object of ethnic, religious, sexist or homophobic insults, asking what it might take to cleanse disdainful speech from the collective consciousness. The quote by Dr. King expresses the essence of the meaning of the full exhibition entitled, Wash. Viewers are invited to read the entire proposal for the installation on the artist’s website, dougbeube.com. “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.“ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution." March 31, 1968
Doug Beube Other, 2020 (upper right) handmade soap, ink, ceramic, metal 7 x 7 x 7"
"The past year has required a lot of patience and waiting,” Renée Bott says in her artistic statement for this piece. “We have all had to endure waiting for the COVID pandemic to end. We have missed our families and friends. We have put our lives on hold, waiting and hoping that one day things would return to life prior to COVID. The pandemic gave me a lot of time to think about time passing." How Many Moons? examines my thoughts about how we perceive time: whether it is a minute, a day, a month, a year, and even a lifetime." How Many Moons? is a 3 by 4-inch grid of 12 circles. The image consists of a moon and 11 celestial charts painted on pages from the book POE - Essays and Reviews. A pale orange glow radiates behind the bottom edge of the circles. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Bott worked in fine art print publishing for over 30 years. For the past twenty, she has been a founding partner and master printer at Paulson Bott Press, a fine print atelier in Berkeley, California. She has worked with such luminary artists as Martin Puryear, Kerry James Marshall and Tauba Auerbach. She specializes in helping create complex and colorful intaglio prints within a traditionally black and white medium. Paulson Bott Press has published more than 500 editions. In 2016, the company’s archive was acquired by the deYoung Museum in San Francisco.
Renée Bott How Many Moons?, 2021 acrylic on book pages mounted to paper 43 x 48"
Brian Dettmer The New Household Physicians, 2021 hardcover books, acrylic, varnish, wood support
20 x 38 x 3.5 "
Mutations #1 & 2, 2021 (left) paperback book, acrylic varnish
6.75 x 4.125 x .875"
Brian Dettmer New York, New York
Brian Dettmer is a New York-based artist born in 1974 in Naperville, Illinois known for his detailed and innovative sculptures with books and other forms of antiquated media. In his work Brian begin with an existing book and seals its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. He cuts into the surface of the book and dissects through it from the front. He works with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. His work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception. About his work Brian says: “The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress. His work The New Household Physician is an extraordinary wall piece created from the heavily illustrated 19th century tome, The Household Physician. His jewel-like works from the Mutations series are carved from paperbacks with covers removed, each an endlessly variable carved block of text.
Daniel Essig Spirit of the Times, Amulet, 2020 carved and painted wood, mica, Ethiopian amulet, linen cord, gothic binding
16 x 8.5 x 3"
Penland, North Carolina
Penland artist, Daniel Essig blends imagination with a deep respect for ancient traditions. Using a fourth-century binding known as Ethiopian-style Coptic, he creates mixed-media book structures that incorporate unusual woods, handmade papers, found objects and mica. Both sculptor and archivist, Essig has been collecting things from the time he was a child in Missouri – rocks, shells, Indian arrowhead, seedpods, bones bits of rusty nails, animal teeth and fossils. “They represent periods in my life, even just days or moments,” he says. “I keep my collection of objects in drawers, bottles, and boxes within a single small room in my house. The space has the feel of a German Wunderkammern, a “cabinet of curiosities.” I often sit in the room and scan my collection, seeking just the right object to inspire a new book or sculpture.” It is easy to recognize works by Daniel Essig. They have the patina of time with the distressed wood and embedded artifacts and at the same time they often challenge the notion of what a book can be. In Table of Contents, for example a book created with old bookpages and a long Coptic spine is suspended from a beautiful dark wood “shelf.” As an object, it is so elegant and delicate – sculptural form created using book arts and carpentry. We love it. His book, Spirit of the Times: Amulet, another wall piece has a similarly suspended book hanging from an seemingly ancient book form in which a mica window reveals and amulet Essig received his degree at the University of South Illinois at Carbondale. He found himself gravitating towards the colors of decay, the beauty of aging. “I kept an eye out for Native American petroglyphs, abstract designs or images of footprints or animals.” He had also begun to experiment in bookmaking. His professor’s wife, a graduate student, made exquisite