October 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Book Art of Buzz Spector on Exhibit

exhibitions2015_spector-01-320x240.jpgBuzz Spector: The Book Under (De-)Construction opened at the Center for Book Arts in New York City earlier this month. Organized by the CBA's executive director and curator Alexander Campos, this exhibit explores more than three decades of Spector's altered books, book stacks, and collages made from clipped dust jackets. It is held in conjunction with an artist talk, scheduled for November 20, with a master class following on November 21-22. 

We profiled Spector and his tactile book art back in our spring 2014 issue. At the time, he told Richard Minsky, "Touch has always been central to my work." Spector further described his first found altered book project:

...The Evolution of a Life: or, From the Bondage of Superstition to the Freedom of Reason by the Rev. Henry Truro Bray. I loved the title, and as a visual pun I tore out the superstition and left the reason. Actually I started making it as a model of a blank book that I wanted Bill to bind for me. I started getting chills altering it after about thirty pages. As I tore the pages away I realized it still looked like pages and columns, but made nonsensical letterforms.
    At first it was the tearing gesture that was the intersection of physical process and text, and I quickly moved on to tearing them and painting on them, or digging into them with X-acto knives to form miniature geographies, and gluing small artifacts onto the surface. After about a year I discovered other artists were embellishing found printed books and realized that it was the tearing of pages that was the significant gesture. I started making serious choices about what book to alter.
The exhibit is up through December 12.

Image: Buzz Spector's Altered K, via the Center for Book Arts.