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THE ART OF THE BOOK Ninth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials



THE ART OF THE BOOK Ninth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials

23 Sunnyside Ave. Mill Valley, CA 94941 415.384.8288 seagergray.com


The Art of the Book Ninth Annual Exhibition of Artists’ Books, Altered Books and Book-related Materials

Robert Berner, Doug Beube, Renee Billingslea, Kay Bradner, Christian Burchard, Julie Chen, Betsy Davids, Marie Dern, Jessica Drenk, Arián Dylan, Luciana Frigerio, Casey Gardner, Alisa Golden, Andrew Hayes, Charles Hobson, Claire Kessler-Bradner, Lisa Kokin, Vince Koloski, Guy Laramée, Michael O’Shea, Emily Payne, Donna Ruff, Claudia Smelser, Seiko Tachibana, Barbara Wildenboer Exhibition Dates: May 3 - June 1, 2014 Reception for the Artists: Saturday, May 10, 6 to 8 PM Front Cover: Arián Dylan, Order and Chaos Back Cover: Barbara Wildenboer, Dark Paradise II Photography Credits: Julie Chen - photos by Sibila Savage Betsy Davids - photos by John Wehrle Marie Dern - photos by Jeanie Craig Andrew Hayes - photos by Steve Mann Lisa Kokin - photos by Lia Roozendaal/Jagwire Design Donna Ruff - photos by Hermann Feldhaus Claudia Smelser - photos by Lia Roozendaal/Jagwire Design All other photos provided by the artists themselves Direct inquiries to: Seager Gray Gallery 23 Sunnyside Ave. Mill Valley, CA 94941 415.384.8288 art@seagergray.com

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The Art of the Book A book in our hand, whether a dictionary, a volume of Shakespeare, a spiritual text, a novel,or a collection of poetry is a study in perfection. Pages are uniform and straight, bindings hold the pages together over time, text is aligned and fonts dance across the pages like magical characters decoding human thoughts and experiences. The form of the book is difficult to surpass as the most relevant symbol and richest material available to artists everywhere. For book lovers, even spying a book out of the corner of their eye releases a mother lode of associations, both personal and universal, exquisitely layered with memory and meaning. Seager Gray Gallery presents the ninth annual exhibition of book-related arts. Their commitment to the book as a medium for art remains steadfast. Over the last nine years, we have happily watched as more art schools and universities across the country offer master’s degrees in book arts and we were delighted to see the book-related arts by Brazilian artist Odires Mlászho and South African Wim Botha at the Venice Biennale. This year we have assembled offerings by 25 different artists. Some are yearly favorites well known to our audience and some are works by internationally known artists whom we greatly admire. As always, the goal is to explore as many approaches as possible, from unique artists’ books and altered books to even broader conceptual uses of books that explore our associations to their form, content and physical presence. In the altered book category, we are pleased to introduce South African artist Barbara Wildenboer. Form mimics content in these volumes whose plantlike structures emanate from titles such as Lawn Trees and Shrubs in Central Africa, Herbacious Borders, and The Gardener in South Africa in her series, Dark Paradise. Oaxacan artist Arián Dylan’s Order and Chaos is a perfectly executed chess set created from carved pages of books and binding materials. It is a book object whose “story” involves kings and queens, castles and knights in endless conflict over power and territory. Jessica Drenk presents her amazing opus, Cerebral Mapping III. Drenk’s ingenious use of sliced book pages to convey patterns in nature and science (in this case neurosciencs) create a mesmerizing wall sculpture. This year’s selection of artists’ books stretch conventional ideas of the form. Julie Chen’s Family Tree is a set of 16 two inch cubes, housed in a drop spine box. By moving and turning the blocks, the viewer is able to change the narrative. Charles Hobson’s Diderot Decaptioned utilizes vovelles (spinning paper discs hidden behind a cover page.) The viewer is able to spin the disk until they arrive at a caption that best captures the image portrayed. Vince Koloski “illuminates” his 20th Century Fossil Book by creating pages of laser-etched acrylic lit by hidden LED lights. Lisa Kokin’s Diagram and History of the World shine a spotlight on the look and aesthetic of the print. Using the uniform teeth of zippers, Kokin sews them into straight lines of different lengths set in pages made entirely of thread. The work replicates the way text lays on a page, the zipper teeth in perfect alignment, but the effect is elegant and minimal, with the reverential feeling of an Agnes Martin painting. The book is an intimate medium, meant for repeated interaction and appreciation as experienced by our many collectors over the last nine years. Donna Seager, April, 2014


Robert Berner San Francisco Bay Area

Robert Berner studied Industrial Design at Pratt Institute in New York and continued his art studies at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley. He has worked with many calligraphy masters including Arne Wolf, Alan Blackman, Thomas Ingmire, Sherry Bringham, Karl Georg Hofer, and Susie Taylor. His works are complex and precise, bringing together diverse references and a deep knowledge of traditions in printing and calligraphy.