books and had studied at Penland in North Carolina. She knew it was the right place for Essig. As he finished his degree at Carbondale, he spent his summers as a work scholarship student at Penland, and later became a core student there. It was at Penland that he began to concentrate exclusively on Ethiopian Coptic books. Essig is now a studio artist and teacher living in Asheville, North Carolina. He teaches book arts workshops at book centers, craft schools and colleges. He exhibits his work nationally and is in numerous collections including the Mint Museum and The Clarence Ward Art Library at Oberlin College. His sculptural pieces are featured in The Penland Book of Handmade Books as well as countless other publications. He holds a unique place among book artists and is respected worldwide. Daniel Essig Table of Contents, 2020 burnt oak, metal, text papers, Ethiopian binding 6 x 13 x 2.25"
O Y, 2019
Blue Shadows, 2015 (right)
silk, mixed media, printed at Edition Basel 2019
24 x 48" each panel
8 x 8"
“OY” is letterpress in large wooden type, handwork, thread and ink. The ovals are printed from cut linoleum representing water with smaller circles like tears, representing microscopic patterns of grief. While she has fun with the title, Fein has created a serious piece about refugees crossing bodies of water, risking their lives for a chance to live a better life in her work, O Y. This isn’t “Oy,” the Yiddish expression for exasperation. You’ll notice both letters are capitalized, standing for the “oh” and “why” she kept saying to herself over the past four years, a time of much suffering and division in the world. An interdisciplinary artist, Fein works in installation, sculpture, printmaking, video, and performance. An artist-in-resident at KALA Art Institute in Berkeley, she has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collections of: the Yale University Library, the Oakland Museum of California, Taller Grafica Experimental Havana, and the San Francisco Art Commission. She has been awarded artist residencies in Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Switzerland, New York, Vermont and California. She s a professional member of the California Society of Printmakers, the Los Angeles Society of Printmakers and the Boston Printmakers. Blue Shadows is a book of five etchings, gampi chine collé on Somerset paper letter press, silkscreen and silver (original lost wax cast) salmon edition of five printed at KALA Art Institute. Berkeley, California 2015. The book originated with Fein’s week at a gathering of women in Truro on Cape Cod. Her friend Lois always began her annual month in August at the Cape with just her women friends before the many generations of family and friends arrived. Lois is an art collector, social activist, therapist and friend to many. As she is approaching a century of living, she continues to live a brilliant and active life, leaving the world a better place for all of us. Lois was part of John Hopkin’s first team of professionals treating transgender patients before and after surgery.
Andrew Hayes Swage, 2019 fabricated steel, book pages and paint 12 x 9 x 3"
Asheville, North Carolina
Andrew Hayes transforms steel and paper into a symphony of shape and form. Masterfully counterpointing curved and straight lines, he continues to find new arrangements that resolve the elements in satisfying and surprising ways. Paper in Hayes’ sculpture assumes the natural properties of water, taking the shape of whatever contains or borders it. A master of steel fabrication Hayes’ welds are imperceptible, and his surfaces are sanded to a pebble-like smoothness, except for when roughness is intentional. His forms are elegant, even formal in their design, but they are never oversimplified as he constantly tinkers with the shapes innovating creative approaches to composition. Andrew Hayes grew up in Tucson, Arizona and studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University. The desert landscape inspired much of his early sculptural work and allowed him to cultivate his style in fabricated steel. While living in Portland, Oregon, bouncing between welding jobs and creating his own work he was invited to the EMMA collaboration. The experience was liberating for him and he was encouraged to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. There he was able to explore a variety of materials and technique.
Andrew Hayes Key, 2013 altered book, steel 15 x 3 x 3.5"
Andrew Hayes' work appears in collections at the Yale Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Art and Black Mountain College. He has been the subject of many reviews and articles and is a favorite among online zines such as Design Milk and Beautiful Decay. It is, however, in the studio that his greatest strides are made. In these sophisticated works, he continues to push boundaries while adhering to rigorous standards of flawless fabrication. His instinct for composition and form becomes ever more refined by curious investigation, faith in process and an ever-deepening understanding of his materials and the various ways they can behave.
