Exploding the Codex

Palatium_Paradisi_Libro.jpgPaul Johnson's vivid pop-up, Palatium Paradisi Libro.
Photo credit: Charles Byrne.

The San Francisco Center for the Book is hosting an ambitious summer exhibition, featuring the work of more than forty book artists from the collection of the organization's co-founder Mary Austin. The name of the exhibition is apt: Exploding the Codex "explores the theater of the book and storytelling through structure." Which is to say, many of these books aren't contained within the physical form we often associate with books--folios, quartos, octavos.

Horse_Soul_Book.jpgJudy Serebrin's Horse Soul Book. Photo credit: Charles Byrne.

Curated by Daisy Carlson, the exhibit allows viewers to appreciate the size, shape, and dimension of each book, and ask themselves how that form adds meaning to the information being presented. Each piece celebrates the drama of book art: the wild, the abstract, the secretive.

Silverberg-Black_Torah.jpgRobbin Silverberg's Black Torah brings us back to the pre-codex scroll.
Photo credit: Charles Byrne.

Exploding the Codex runs through August 31, at the Austin/Burch Gallery at the San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro Street, Suite 334, San Francisco, CA.

Images courtesy of the SFCB.