Norman B. Colp


Norman B. Colp was born in New York City in 1944. In 1967, Colp received his bachelor’s degree in art from Queen’s College and took classes at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design. Colp was a conceptual artist whose work drew on a familiarity with artists’ books, photography, model making, glass, and neon. His work took a range of forms including a piece entitled 24 Small Scale Art Thefts (1975) in which he “borrowed” 24 door stops from different museums and galleries around America.

From 1980-1983 Colp was the curator of exhibitions at Center for Book Arts organizing many shows including:

  • One Cubic Foot
    A traveling exhibit of twelve three-dimensional bookworks. October 4, 1983 – October 28, 1983
  • Less is More
    Limited edition and unique bookworks. December 18, 1982 – January 15, 1983
  • Back and Forth
    small scale book art exhibits: folded book forms by Axel Heibel. November 1, 1982 – November 30, 1982
  • Rolled Into One
    Small scale book art exhibits: scrolled bookworks by Basia Irland. October 4, 1982 – October 29, 1982
  • The Big Picture
    Small scale book art exhibits: very small books by Susan Bresler (mixed media of ink, pencil, water & enamel paint resist, on paper). September 1, 1982 – September 30, 1982
  • Painted: Over Pages
    Small scale book art exhibits: works by Jacqueline Freedman (all acrylic; on paper except where noted). June 1, 1982 – June 30, 1982
  • The Photographic Narrative
    Small scale book art exhibits: books by Phyllis Bilick. May 3, 1982 – May 28, 1982
  • The Open Book
    Small scale book art exhibits: works of Bruce Bacon — cast plaster, acrylic paint and some with wood or mixed media. April 1, 1982 – April 30, 1982
  • Stories Your Mother Never Told You
    Artists’ books which feature a narrative line within a visual work. March 21, 1982 – May 9, 1982
  • It’s Academic
    Small scale book art exhibits: works from Barbara’s Nessim’s class at Pratt Institute and Bruce Bacon’s class at the School of Visual Arts. March 1, 1982 – March 30, 1982
  • A DOZEN DAYS: Larger Than Life
    A series of small-scale book art exhibitions: oversized books. November 23, 1981 – December 4, 1981
  • A DOZEN DAYS: Illustration & Text
    A series of small-scale book art exhibitions: the work of Claire Van Vliet. November 9, 1981 – November 20, 1981
  • A DOZEN DAYS: Fresh Squeezed
    A series of small-scale book art exhibitions: hand made paper books from Floriday by Claire Jeanine Satin. October 12, 1981 – October 23, 1981
  • A DOZEN DAYS: Expanded Stacks Compressed
    A series of small-scale book art exhibitions: Susan Joy Share. September 28, 1981 – October 9, 1981
  • A DOZEN DAYS: Folded and Folded and Folded and Folded
    A series of small-scale book art exhibitions. June 22, 1981 – July 3, 1981
  • Entrapped
    The book as container. April 4, 1981 – April 30, 1981
  • To be continued
    The sequential image in photographic books. January 16, 1981 – February 13, 1981
  • The Book
    Seven artists/different visions. September 15, 1980 – October 18, 1980

In 1991, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority commissioned him to make Commuter’s Lament or a Close Shave which is a poem and one photo displayed on nine tiles mounted on the I-beams in the transfer hallway from the IND 8th Avenue/42nd St. station to the Times Square subway station. Colp also had solo exhibitions held at Hundred Acres Gallery in New York, and Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, England. In addition, he has been a part of group exhibitions all around the United States as well as curated several exhibitions. Norman B. Colp died August 28, 2007 at the age of 63.

More about Norman B. Colp

Smithsonian Archives of American Art: Norman B. Colp

NYC Subway: “The Commuter’s Lament/A Close Shave”

Norman B. Colp on

Norman B. Colp’s work was exhibited at CBA in:

In Antiquity the Inscribed Names of Deposed Kings Were Destroyed and Thus They Were Forgotten; [Not a Bad Idea.]
(1990) Edition #2
My books are all about the idea of sequence. Humor is frequently used and the art world has always been a favorite subject.

The Great American Anti-Novel
(1991) self-published; courtesy of Tony Zwicker. Edition of 10.

Crazy Hair
(1983) 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches. Published by Hand & Mind Books, 1983. Photo offset; accordion format. Edition of 500.

(1979) 20 3/4 x 6 3/8 inches. 10 color prints. A casebound book. Number 1 exhibited from an edition of 5.

(1979) 6 1/4 x 33 3/4 inches. C prints. Edition of 5.

(1979) 6 3/8 x 33 3/4 inches. C prints. Edition of 5.

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