Andrew Hayes Interior Adorned, 2020 altered book, steel 14 x 4 x 3"
Charles Hobson Two Hunderd & Fifty Imaginary Waterfalls, 2019 artist's book 10 x 10 x 1"
San Francisco, California
Joseph Goldyne has been drawing and painting imaginary waterfalls for more than a decade. During the last several months of 2019 he made 250 small pen and ink wash drawings, each about two inches square on prepared sheets of watercolor paper. Each sheet measures 10 x10 inches and holds twentyfive debossed squares in a grid. Joseph filled ten sheets of this paper during the last six months of 2019 creating a total of 250 imaginary waterfalls. The purpose of his exercise was to explore how inspiring and infinite this feature of nature can be. Billy Collins’ poem, Elk River Falls, pursues the same exploration. It was published in 2002 while he was Poet Laureate of the United States. It exemplifies his special ability to capture hidden textures in everyday moments and to transform them into extraordinary poems. A new understanding of both the poem and the drawings is achieved in this innovative artist’s book by Charles Hobson. By rotating a page with cut-out squares, a “mask,” over the images of twentyfive small waterfalls. The mask (which is held by a magnet in a recess in the spine) can be pulled out and shifted over the full sheet of images to view different selections of individual small drawing. The poem, Elk River Falls, is printed in full at the beginning of the book. In addition, single lines from the poem have been printed around the edge of each mask to permit a pairing of a line from the poem with a selection of waterfalls. Shifting and rotating the mask over the drawings allows the reader to create different combinations of word and image with each shift offering a surprise like a splash in a waterfall.
Elk River Falls is where the Elk River falls from a rocky and considerable height, turning pale with trepidation at the lip (it seemed from where I stood below) before it is unbuckled from itself and plummets, shredded, through the air into the shadows of a frigid pool, so calm around the edges, a place for water to recover from the shock of falling apart and coming back together before it picks up its song again, goes sliding around the massive rocks and past some islands overgrown with weeds then flattens out and slips around a bend and continues on its winding course, according to this camper's guide, then joins the Clearwater at its northern fork, which must in time find the sea where this and every other stream mistakes the monster for itself, sings its name one final time then feels the sudden sting of salt. Billy Collins
Lisa Kokin Book of Droplets, 2021 (upper left) patinated copper 8 x 8 x 6"
Only the Half of it, 2021 (lower left) patinated copper 6 x 6 x 3.5"
Mend-acity, 2021 (upper right) patinated copper 6 x 6 x 3"
El Sobrante, California
Book of Droplets, Only the Half of It, and Mend-acity are an unpremeditated meandering into filigree- like pattern, part of The Wordless Library series of metal books and book-like objects that Lisa Kokin began at the end of last year. In these pieces she repeatedly sews into copper and aluminum with her beat-up old jalopy of a Kenmore sewing machine, circa 1975. “To make these pieces,” says Kokin, “I patinate the copper using a toothbrush to intentionally limit my ability to control. I then repeatedly puncture the metal until patterns and holes emerge. Working without a preconceived notion, I think about my favorite John Cage quote, ‘I use chance as a discipline.’ ” “I have no words for what we as a world have been going through during the pandemic.,” she continues. My internal word and story repository is empty; the narrative has been rendered asemic. Asemic text is its own kind of cryptic language and seems an apt mode of communication for an unprecedented time.” In Excerpts (Victory over Fear and Worry), the words are there, but obscured by the punches from the sewing needle. One can only imagine that “victory over fear and worry” during a pandemic might be easier said than done. Lisa Kokin received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Dorothy Saxe Creativity award at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Purchase Award from the Richmond Civic Center Public Art Interior Acquisitions Project in Richmond, CA. As with many of her series, Kokin has many more of these works than seen here. Stay tuned for September, when we will transform Gallery 3 into The Wordless Library with a larger installation of these works.
Lisa Kokin Exccerpts (Victory Over Fear and Worry, 2021 aluminum, book pages 6 x 9"
Michele Landel Sèvres, France
The actual title of this book is In order to reveal to all eyes what she was made of, she had to break open the beautiful wax-figure she presented everywhere and it is a nine page fabric book that explores the story of a single anonymous woman. The artist worked with found photographs from a clothing catalogue and digitally manipulated the images to form a single narrative. She printed the photographs on ripped second-hand bed sheets and machine stitched the images together to make the book. She mirrored, repeated, and stitched over the woman with different shades of thread to demonstrate the existence of multiple and fractured identities in the construction of the female self and what it means to be woman. Additionally, the book explores that feeling of being both the actor and the audience of one’s own life. Michele Landel creates intensely textured and airy collages using burned, quilted, and embroidered photographs and paper to explore the themes of exposure, absence, and memory. She manually manipulates digital photographs to highlight the way images hide and filter the truth. She then sews layers of paper together to create bandages and veils and to transform images into fragile maps. Michele is an American artist. She holds degrees in Fine Arts and Art History. Her work has been exhibited in France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, the UK, and US. Her work also appears in The Collage Ideas Book. She was awarded the 2018 Innovative Technique Award by the Surface Design Association. Michele lives and works in Sèvres, France and out of her art studio in the Paris 9th arrondissement.
