September 6, 2012

Jody Williams’ Books, Prints, & Collages On Exhibit in MN

(Minneapolis, MN) - Form+Content Gallery presents Starting from Nothing, an exhibition of artist’s books, prints, and collages by Jody Williams. Jody Williams has been taking photographs of nothing, or next to nothing, for decades. Until several years ago she hadn't realized that many of her photographs were images without subjects: no objects, creatures, or focal points, just simple horizon lines where rocks, sand, grass, water, and sky meet each other. She began adding more consciously to her collection of nothing, and decided to use it as the starting point for a new body of work, to be presented in her second solo exhibition at the gallery.
"Searching through photo albums, computer discs, and hard
drives, I was overwhelmed to find over 300 photographs of
basically nothing, including several from my first camera at age 10.
Wondering where to start, I printed them all out and began sorting.
Visual and conceptual categories emerged: ephemeral images of
mist and clouds; things that are not really things, such as shadows
and reflections; emptiness represented by holes or impressions;
disappearing light and approaching darkness; infinitesimal fields
of sand and grass; and evidence of things no longer there, such as
footprints and bare trees. I began reading and writing about
nothing, thinking about voids and vacancies, black holes, empty
space, absences, things gone missing, utter silence, and the loss
of meaning. Rather than finding bleakness in nothing, I found it to
be an inspiring, evocative, and powerful concept." -Jody

For the first series using nothing for content, Williams chose five photographs and added a layer of linear elements and text by printing an etched copper plate onto archival inkjet prints on Japanese paper. Thirteen other images inspired a series of collages, each featuring a photograph on Japanese paper, embossed typewritten text, a postage stamp depicting nothing, and a drawing
created with tiny holes from a needle.

Some of the images seemed to go together in pairs of panoramas and details, not necessarily from the same location. These pairs were collected into five artist's books: Light, Water, Grass, Crystal, and Rock, produced as a one-of-akind series, as well as a set of limited edition miniature books. Another limited edition artist's book, Next to Nothing, will also be previewed in the exhibition. It does not exist as of this press release, which seems oddly appropriate.

Artist Biography
Jody Williams lives in Minneapolis, where she publishes artist’s books under the name Flying Paper Press and teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. She received a BFA from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and an MFA in printmaking from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Her work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Historical Society, and many other museums and libraries in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has participated in over 200 exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Williams’ honors include fellowships, grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota Craft Council, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has held residencies at the Frans Masereel Printmaking Center (Kasterlee, Belgium), ArtPark (Lewiston, New York), Women’s Studio Workshop (Rosendale, New York), and the Carleton College Library (Northfield, Minnesota). In 2008 she received the inaugural Minnesota Book Artist Award from the Minnesota Book Awards and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Williams' website:

Mission Statement
Form+Content Gallery will nurture diverse artistic practice and thoughtful dialogue. We value art as a catalyst for critical thinking. We value integrity and the artistic process. We aspire to link personal expression to broader social contexts. Form+Content Gallery is dedicated to moving the definitions and practice of culture forward in new and lively ways. Suggestions and ideas for cultural partnerships and programs are welcome.
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