Exhibit | January 16, 2013

Winter Exhibitions Opening at the Center for Book Arts

When: Friday, January 18th, 2013 until Saturday, March 30th, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, January 18, 2013 6-8pm
Where: 28 W. 27th St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001
Subway: N/R to 28PP th  St, or F to 23PP rd PP St
Open Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-6pm & Saturday 10am-4pm
Admission: Free

The opening reception for the winter exhibitions at the Center for Book Arts is Friday, January 18 2013 at 6pm.

Admission to the Center’s galleries is free and open to the public.

Brother, Can You Spare a Stack?
Organized by Yulia Tikhonova

Brother, Can You Spare a Stack? presents thirteen art projects that re-imagine the library as a force for social change. Each project constructs a micro library of sorts that serves specific economic or social needs within the community. Each project proposes an alternative politicized realm, which can be imagined and formed to explore the social dimensions of contemporary culture. Small and mobile, these projects resist the limitations of a controlled, highly organized system that governs our society. In contrast to subjective libraries formed by the artists picking and choosing book titles, these projects take a pragmatic and rational approach, using the library model as an interactive field. Selected projects update the principles of relational aesthetics, and shift them towards all-inclusive and useful cultural production.
Brother, Can You Spare a Stack? borrows its title from the lyrics of a popular depression era song, claiming that the artists invent alternative models of questioning, inspiring new perspectives on social transformation. They insert themselves into the most unexpected situations and spaces, in this case libraries, to propose social and cultural improvement.

The exhibition includes projects by: Arlen Austin and Jason Boughton; Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune; Stephen Boyer; BroLab (Rahul Alexander, Jonathan Brand, Adam Brent, Ryan Roa, and Travis LeRoy Southworth); Valentina Curandi and Nathaniel Katz; Finishing School with Christy Thomas; Anna Lise Jensen and Michael Wilson; Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden; The K.I.D.S. with Word Up Collective, Eyelevel BQE, Launchpad, NURTUREart, Weeksville Heritage Center, and individual partners, as well as with Emcee C.M., Master of None; Annabel Other; Reanimation Library; The Sketchbook Project; and Micki Watanabe Spiller.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.

Also on view:

Featured Artist Projects: Tomie Arai: Tales from Home

Tomie Arai is a public artist who designs community-based projects that explore the relationship between art and history. Collaborating with historians, writers, curators, architects, activists and community residents, she creates works of art that present multiple perspectives and points of view. Through the use of family stories, shared memories and archival photographs, Tomie constructs pages of ‘living’ history that reflect the layered and complex narratives that give meaning to the spaces we live in. 

The pieces in this Featured Artists exhibition include large silkscreened monoprints and artist books made of wood and found objects. Through these constructions, Tomie explores the ways the printed image can transform the functionality of the materials we find in our environment.

Candace Hicks: Fabrications

As an ardent reader, Hicks naturally gravitates toward creating books and printing. Most of her projects take the form of books or series of prints as each represents an inquiry or sustained reflection on a given subject. Taking note of coincidences is akin to the kind of observation a landscape or portrait artist practices. Her observations take the form of hand-stitched texts that she calls Common Threads. Sewing every line, letter, and illustration in the books enhances their status as objects. By laboring over a composition book, painstakingly recreating it by hand, Hicks has found a way to express the insignificant as potentially philosophical. Just as a landscape or portrait painter’s observations allow them to reproduce a version of reality; her scrutiny of repetition creates a narrative that navigates fictional universes.

Her latest project, String Theory: Understanding Coincidence in the Multiverse undertakes to explain coincidence through science. String Theory is her first attempt to form a hypothesis about the meanings and rules that govern coincidence. Part pseudo-scientific humor, part genuine awe at the complexity of the cosmos, String Theory is an embroidered book in three volumes in which the text and images are entirely rendered in thread. In conjunction with her books is a new series of prints, Compositions. She resolves the abstract patterns on the covers of cheap composition books into representational images. Fabrications connects pattern seeking and coincidence with work that deals with memory and observations from reading.

Permanent Collection Spotlight: An Ode to Libraries

To complement the main gallery exhibition, artworks that repurpose library systems and materials from the Center’s Collection will be on display. Featuring artwork by Bureau for Open Culture; Dexter Sinister; Stephen Gan, Cecilia Dean, and James Kaliardos; Bruce McLean, SKART, Tom Trusky, Sam Winston, among others.

The Center for Book Arts is committed to exploring and cultivating contemporary aesthetic interpretations of the book as an art object, while invigorating traditional artistic practices of the art of the book. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary art and literature through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting. Founded in 1974, the Center for Book Arts was the first organization of its kind in the nation.