June 2009 | Michael Lieberman

Book Sculptors at BAM

Guy Laramée, Pétra (2007). Sandblasted encyclopedias, pigments
13 x 11.25 x 8.5 in. Courtesy Gallerie Orange, Montreal and the artist
Photo: Guy L'Heureux © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SODRAC, Montreal.

Wondering what to do with those old encyclopedia's or those obsolete white pages that keep landing in your driveway? Perhaps a trip to the Bellevue Art Museum might help.

"The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book"is the latest installment in
the Bellevue Art Museum's (BAM) ongoing Material Evidence series.

The show features work by some of today's leading artists working with books including pieces by Brian Dettmer, James Allen, Noriko Ambe, Long-Bin Chen, Jacqueline Rush Lee and Georgia Russell among others.

"The works in this exhibition reveal new and unexpected layers of meaning that go beyond the book as a source of information and offer a fresh look at its place in an increasingly digitally oriented world. The Book Borrowers is both a nostalgic homage to the book and a reflection on our current progression beyond it."

Alan Corkery Hahn. Dictionary. Courtesy Gallery IMA Seattle

This is the second stellar book-related museum exhibit in the Seattle area within the last 2 years; The Seattle Asian Art Museum hosted the seminal exhibit Shu: Reinventing Books in Contemporary Chinese Art in 2007.

Long-Bin Chen. Guan Ying with Flower Crown (Ming Dynasty), 2007
Manhattan white pages phone books. 22 x 12 x 13 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and Frederieke Taylor Gallery, NYC

Here's a video of Casey Curran's "The Whale" which is also featured in the exhibit.

The future looks bright for book infused art.

See also:  Jonathan Shipley's piece on the exhibit, Running With Scissors, in the March issue of Fine Books & Collections

Previously on Book Patrol:
The Book Gods of Contemporary Chinese Art