Michele Landel Reveal (In order to reveal to all eyes what she was made of, she had to break open the beautiful wax-figure she presented everywhere antique second-hand bedsheets charcoal and thread 12 x 13 x 8" Images from the book on the right.
Sophie Lavigne Elements, 2021 artist's books .78 x 6 x 6"
Sainte-Beatrix, Quebec, Canada
Elements by French Canadian artist, Sophie Lavigne is comprised of 2 boxes and 4 books with small cascading images connected with thread. The delicate 3.5. x 35 images are of nature taken from her sketchbooks The boxes are folding crab boxes made with Awagami paper coated with Konnyaku (powdered Devil's Tongue root, a natural plant starch that, when mixed with water and applied by brush to paper, gives extra strength, some waterproofing and memory.) The books are twist square folding cards with Ginwashi awagami hemp paper. The images are on thin wax coated awagami mulberry paper, dodgy paper and Atelier retailles paper. The images are bound with a cotton thread. “For me, the act of creation is a form of meditation which takes its source in observation and stillness,” explains Lavigne. “What is hidden furtively appears and shapes my art. Nature and fragility are some of the themes that live in me. In particular, nature is a territory of predilection. Paradoxically, what seems fragile is strong. What is outside of me is often reflected inside of me, that is the reason I choose to live in nature, attuned to the rhythms of the seasons, immersing myself into the very heart of the matter, thus perceiving acutely the essence of my subject.”
San Rafael, California
When we first planned on showing the series “Just for the Record,” by artist Patricia Leeds, we had no idea how timely it would be. Using advertising copy from the past and collaging it with book parts, Leeds has called up the attitudes of racism, sexism and the influence of big business inherent in advertising – all of them geared toward white men, who at the time were the people most likely to have the money to be the consumer. “I began this project last year after I discovered a book called Mid- Century Ads,” said Leeds. “I was flabbergasted at the blatant misogyny, racism, xenophobia and disregard for our planet all presented in the advertisements. This was my parents’ generation and I began to understand the influence it had on society at that time and the legacy it gives us today.” At the time Leeds discovered these ads, she was creating collages made from discarded books from the same time period and thought that setting these ads in their historical context by juxtaposing them with pieces from books from the same time period would allow the past and present to coexist “There are still echoes of this sort in advertising today,” Leeds asserts. “While these pieces have an element of play to them, I think it is important that we recognize the past was not as innocent as some would have us believe.” Marin artist, Patricia Leeds was born and raised in California and graduated from SF State University. She works in a variety of mediums, including encaustic, oils, collage, book arts and photography. She spent 25 years working as a commercial portrait photographer and photojournalist – no doubt sharpening her eye for using imagery to document the culture.
Patricia Leeds 1947, Camels, Gray's Anatomy, Little Curtis, Not so Funny collage and book art using mid-century advertising to expose American culture 14 x 11" each
Martin Lesinski Nicasio, California
“The living cells of this book are words, my words, strung together to communicate my personal experiences as a combat veteran, a disabled veteran, a disabled person in this society called America. The heart of this book is the writing, the tale telling. The body of this book is the pages, paper pulped by a veteran from uniforms worn by veterans. The skin of this book is the cover which replicates the body armor worn by soldiers: Kevlar covered in camo fabric from fatigues donated by veterans. The binding of this book is stitched with medical sutures¬, the same material used by surgeons in their attempts to make the wounded whole.” Martin Lesinski. Some time ago, Lesinski brought his book Beyond the Reach of Reason and left it with me at the gallery. I took it home and began reading. This was real stuff. This is an amazing work, both in its construction and in the writing. Holding the uniform in my hand and reading the words was a powerful and moving experience. The poems and stories are drawn from the artist’s personal experiences as a combat veteran, a disabled veteran, a disabled person. “My experience is nothing unique. It is another echo of what countless veterans from so many wars have encountered. I offer these words as voice for those not as handy with words, and for those who have remained silent. These writings are firsthand reports of shaping a life of healing. They articulate the experiences of veterans, and offer families and nonveterans insights into not the blood and guts of war, but the difficulties veterans encounter navigating a world shaped by their military service.”