No Matter How You Fold It Four 3-sided pyramids are housed in a larger clear plexiglass shield. The smaller pyramids express facets of specific spiritual systems. The center one has to do with the nature of God as Gandhi defines it. The letters G O D are the key letters rendered in formal Trajan Roman Capitals. Each letter is displayed only on one side of the pyramid. T A O, D E I, and W A Y are the other three names each having a pictorial treatment and a calligraphic style. Those three letters are placed on one face of the outer pyramids so they are read as a full word only when one is looking at the whole display. The T A O has gouache paintings combined with a cursive italic in Copperplate calligraphic style. The D E I incorporates the illuminated manuscript with Lombardic Versals. And W A Y is done in a sign painters’ Swash brush-lettering with a pseudo-sanskrit writing. (Size: 18 1/4” width x 18 1/4” depth x 8” height)

Robert Berner: No Matter How You Fold It board, paint, calligraphy, plexi 18 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 8�, 2013


Doug Beube New York, New York

Doug Beube is a mixed-media artist who works in collage, installation, sculpture and photography. He is an independent curator as well as curator of a private collection for Allan Chasanoff in New York City entitled, The Book Under Pressure. His collection of bookwork is now part of the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, CT. Doug teaches classes in artists’ books, mixed media, and photography and is invited to lecture at universities and art programs around the world. Doug exhibits both nationally and internationally and his bookwork and photographs are in numerous private and public collections. Kylix Series Traditionally, drinking wine from a kylix reveals various decorated figures after the choice of vintage is consumed. Metaphorically, using a book instead of ceramic ware, text is swallowed and information and knowledge within the book is ingested. By transforming a codex into a container or kylix for someone to acquire as artwork is a form of consumption and hopefully is as sweet as any libation. Sometimes information and knowledge is held up to our lips as truth and at other times it may be elusive and pass through our mouths and minds like a sieve.

Doug Beube: Kylix Series:The Stuff of Tho (upper left and center) altered book, wood stand original book title is, ‘The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature,’ by Steven Pinker published in 2007 4 ¼ x 8 x 5”, 2014

Doug Beube: Kylix Series: Reason S (bottom left and right) altered book, wood stand original book title is, ‘The Dreams of Reason,’ by Heinz R. Pagels published in 1988 8 x 5 1/4 x 3 1/4”, 2014



Renee Billingslea San Francisco Bay Area

Renee Billingslea received an MFA in Photography in 2003 from San Jose State University after earning a BFA in Photography from Southern Oregon University, and serving two years in the Peace Corps, in the country of Kiribati. In addition to teaching, Renee is an exhibiting artist who combines her talents in photography with textile and mixed media creating environments that address historical, racial and social issues.

Dic-shoe-naires These shoes are made from the found objects collected from the artist’s husband’s 97 year old uncle’s home after he passed away. He was a school teacher up until a few months before he died. The merging of the two materials brings together his story of his migration to San Francisco from the south to find a better life for a man of color.

Renee Billingslea: Dic-shoe-naires mixed media, old dictionaries and shoes 12 x 10.9 x 8”, 2013


Kay Bradner San Francisco Bay Area

Kay Bradner is highly respected in the Bay Area and beyond for her extraordinary skills as a printmaker. Few artists are as accomplished in the art of intaglio printmaking. Kay has been essential in helping many artists achieve remarkable works in that medium. They include Joseph Goldyne, Gary Bukovnik, Mark Adams, Beth Van Hoesen, Michael Mazur and Matt Phillips. In 1974, Kay established Katherine Lincoln Press in San Francisco. The press was named for her grandmother whom Kay admired greatly. Bradner was born in Foxboro, Massachusetts. She attended Oregon State University where she studied geology. She soon realized that it was not just the “logic” of landscapes that engaged her, but the beauty of them – in her words, “Beauty informed by logic.” She turned her focus to making art. She received her Masters in Fine Art from the CCAC (California College of Arts and Crafts) in 1975.

