Book Artchitecture

Curated by Richard Minsky for the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

An exhibition in which the structure of the book supports the metaphor of the content or is the content.

For thousands of years people have been concerned with the preservation of visual and conceptual information. From the caves of Lascaux to the videodisc we have been concerned with such parameters as durability, portability, density of data storage, and accuracy of communication.

This exhibition contains work done during the last decade. The structure and form of the book are primary to the value of the works. Some, such as Gary Frost’s Five Binding Structures and Hedi Kyle’s April Diary, are directly about form as content. For others the choice of form relates to the contents or function of the book. Nat Dean’s Knot, Mindell Dubansky’s Bookini, and the Tetrascroll, conceived by Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller, relate content to form in this maner. Susan Share’s work blurs this direction, making use of book construction methodologies and properties to achieve varied sequential imaging system.

Several of the works are accompanied by supporting material. In Stella Waitzkin’s H. — A Biographer, we see the book as a totem or icon. In the artifact’s accompanying statement we learn the background of it—about a book that is a weapon.

In all the works in this exhibit we see the vision of artists who regard the book as more than a container for literary or visual information. It is my hope that BOOK ARTCHITECTURE will stimulate awareness of contemporary explorations of ancient forms.

Center for Book Arts’ exhibitions are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, and the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Special support for this exhibition has been provided by the Ocker & Trapp Library Bindery. Our thanks to William B. Walker, Chief Librarian, and his staff at the Thomas J. Watson Library.

Exhibition Checklist:

Douglas Beube

  • The Wildman
    (1982) Ceramic with leather thongs.

Phyllis Bilick

  • Message Book
    (1982) Painted wood and dyed paper.

Nat Dean

  • Knot
    (1980) “Girdle book” of black Oasis leather; mounted paintings.

Mindell Dubansky

  • Bookini
    (1985) One size fits all. Mixed media.

Joan Flasch

  • Untitled
    (1984) Paper, alum tawed pigskin thongs.

  • Untitled
    (1984) Bookcloth, leather thongs.

Gary Frost

  • Five Binding Structures
    (1984) 1. Long stitch; 2. Unsupported sewing, laced; 3. Supported sewing, laced; 4. Laced case; 5. Case construction laced.

  • The Tracts of Moses David and the Children of God
    (1979) Mixed media. Loaned by The Newberry Library.

Maria Grandinette

  • Untitled
    (1981) Paper, ribbon.

Ric Haynes

  • Aquatic Yoga with Dangerous Foods
    (1983) Mixed media. Loaned by The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry.

Randolph Hunt

  • Bi-Focal Book: Memory and Diary
    (1980) Leather, bookcloth.

Hedi Kyle

  • April Diary
    (1979) Laminations of various oriental and domestic papers, reversed writing, images with watercolor and color pencils. From the collection of Richard Minsky, New York, NY.

  • Circus
    (1984) Mixed media.

Jenny  Leimert

  • Untitled
    (1983) Mixed media.

Barbara  Mauriello

  • Women of the Bible: From Abigail to the Queen of Sheba
    (1985) 16 cubes covered in remnants of an 18th century illustrated book with handwritten text on paper accordion inside each cube, all in a cloth folding box.

Richard  Minsky

  • Tetrascroll, Model of Buckminster Fuller’s
    (1979) Bookcloth. Loaned by Polly Lada-Mocarski.

Jan  Paris

  • Horn Book #2
    (1983) Mixed media.

Susan Joy  Share

  • Vivian’s Photos
    (1984) Eight acrylic painted photo-collage books connected by a common cord. BOOKS

Pamela  Spitzmueller

  • End to End Band
    (1982) Mixed media.

  • Stiff Spine/Soft Underbelly
    (1984) Mixed media.

Stella  Waitzkin

  • H. — A Biographer
    (1984) Sandstone and resin.

Exhibition Views

Black poster with light blue text
Poster advertising the exhibit
White postcard with light grey text and shapes in the background
Postcard advertising the exhibit
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