Martin Lesinski Beyond the Reach of Reason paper made from worn army uniforms, Kevlar, surgical sutures for binding 12 x 9.5 x .75"
Kent Manske and Nanette Wylde From this Earth Artist's Book 5 x 15.25 x 1.5"
Kent Manske and Nanette Wylde Redwood City, California
From This Earth is a collaboration of Kent Manske and Nanette Wylde conceived, written, and produced while sheltering-in-place during the 2020 pandemic and while wildfires raged across California. It is a story of transformation. An individual journeys through a devastated landscape seeking relief, motivated by an inner impetus. This original 13 part poem was informed by conversations between naturalists Robin Wall Kimmerer and Helen Macdonald; the social justice activist groups Women’s March and Black Lives Matter; and Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers as recorded in the book The Power of Myth. The 13 landscape images are photographs of sculptural forms the artists created from local craft industry production waste. Sculptural media include glass, flower petals, spices, hair, blue jeans, toasted barley, burlap sacks, onion skins, corn husks, pet fur, hops, metal shavings, theatre props, fabric scraps, dryer lint, eggshells, grape skins, grape stems, avocado skins, avocado seeds, coffee grounds and oyster shells. The work contains 15 sections including one each for title and colophon. There is one section for each of the 13 poem parts. Each poem part begins with a heading printed on the cover of its folio. Each folio opens to a paired landscape image and text. Decorative paper separates each section. The book is made of pigment printed on Rives BFK Tan, Epson Enhanced Matte papers, banana leaf paper interleaving, collaged handmade papers for cover designs. French link stitch, exposed spine in an edition of 3 hardcover books, each with a unique cover design.
Tempus Fugit, 2017 (above)
Voyages (en Train), 2014 (right)
vellum, bristol Mohab Entrada, brass 8 x 8"
archival digital prints, aluminum, brass 13.75 x 11.75"
Amandine Nabarra Los Angeles, California
Far from the Californian experience of long car trips to which Amandine Nabarra had grown accustomed, she. rediscovered the joys and constraints of European public transportation. It was during one of her many trips from Genoa to Milan and Genoa to Turin that the project, Voyages (en train) was born. “I had taken some photographs and very quickly realized that my pictures were out of sync with the landscape going by the train window. In my memory I had retained a combination of many fragments of images, a phenomenon Benjamin Gastineau called ‘synthetic glance’ and Aldous Huxley defined as ‘global vision’,” she explained. To indicate how fast things were moving she had to call upon the blur of the moving object, as well as typical visual accidents: reflections in the windows, interference from trees, etc. Also, the slow exposure added an unforeseen element to the project, an interplay in which “chance” often determines the image’s framing. Tempus Fugit is a circular flexagon divided into 12 months. Each month has a photo of clouds corresponding to the season. At a time when the artist was trying to recover some balance in her life, she started reading her horoscope for entertainment and encouragement. She picked one sentence for each month that would express her challenge or mindset. For the month of January: “This year will be the realization that though perfection is never fully attainable, learning to coexist gracefully with imperfection can feel nearly perfect.” And it ends with the month of December: “It doesn’t make sense. It can’t make sense. There is nothing sensible on this crazy planet. “
Amandine Nabarra Voyages (en Train) diptych, 2014 (above) archival digital prints, aluminum, brass 20.5 x 17.5"
Emily Payne Berkeley, California
Usually when Emily Payne is making canvasses out of used book boards, she goes about the process in a gingerly way. As she cut the edges of the spine down the side of the cover with her exacto knife, she carefully traces the edge so as not to rip the cloth covers or the paper inside the book. “I love these materials,” says the artist. “The paper and the cloth combined are a tactile and visual feast.” As she made preparations for these recent works, something shifted. She was very aware that she was dismantling something in taking apart these specific books. A cousin had brought them to her, having found them in the home of a deceased relative. The volumes were from a collection of "American Heritage" history books dating from 1959-1961. “Thumbing through the pages, the presence of White and almost all male faces and voices overshadowed all of those who were carelessly portrayed or blatantly missing from this version of our national story,” observes Payne “My usual methodical procedures gave way to a brusk impulse to tear these old manuals to pieces.” These are volumes bound in white paper that Payne has taken apart. She then built a canvas that resembles a section of an old stone building or institutional wall. She laid these pieces out askew as if resting on a foundation that is crumbling. The white ink collects and then spans across the white canvas, its sticky willfulness creating a layered apparatus running amok. “Blind Spot considers the choice I make each day to see or not to see the ways in which I benefit from living in a culture built on a foundation of White supremacy,” says Payne. “Once the willful unseeing turns into active seeing, I see White privilege everywhere I look, a creeping network of threads that reach into every facet of life. It is structural and hard to untangle and it feeds on itself, building strength and thriving off of its mutable forms. I see my own personal map of blind spots, seeded and fueled within institutions whose history is soaked in pain, terror, lives harmed and lives lost. Receiving and then transforming these family heirlooms, I seek out, dig into, reveal and unbury my own legacy so as to pull back the layers that hold others hostage on a daily basis.”