La Pilande Basse This is a calendar of the July in 1999 when the artist enjoyed a residency with Judy and Mike O’Shea at the mill they reconstructed and made into an artists residency in southwest France. The images are printed from drypoints, direct gravures and etchings inspired by her time at la Pillande Basse. The text is Bookman Old Style Italic printed inkjet. The book was printed in San Francisco in 2014. Kay Bradner: La Pilande Basse drypoint, gravure and etchings, unique book 7.25 x 14”, 2014


Julie Chen San Francisco Bay Area

Julie Chen is a Book Artist who lives in Berkeley, CA. After completing a degree in printmaking at the University of California, Berkeley, Chen became intrigued by the language, equipment, and materials of Book Arts and entered the Book Arts program at Mills College. Book Arts encompass binding, letterpress, printing, and printmaking, combined with three-dimensional art. The finished products are unique three-dimensional pieces of art that include text. Chen’s books are considered exceptional for their craft and quality, while playfully teasing the conceptual limits of books. Always mindful of the reader who will interact with her structures, she selects paper to delight the eye and appeal to the touch, while creating forms that function as “vessels” for text, images, ideas and meaning. Despite the nontraditional forms it often occupies, the text in Chen’s creations is letterpress printed. In addition to teaching Book Arts at Mills College and operating Flying Fish Press, Chen regularly lectures on bookmaking and teaches workshops nationwide.

Family Tree Family Tree is a piece about the idea of personal identity as framed by one’s family history and family relationships. The piece consists of 16 wooden blocks with visual and written content on all 6 sides. When the blocks are placed in 4 rows of 4 blocks each, a continuous image with corresponding text is revealed. Each of the rows can be turned in order to reveal new content, or the blocks can be jumbled to allow the reader to create their own permutations of text and image.

Julie Chen, Family Tree digital prints laminated to wooden blocks, 9 x 9.25 x 2.625” edition of 50, 2013


Praxis Praxis (Illustrated) is an artist’s book that takes the reader step by step through the creative process of developing an idea into a work of art. Images of citrus fruits in various forms are used to illustrate stages of the process of research and development. The text takes on the form of statements of encouragement/reminders to trust the process and keep moving forward. The piece contains several movable mechanisms. “Praxis” is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realised. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire, Ludwig von Mises, and many others. It has meaning in the political, educational, and spiritual realms.

Julie Chen, Praxis letterpress printed artist book, 7 x 10.125 x .75” edition of 45, 2013


Christian Burchard Ashland, Oregon

Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1955, Christian Burchard has been living in the United States since 1978. Starting out as a furniture makers apprenticeship in Germany in the middle seventies, he studied sculpture and drawing at the Museum School in Boston then at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver BC. In 1982 he opened Cold Mountain Studio in Southern Oregon. His early focus was on furniture and interiors, but gradually shifted to woodturning and sculpture, moving between vessel oriented forms and sculptural turning. His work has been included in most of the major turning related exhibits of the last twenty something years and is exhibited widely throughout the US. His pieces are part of many public and private collections. His current work includes wall sculptures and freestanding sculptural objects. He is also sought after as a teacher and demonstrator at craft schools and conferences and related turning events. He currently resides with his wife on the outskirts of Ashland, Oregon.

