Thursday, September 16, 2010


A National Exhibition of Book Art
July 11 - September 19, 2010

Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek

book,artYesterday I took BART over to Walnut Creek to see this is exhibit of book arts at the Bedford Gallery in the Lesher Center of the Arts. The show includes a diverse range of works by over 60 artists. Many of the works are homages to the form of the tradition printed book. The show opens with a whimsical toy train made of sawed-up books sewn together, with wooden spools as wheels. There are simulacra of books made of ceramics or wood. Pamela Paulsrud sanded old books down to palm-sized stones that feel like they have been polished smooth by tides. David Stein created specimens of an Unlikely Library, with titles like the "Obsolete Technology Bulletin" & "Remaining Vigilant Against Cooties" by Jean Piaget.

I liked Cara Barer's color photographs of books whose pages have been molded into beautiful biomorphic shapes. I also like the dense forest atmosphere of Alison Yates's Quell, a 3-D story book about a hunter & his prey. A small number of the books can be handled. I enjoyed leafing through Sas Colby's collage books made of discarded & arcane printed materials, such as a German planner for accordion lessons. I was surprised to see a picture book by Andy Warhol, complete with a pop-up can of Hunt's Tomato Paste.

The exhibit closes this weekend, & I am glad I made the trip to see it. Unfortunately there is no catalog for the show, but the gallery has an on-line slideshow.

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