Emily Payne Blind Spot, 2021 ink on book covers 36 x 36"
Fayetteville, North Carolina Leslie Pearson is a multimedia artist who utilizes many fibre-based materials, processes and techniques to create sculptures, installations, encaustic paintings and handmade books, in which she explores themes of memory and identity. She pursues art as a studio artist, community arts advocate and educator. In 1998 she earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art from Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri and was heavily involved in community arts programming as the Assistant Director of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and co-curator of Gallery 100 and the Lorimier Gallery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In 2000 she earned a Master's degree in Museum Studies at Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England and completed an internship at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland, England. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Textile Design at East Carolina University's School of Art and Design in Greenville, North Carolina, USA where she taught textile classes and worked as a studio assistant in the textile department. Currently she teaches painting, design and art appreciation classes at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, North Carolina, USA and exhibits her work nationally and internationally. “My work is an investigation into memory, identity, and the transformative value of communication. I create pieces in response to new challenges, environments and relationships. As a multimedia artist my material choices and processes vary with each new body of work. I'm drawn to things that have layers of history. Be it handwritten letters, journals, old books, rusty metal, postage stamps, buttons, teeth, animal bones, or bits of fabric; my studio is filled with objects I've collected or unearthed. I'm a scavenger for the lost or forgotten things that have interesting textures, colors, and surfaces. I like to imagine the stories that these treasures hold. I'm inspired by organic forms found within the natural world such as pods, seeds, nests, eggs, and shells - mostly for the metaphor they hold as keepers, protectors, and incubators.
Leslie Pearson Prayers for a Whole Heart, 2014 (left) handmade paper, silk, ink, freemotion stitching, painted wooden cover. Coptic binding (waxed linen thread) 9 x 23 x 25”
Experimental Apparatus, 2013 (right) gut, tissue paper, wire, book pages 21 x 23 x 25”
Lia Roozendaal El Sobrante California
Initially, Lia Roozendaal was attracted to these 1920’s “Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada” merely as beautiful objects to photograph. As she spent more time with them, it occurred to her that during their lifespan they were revered and treasured, as the knowledge contained within was passed on from generation to generation. These photographs shown together follow a distinctive curve, a seemingly parallel path with the history of the printed book, as these days we turn to the internet rather than to a set of venerable tomes. Lia Roozendaal’s photography is inspired by the natural world and found objects that exhibit the patina of time. Working primarily as a studio photographer, the challenge she sets for herself is to transform mundane objects by isolating them and lighting them in a way that brings out their innate beauty and mystery. Roozendaal’s work is in numerous national and international private collections. She is also the principal of Lia Roozendaal Photography, which specializes in print design and photography for artists. Lia lives, works, photographs and gardens in El Sobrante, CA, with her spouse Lisa Kokin, Austin the dog and Bindi the cat. ` Lia Roozendaal Codex Devolution, 2021 Five Photographs 32 x 23" edition of 10
Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder Influxstructure: A Topography of Ghosts, 2018 artist's book 10 x 10 x 2"
Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder San Antonio, Texas
Influxstructure: A Topography of Ghosts explores macro and micro human systems (both natural and artificial), and how we use the earth and our bodies to communicate and navigate space. When the book is closed, iron filings in the glass case are gathered in a tightly closed circle around a hidden magnet. When the book is open, the iron filings fall away from the magnet and scatter into formless dust. The map-fold variation structure allows images to be peeled back layer by layer, alternating between the minuscule (synapses, nerves, veins), to the immense (Nazca lines, US Highway systems, Atomic bomb test site). Holes in pages peek through to highlight the interconnection of the systems. Text alternates from prose poems to cited research. Images and text created on a Poco Proof Press through a combination of pressure prints with pochoir, and text printed from photo-polymer plates on Hahnemuhle Ingres and Uda-gami paper. Typeset in Diotima designed by Gudrun Zapfvon Hesse. Signed and numbered edition of 25. Keri produces limited-edition artist’s books and is the proprietor of Coyote Bones Press. She teaches book art workshops at various institutions, including adjunct faculty at the Southwest School of Art, and is the creator of Books in the Wild Podcast. Keri is the 2019-2021 Helen M. Salzburg Artist-in-Residence for Jaffe Center for Book Arts. “My work examines landscape and objects as metaphors for the human experience. A focal point of this investigation is a curiosity behind how we understand, utilize, and navigate our environment. I am driven by the questions, “how and where is memory held in objects and places?” and “where does our internal space stop and external space begin if our presence is capable of changing the atmosphere?” I work through Artist Books because of the intimate experience they offer; touch and interaction are necessary for meaning to be revealed, making the reader a contributor to the narrative. My work expands upon the utility and the technology of the book to offer an accessible space for documentation, connection, reflection, and meditation.”