Christian Burchard, Book #5 bleached madrone wood 11 x 13 x 11�, 2013


Betsy Davids San Francisco Bay Area

Initially a poet, Betsy Davids began making books in the early 1970s. Her Rebis Press, in partnership with James Petrillo, made editions of contemporary writing and art that became widely recognized for their innovative materials and structures. Her handmade unique bookworks and minieditions of recent years are sourced in travel experience and/or dream life. At California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts), Betsy started teaching letterpress in 1972, when few other printmaking programs did so. She was a mainstay of the college’s book art offerings for four decades, as well as the writing and graduate programs. Now Professor Emerita, she received a Lifetime Achievement award from the San Francisco Center for the Book in 2009 and a Distinguished Educator award from the College Book Art Association in 2014. Rain Water and Red Earth Davids began to learn traditional palm leaf engraving techniques in 2010 from artists in Raghurajpur, a Heritage Village in the state of Orissa, India. Lines are incised with a metal stylus on dried palm leaf pages. Handmade ink, smeared on with a finger, stays where the leaf has been cut and wipes clean elsewhere. In the traditional palm leaf book structure, the leaf pages were stacked and held together by a cord strung though a hole in each leaf. Here the leaves are left unbound as mandated by the Ideation card draw. The Tamil language of South India has a world-class ancient literature which includes this text, a celebrated love poem of a genre called “kurinci” after a mountain flower that blooms rarely. Kurinci poems are about erotic union. Mountains are the symbolic setting, and certain other natural-world phenomena are associated, such as rain, millet fields, parrots, peacocks, jack fruit trees, bamboo, tigers, and elephants. Betsy Davids, Rain Water and Red Earth palm leaf engraving 18 x 16”, 2013 15

Marie Dern San Francisco Bay Area

Marie C. Dern was born and raised in Salt Lake City. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and received a Bachelor of Arts degree. After graduation she followed a course of study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Marie returned to school in the 1980s and received a Master of Arts degree in Book Arts from Mills College in 1986. In 1974 Marie began Jungle Garden Press in Berkeley in the basement of a house surrounded by a wild garden. She has since printed and published more than 40 books, including her own writing as well as others. She also makes sculptural books, one of a kind and small editions. Her books are printed letterpress and are bound by hand with attention to combining structure and content of the book to illuminate the meaning of the text. The subjects are most often humorous and ironic. Books from Jungle Garden Press are found in many collections including the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Mills College Library and the New York Public Library. ZIP This accordian alphabet book includes collaged ornaments from: Ornaments, Decorative Designs, Special Characters and Initials of the Gage Printing Company, Ltd., 1914. The book is printed on Johannot paper in 120 point Caslon Type.


Marie Dern, Zip letterpress printed handmade book 4 x 5�, 2014


Jessica Drenk South Carolina

Jessica Drenk was raised in Montana, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today. Tactile and textural, her sculptures highlight the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Drenk’s work is also influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world. In 2009, Drenk received an Artist Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, funding the installation of Archaeologica at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona. In 2006, she was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award. Her work has been pictured in Sculpture, Interior Design, and Curve magazines and seen in shows at the International Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey, the Albuquerque Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art, the International Book Fair of Contemporary Creative Books in Marseilles, France, as well as galleries and art fairs across the United States. Jessica Drenk has an MFA from the University of Arizona, graduated Cum Laude from Pomona College, and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. Jessica currently recently moved to Titus, Florida.

Jessica Drenk: Cerebral Mapping III (right) books, glue, wax 126 x 44”, 2012 Jessica Drenk: Bibliophylum books, glue, wax 72 x 48”, 2012 18


Arián Dylan Oaxaca, Mexico

Arián Dylan (Arián Dylan Luján Pinelo), a 29-year-old native resident of Oaxaca, uses scalpels and knives to carve intricate abstract patterns and images into the surfaces of found books and magazines. A graduate of the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving in Mexico City, Dylan has shown his carved books, which he calls “Cavidades” (cavities), in solo and group shows in Chile, Spain, Japan, Canada and the U.S.

Order and Chaos Dylan’s Order and Chaos is a perfectly executed chess set created from carved pages of books and binding materials. It is a book object whose “story” involves kings and queens, castles and knights in endless conflict over power and territory. Dylan loves to read. His chess set, an interactive “Game of Thrones” reflects his observations about reading and what the reader brings to the text.

Arián Dylan: Order and Chaos carved books, binding materials wood 18.5 x 18.5”, each piece approximately 4 x 1.5 x 1.5”, 2012



Luciana Frigerio South Pomfret, Vermont

Over the past 20 years, Vermont-based artist Luciana Frigerio has developed an extensive black and white photography portfolio. However, recently she has turned her attention to paper arts, using books as the foundation for her folded book sculptures. For the original artwork, she uses recycled books and precisely folds each page into the desired letters using only Times or Helvetica as the font. Frigerio has been making photographs, objects, and paper arts for over 30 years and has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Luciana Frigerio: R.E.A.D. (upper left) recycled books, folded 20 X 10�, 2014

