Friday, November 19, 2010

Opening of Object Focus: The Book

It's been a busy week!

Wednesday night saw the member/artist/staff opening of Object Focus: The Book, a new exhibit at Portland's Museum of Contemporary Craft--a show I have been helping with for the past couple of months as a curatorial assistant.

Ed Ruscha's Every Building on the Sunset Strip, often heralded as one of the first contemporary artists' books, 1966.

It is the first show in a new Object Focus series for the museum, where, each year, for several months, a different craft medium will be highlighted. The Book contains 70+ works from book artists both local and international, contemporary and historical, all handpicked from Reed College's special collection of artists' books. Over the months I had the pleasure of examining and photographing the collection for museum use, including works by Ed Ruscha, Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, John Cage, Sol LeWitt, Sonia Delaunay, (Ooo, Ahhh) right down to instructors with whom I have worked, like Barbara Tetenbaum, Inge Bruggeman, and Julie Chen.

The giant accordion book that serves as wall text and an introduction to the show in the lower gallery was folded by myself after being designed and printed by the museum's in-house graphic designer, so in a way I have a book in there too ;) although that is pushing it.

What I do have the pleasure of calling my own are five essays about five of the show's artists, which appear in the exhibition catalogue.

The catalogue can be downloaded here. While a few exist in the museum, one neat thing about this catalogue is it is meant to me downloaded and printed by you at home, at your leisure, on whatever kind of paper you want. The reader/printer can then take it to a local bindery or bookbinder and have it bound specifically to fit her needs, allowing the reader to take an active role in the very world the show wishes to exhibit.

I also proofread the whole darn thing so I don't want to hear about any typos from y'all :)

It has been a crazy few weeks, especially for the full-time curatorial staff at the Museum; Bravo to all for getting it up! It has been a wonderful show to have a part in as a book artist, and an important show for the MoCC and Portland... go check it out; it runs through February 26th.

More images/links of the opening coming soon.

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