Tennille Davis Shuster I Look at the World, 2020 artist's book 6 x 4.5 x 75 edition os 12
Tennille Davis Shuster Macon, Georgia
I Look at the World was written by Langston Hughes and illustrated by Kandy Lopez-Moreno. Handset Gothic Condensed and Univers were letterpress printed on Epson velvet fine art paper at In Cahoots Residency in Petaluma, California in a structure conceived of, hand marbled, and produced in an edition of 12 by Tennille Davis Shuster. Tennille Davis Shuster, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Mercer University, earned her B.F.A. from James Madison University and M.F.A. from Florida Atlantic University. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Florida Artists’ Book Prize. Her work is widely exhibited and resides in private and public collections worldwide, including the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, the Smithsonian Artist’s Book Collection, the Iraq National Library, and the Archivio Libri d’Artista in Milan, Italy. “My passion for graphic design and my love of reading and creative writing find a seamless marriage in the creation of artist’s books. I view the book form as a treasured object. Historically significant, books have shaped nations and spread religions. Books change the way people think about the world. Books held in the hand provide a personal interaction that many design formats simply cannot. They engage the senses. Hearing the crack of a spine as you open a book, revealing a beautifully marbled endpaper. Feeling the cotton paper on your fingertips. Even catching the scent of freshly printed ink as you turn the pages. In contrast to the confinements of commercial design and the impermanence of ephemera, book art offers the opportunity to create self-expressive, timeless objects of art and design, yet it utilizes tools and skills traditionally employed in the field of graphic design. With a skillset including hand typesetting, letterpress printing, paper marbling, non-traditional binding methods, and format engineering, I produce book art editions that are, at their core, graphic design objects; yet they are personal and precious, just as so many books continue to be for so many readers.” Kandy Lopez-Moreno (illustrator) received her BFA and BS from the University of South Florida concentrating in Painting and Marketing & Management. She received her MFA with a concentration in Painting from Florida Atlantic University. She has taught at FAU, Daytona State College, and is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Arts at the Halmos College of Arts & Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. Lopez-Moreno wants her artwork to help educate, communicate, and foster uncomfortable topics that we seem to look past or avoid in our multi-cultural society. Representing individuals within poor communities in the US, these portraits help her, as a female Afro-Dominican American, come to terms with the way she too has to adopt and perform identities of survival.
Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody. 2021 copies of Catcher in the Rye, archival ink 60 x 31"
All morons hate it when you call them a moron, 2020 copies of Catcher in the Rye, archival ink 25 x 13"
San Francisco, California
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, is one of the most banned books of all time. The process for these pieces involves hand printing letterforms onto the faces of book pages. The pages are then cut into thousands of strips and turned on their edges. These are arranged to re-form the letters using just the slivers of cut book page edges. "The Catcher in the Rye has been one of my favorite books since reading it in high school," says Singer "I connected with the protagonist, Holden, as I navigated my teenage angst years (and to be honest, many of my adult angst years as well). While it’s technically not a dystopian novel, I include it in my ThisTopia series because of Holden’s attitude and approach to the futility of it all. Plus, I just love his quotes." Brian Singer explores the printed word as a visual representation of information, attempting to uncover new meaning in what is becoming an outdated form. Focusing on the edges of book pages, and the patterns discovered when cutting through written texts, creates an entirely different view of the once familiar object. By deconstructing books and reassembling them, he seeks to breathe new life into millions of hidden words, sentences, and stories. Singer, also known as Someguy, is a San Francisco based fine artist whose studio practice and large-scale public projects address a variety of social justice issues. With a meticulous rigor and legibility informed by his experience as a graphic designer and visual communicator, Singer’s work invites critical engagement through surprising juxtapositions of media and wordplay. Ranging from intimate works on paper to international participatory projects, Singer’s practice is unified by the desire to facilitate unexpected moments of human connection. Recent public projects include an 84 foot mural at Salesforce Transit Center comprised of almost 2,000 individual stencils (each with at least one match) reading, “You Are Not Alone;” as well as a text-based installation commissioned by the Bernal-Mission Merchants Association reading, “There’s no place like,” on a 50 foot chain-link fence surrounding a fire damaged lot. Singer is best known for his “1000 Journals Project,” a participatory global art exchange that has been archived in a book, and feature length documentary, exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and covered by The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Better Homes and Gardens among others.