Luciana Frigerio: Inspire (lower left) recycled book, folded 10 x 12�, 2014


Casey Gardner San Francisco Bay Area

Casey Gardner has the combination of extraordinary creative thinking and exacting skills in bookmaking that make her an amazing force in the book arts world. After graduating from CU Boulder with a degree in journalism, she worked in newspaper and magazine publishing before enrolling in art school. She has a BFA in printmaking and graphic design from California College of the Arts. At CCA, she studied book art with Betsy Davids. Matter, Antimatter, and So Forth This is a book of seven stories about seven missions into seven celestial realms to investigate seven vital components of universal understanding: light, gravity, time, matter, infinity, and science. The seven folios are displayed in a star cluster and best read in sequence, but can be enjoyed randomly. Each folio includes a dispatch and layers of translucent exposures. Phoebe is a traveller through time and space in search of what matters. Along the way, she meets another intergalactic wayfarer, Amos, who is also on a quest. He seeks the 10th dimension which can only be reached by learning what is uniquely human. Together they travel to the end of the universe and back. Meanwhile, the two travellers investigate the workings of the universe; each of the seven folios chronicles a mission that revolves around a field of exploration: light, gravity, time, matter, infinity, constellations and science. On the back of each folio is a mission dispatch reporting their discoveries of meaning in the natural forces and phenomena of the cosmos. Each folio includes layers of translucent exposures. These multilayered artifacts reflect the time at the beginning of the universe when space became transparent and light could flow freely.

Casey Gardner: Matter, Antimatter, and So Forth letterpress printed artist book edition of 45, 6 x 9.5�, 2013 23

Alisa Golden San Francisco Bay Area

Alisa Golden works with the book as an expressive art form. She explores layered painting, printmaking, and boxmaking techniques, combining them with original poetry and short stories. In addition to her work with paper, she creates books and objects with materials such as handmade felt, beeswax, glass microscope slides, and sticks. She is the owner of never mind the press. Her books have been exhibited internationally are in the special collections of numerous universities, museums, and libraries across the country. Alisa is the author of five instructional books: Creating Handmade Books, Unique Handmade Books, Expressive Handmade Books, and Making Handmade Books (Sterling Publishing 1998, 2001, 2005, Lark Crafts 2011), and Painted Paper (Sterling/Lark Books 2008).

Woods in the City Nideggen and Ingres papers, Cherry Paperwood (veneer) paper, Cave Paper; Mylar; book cloth; Davey board, museum board; linen thread; letterpress printed from hand set Bodoni bold and italic and Onyx metal types, linoleum blocks, wood type, and photopolymer plates of handlettered words; book structure is a modified winged book designed by Alisa Golden The reading table installation was made from wood reclaimed from Golden’s backyard; sticks, lichen, tillandsia, and handmade felt. A woman buys a lot, demolishes a house, and to the astonishment of her neighbors—and to the woman watching and photographing the process turns it into a garden. The hardcover book in a windowed box was inspired by the architectural designs of Lebbeus Woods, and many of the decisions were based on a draw from the Ideation Cards created by Barb Tetenbaum and Julie Chen.


Alisa Golden: Woods in the City handmade artist book edition of 20, 6 x 10 x 13�, 2014


Andrew Hayes Asheville, North Carolina

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. After leaving school, Andrew worked in the industrial welding trade. While living in Portland, Oregon, bouncing between welding jobs and creating his own work he was invited to the EMMA collaboration. This one-week experience was liberating for Andrew and he was encouraged by his fellow collaborators to apply to the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts. During his time as a Core Fellow, Andrew was able to explore a variety of materials and technique. Surprisingly, the book became a big part of this exploration. In this work he faces the challenge of marrying the rigid qualities of metal with the delicacy of the book page. Among his teachers was artist Doug Beube, also in this exhibition. There is so much that appeals to Hayes about books: the history, the smell, the tactile reaction of fingers to the pages. He wants his pieces to whisper, not scream. “I’m trying to accomplish quietness in my work,” he says. “I hope to stop a person for a second.”

Andrew Hayes, Furrow (upper left) steel, book pages, 10 x 4.5 x 2, 2014 Andrew Hayes, Union (lower left) steel, book pages, 18 x 7 x 2”, 2014


Charles Hobson San Francisco Bay Area

Charles Hobson uses monotypes and printmaking variations to construct images for books and works on paper. He has been a faculty member of SFAI since 1990 and his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, the Whitney Museum and the National Gallery, among others. Usually following literary or historical themes, his work has covered topics as diverse as famous couples who met in Paris (Parisian Encounters) and Mark Twain’s imaginary diaries of Adam and Eve. His archive has been acquired by Stanford University.

