The 1996 annual Artist Members Exhibition. Books that examine human efforts to grapple with things wholly unknown or only partially understood. These books recount the unfolding process of scientific discovery and explorations into uncharted territories, as well as confront ideas related to those unseen worlds where rationality and reason suddenly fail to make sense of the Chaos…While some works proclaim a confidence in the logical of positivism when describing the wonders of nature or the design of the cosmos, others express an intuitive and consciously imperfect version of life on earth…To convey these ideas, many of the artists have created unique book structures that unfurl, spiral open, or are contained in an architectural element. As well, unusual materials are often utilized…These are frequently incorporated into surrealistic sculptures or juxtaposed with conventional image-making techniques like photography, painting, printmaking, and collage. All of these artworks in some way break with a traditional function of books: rather than conforming the viewer with an organized view of the world, the books here concede ot the inaccessible, as well as recognize the inevitable limits that personally define each of us.
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.