a book of whispers, 2019 handmade artist’s book 6.5 x 17.5 x .4”
Maro Vandorou Dublin, California
I am parched with thirst and I perish. But give me to drink . from the everflowing spring on the right, by the cypress.“Who are you? Where are you from?” I am the daughter of Earth and starry Heaven. a book of whispers is an artist book in two volumes. The first volume references sacred texts from six gold lamellae belonging to women initiates to Orphism, which give specific instructions for the soul to follow on its perilous journey to the Afterlife. Perceived as “whispers,” fleeting and hovering on the cusp of perception and consciousness, these texts are given visual form as watermarks within the fibers of flax folios. In a companion book, an essay gives the personal narrative and the historical context for these mysterious objects. To make the voices of these women “heard,” the sacred texts are printed in pale ink as flowing ribbons in modern English and Greek. The book is made of Watermarked text on bleached flax paper, letterpress printing from polymer plates, handmade flax papers for folios and covers and. limp binding in vellum and custom flax paper. Volume One has 28 leaves and 13 folios. Volume Two has 18 leaves and 9 folios. The original limp binding and design is by Lisa Van Pelt. The book is presented in a beautiful custom plexiglass enclosure with sandblasted exterior. Maro Vandorou is a visual artist of Greek origin who lives and works in California. Her formal training has a strong interdisciplinary character with studies in visual arts, interaction design, literature, digital and computer technologies. Her work explores the process of transformation through installations of original photographic material, writings and artists' books. Tools of choice are vintage film cameras, rare Japanese and Western handmade papers and platinum/palladium printing. Her installation concepts reflect fragility, impermanence and vulnerability. The setting and visual vocabulary of abstract concepts of her work (grief, surrender, purity of intent, transformation) reference symbols and archetypes from her Hellenic roots. The two completed parts of a trilogy – a focal point of her work during the past several years – have been presented in six solo shows in Europe and the United States.
Barbara Wildenboer Chaos Theory, 2020 altered book 18 x 27”
Barbara Wildenboer Cape Town, South Africa
South African artist Barbara Wildenboer cuts and extracts the pages of old books to produce sculptural explorations of the contents inside. The works are part of an ongoing project titled the Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginable Large, to which she has been contributing altered books since 2011. The series uses the site of the library as a metaphor for the larger universe, while also focusing on the decrease of printed materials as a result of the digital age. “Through the act of altering books and other paper based objects the intention is to draw emphasis to our understanding of history as mediated through text or language and our understanding of the abstract terms of science through metaphor,” Wildenboer explains. The Cape Town-based artist sources her books and maps from secondhand bookshops and flea markets from around the world, looking specifically for publications that have illustrations, paper quality, and subject matter that might be interesting to slice and transform. Her work, This Boy’s Life, was created for the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, which was to take place in July of 2020, but was cancelled due to Covid. In honor of Tobias Wolff’s presence at the conference, the gallery sent Wildenboer a hardback copy of the book for her to add to the series. Chaos Theory and The Invertebrata were created for this 16th anniversary of The Art of the Book at Seager Gray. Barbara Wildenboer has participated in group exhibitions and art fairs both nationally and internationally, including South Africa, San Francisco, Washington, London, Dubai, Sydney and Hong Kong. In 2011 she was nominated and subsequently selected as one of the top 20 finalists for the Sovereign African Arts Award for which she received the Public Choice Prize. She has been awarded several international residencies such as the Unesco-Aschberg residency (Jordan, 2006), the Al Mahatta residency (Palestine, 2009) and the Red De Residencias Artisticas Local (Bogota, Colombia, 2011), the Rimbun Dahan artist residency (Penang, Malaysia, 2013), L’Atelier Sur Seine (Fontainebleau, France 2016).
The Invertebrata,2020 altered book 18 x 11"
This Boy’s Life, 2020 altered book 19 x 27”