Diderot Decaptioned Diderot Decaptioned is a series of ten vovelles contained in a box covered with the image of the spines of the Diderot Encyclopédie which was published in Paris between 1750 and 1770. It was innovative in describing and depicting with 3000 engravings many mechanical processes that were to transform the world. A vovelle is a paper disk attached behind a cover page so that the disk can be rotated to reveal alternative pieces of information on the cover page. Each vovelle shows a high resolution digital print of an engraving from the Encyclopédie chosen because of its puzzling and curious quality to our 21st century eyes. The disk of the vovelle can be rotated to show five different captions for the image including the original 18th century French along with four other captions which use humor and contemporary culture to offer an alternative to the original meaning.

Charles Hobson, Diderot Decaptioned Artist Book with vovelles contained in covered box edition of 12 9 x 13 x 12”, 2014

Each vovelle has pinholes in the upper corner, an invitation to mount several together on a wall with pushpins allowing an audience to interact with them, a design inspired by the title of the California Book Art Association exhibition focusing on presentation and installation. Diderot Decaptioned contains a short essay on the Encyclopédie and a folder containing the vovelles. It has been made as an edition of 12 copies. The book measures 13 x 9.5 x 1.5 inches and has been designed and assembled with the assistance of Alice Shaw. 27

Lisa Kokin

San Francisco Bay Area

Lisa Kokin received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, Kokin was most recently given the Dorothy Saxe Award from the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In October of 2013, Kokin presented How the West Was Sewn, a solo show at the Boise Art Museum. Kokin’s work has been featured in many books and articles including the upcoming Art Made From Books, Chronicle Press, edited by Laura Heyenga. Kokin makes art with recycled materials found in flea markets, thrift stores, and recycling centers. She has worked with buttons, photographs, and books, most recently with self-help books. Kokin’s work is often a critique of the socio-political status quo imbued with a healthy dose of levity and a keen sensitivity to materials and process. Sewing and fiber-related works play a key role in Kokin’s work, which she attributes to growing up in a family of upholsterers. Thread has, in her most recent body of work, become the primary material. Kokin explores irony and memory in her seemingly ephemeral pieces, allowing transiency itself to be immortalized in lasting works of art. Lisa Kokin’s Diagram and History of the World shine a spotlight on the look and aesthetic of print. Using the uniform teeth of zippers, Kokin sews them into straight lines of different lengths set in pages made entirely of thread. The work replicates the way text lays on a page, the zipper teeth in perfect alignment. The effect is elegant and minimal, with the reverential feeling of an Agnes Martin painting.

Lisa Kokin, Diagram (right, detail below) thread, zippers 21 x 15.5”, 2014


Lisa Kokin, History of the World thread, zippers 20 x 32�, 2014


Claire Kessler-Bradner San Francisco Bay Area

Claire is a second-generation San Francisco printmaker. Growing up in the culture of the print shop, she developed a love of process and problem-solving, seductive materials, equipment and tools, and the camaraderie of working together. These early interests have translated into three interrelated branches of her practice: a socially engaged inquiry into human connections in shared space, a studio practice where printmaking, bookmaking, drawing, and sculptural techniques meet this narrative social content, and a teaching practice designed to engage a new generation in the materiality and the diverse visual languages of art. Peg’s Archives is a book object exploring the artist’s relationship with her grandmother’s extensive documentation of their family history. All images are Monotypes and the text is printed using Xerox Transfer. The book is bound into a wooden box reminiscent of a library card catalog, a nod to Peg’s career as a research librarian. In addition to the one-of-akind original, a paperback trade edition of the text and images is also available.

Claire Kessler-Bradner, Peg’s Archives unique book, monotype, xerox transfer 20 x 16 x 7.5”, 2014


Vince Koloski San Francisco Bay Area

Minneapolis born artist, Vince Koloski has an extensive background in neon sculpture and was an integral member of the original group that founded the American School of Neon and St. Elmo’s Gallery. With a dual B.A. in sculpture and poetry, his interests have always been in the combination of form and content. For Koloski, making books that use light to create the images and text marries the symbolic and the practical aspects of light. Light in its role as a symbol of knowledge illuminating the symbols which transfer and preserve knowledge Is a powerful melding medium and meaning. Koloski’s 20th Century Fossil Book is a bit of a whimsical take on items that were common during the 20th century that are becoming “fossils” for all intents and purposes. They include a slide rule, vacuum tube, aluminum can pull tab, incandescent bulb, manual typewriter, cathode ray tube television, 8-track tape, computer punch tape, “church key” can opener, motor oil filler spout, rotary phone, safety razor, etc.

Vince Koloski, 20th Century Fossil Book laser etched acrylic sheet, limestone with fossils, aluminum, LEDs 6 x 4 x 18”, edition of 6, 2013


Guy Laramée Montreal, Canada

In the course of his 30 years of practice, artist Guy Laramée has created in such varied and numerous disciplines as theater writing and directing, contemporary music composition, musical instrument design and building, singing, video, scenography, sculpture, installation, painting, and literature. He has received more than 30 arts grants and was awarded the Canada Council’s Joseph S. Stauffer award for musical composition. His work has been presented in United States, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Latin America. Since 1986, he has authored several works. He has written the scripts and directed the following short films. He was the artistic director of PluraMuses, a company devoted to producing multi-disciplinary works and was also involved in the Meduse cooperative in Quebec City. He initiated and coordinated « L’espace traversé », a pan-Canadian conference on interdisciplinary art practices 32

Parallel to his artistic practice, he has pursued investigation in the field of anthropology. His fieldwork includes ethno-musicography of the Fetish ritual in Togo (1986), oracular imagination among healers in the Peruvian Amazon (1993-95), and concepts of creativity and imagination among contemporary artists (M.A. thesis, 2002). Ethnographic imagination is a characteristic in his artistic work. Laramée’s carved books are his metaphor for the degradation of human culture. The artist’s treatment of non-fiction information stems from his idea that knowledge is gained by erosion instead of accumulation. “I carve landscapes out of books. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply is.”

Michael O’Shea San Francisco Bay Area

Michael O’Shea obtained his MFA in 1993 in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has made a number of artist books. Michael is also a painter, printmaker and photographer. For ten years in France, he worked in collaboration with painter and ceramicist, JeanMichel Pret, on projects involving sculptures of printed ceramics. The last project incorporated ceramic sculpture in wood stelae. For over 20 years he has worked in large format photography using alternative non-silver printing techniques. To the Light is a 36 page book consisting of 30 cyanotype photographs of Northern California trees, and a three stanza poem written by the author. Front cover is a photogravure of a fog-bound oak tree. Paper - heavy weight kozo. Poem was typeset and printed at the SF Center for the book.

Guy Laramée, Cold Mountain Poem (left page) altered book, pva glue 7 x 9.5 x 1”, 2013 Michael O’Shea, To the Light (this page) handmade artist book, cyanotypes 6.5 x 9.75”, 2013


Emily Payne San Francisco Bay Area

Emily Payne grew up in Mill Valley, California and Amherst, Massachusetts. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio and her M.F.A. in Printmaking and Book Arts from San Francisco State University in 1999. She lives and works in Berkeley, California. This new series, entitled Topograpy, makes a further exploration of book as object. Every page has been glued and dried until the book forms a block which can be sanded to reveal it’s former history. The works have an uncanny presence, as if they might exist in geological time.


Emily Payne, Topography Series #2 (below, upper) altered book, pva glue 7 x 9.5 x 1”, 2013

Emily Payne, Topography Series #5 (below, lower) altered book, pva glue 4.5 x 6.5 x .75”, 2013

Emily Payne, Topography Series #1 (left) altered book, pva glue 7.5 x 10 x 1.5”, 2013 Emily Payne, Topography Series #4 (above upper) altered book, pva glue 4 x 5.5 x 1.5”, 2013 Emily Payne, Topography Series #3 (above lower) altered book, pva glue 5 x 7 x 1.25”, 2013 35

Donna Ruff Santa Fe, New Mexico

Donna Ruff grew up in Miami Beach, Florida, and was an award-winning children’s book illustrator in New York before earning her MFA at Rutgers University in 2000. Her work with books and graphics may have been genetically determined, since her greatgrandfather was a book binder in Russia and her grandparents were early recyclers of books and paper in Chicago. She retains an interest in series and reproduction in her work, and often incorporates printmaking in her book objects and installations. Using unconventional techniques to make densely patterned drawings that refer to calligraphy and natural forms, she finds beauty and inspiration in sacred texts such as the Torah and the Qur’an, but also in the New York Times and the Manhattan phone book; in cathedrals, mosques and synagogues, but also in the warehouses of Chicago and Brooklyn. In Es-tu comme moi?, (are you like me?) two nineteenth century letterpress books are joined in increasingly jumbled conversation. The books are two volumes of a number of stories published in France that are morality tales for young women. The text from a systematic series of pages from each book is cut and printed by lithograph on kozo paper.


Claudia Smelser San Francisco Bay Area

Claudia Smelser is a book designer by profession. Her artwork is a tribute to books and the place they used to occupy in our lives. She likes to work with are disintegrating volumes from early in the last century (she’ll take older if she can get them), often popular and mass-produced editions such as the early Modern Library series, which often have lovely typography and design. It may not seem reverent to launder books in the washing machine, or burn, bake, or encase them in wax, but these exercises are all means to make explicit the textures and small intimacies of folds and edges that accompanied the experience of reading.

This elegant wall collage, 242222, is a representation of books through time, displaying the markings, textures and thoughts people have left behind.

Donna Ruff, Es-tu comme moi? (left page) 19th c. French book of manners, lithography on kozo paper 18 x 7 x 4”, 2009

Claudia Smelser, 242222 (above) book pages 36 x 15.5 ”, 2012 37

Seiko Tachibana San Francisco Bay Area

Seiko Tachibana was born in Japan and completed her Masters of Art Education at Kobe University, Japan. She received an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1995, and has since received many awards including Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Award. She has been living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1993. Her distinctive work balances Asian tradition with minimalist modernity. Tachibana’s work has shown internationally also can be found in the Los Angeles County Museum, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco the Legion of the Honor, Portland Art Museum as well as a number of other museums, institutios and individual collections throughout USA, Europe and Japan. The marks, lines, shapes, colors, and textures in Fern are the basic language of Tachibana’s work and are analogous to cells in an organ. To carry the analogy further, small blocks and panels become like organs in a body, a body that is the whole of an artwork. In contemplating the similarities between these biological structures and her work, the artist began to notice that other living things, such as plants, sometimes bear a striking resemblance in form to some of these structures. Tachibana was fascinated by the mysterious life of “fern”. Ferns first appear in the fossil record 360 million year ago.


Seiko Tachibana, Fern carborundum, letter press, inkjet print 7.5 x 7.5 x .5�, 2014


Barbara Wildenboer, Dark Paradise II altered book 18.5 x 22�, 2013 40

Barbara Wildenboer

Cape Town, South Africa (courtesy of Erdmann Contemporary) Barbara Wildenboer has participated in several group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and had her 7th solo exhibition entitled Disjecta Membra at Amelia Johnson Contemporary in Hong Kong during April 2013. She is currently working on a body of work entitled The Lotus Eaters, which will open at The Reservoir at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein in 2014. 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 (Colombia, 2011) and the Rimbun Dahan artist residency (Penang, Malaysia, 2013). 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. Wildenboer was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1973. She obtained a Masters in Fine Art (with distinction) from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town in 2007. Before that she completed a BA (Ed) with majors in English literature, Psychology and Pedagogics at the University of Pretoria in 1996 followed by a Bachelor of Visual Arts from UNISA.

Barbara Wildenboer, Dark Paradise I altered book 18.5 x 22�, 2013 Barbara Wildenboer, Dark Paradise III altered book 18.5 x 22�, 2013


THE ART OF THE BOOK, 2014 Robert Berner Doug Beube Renee Billingslea Kay Bradner Christian Burchard Julie Chen Betsy Davids Marie Dern Jessica Drenk Arián Dylan Luciana Frigerio Casey Gardner Alisa Golden Andrew Hayes Charles Hobson Claire Kessler-Bradner Lisa Kokin Vince Koloski Guy Laramée Michael O’Shea Emily Payne Donna Ruff Claudia Smelser Seiko Tachibana Barbara Wildenboer


Profile for Seager Gray Gallery

The Art of the Book at Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley  

Ninth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials

The Art of the Book at Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley  

Ninth annual exhibition of handmade artist books, altered books and book-related materials