If you are anywhere near Minneapolis in July or August, bookmark these items in your calendar and make your way to the Traffic Zone and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts:
2 July through 10 August — “Wallpaper: an altered book experiment”, Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art Mission, 50 Third Avenue North
15 June through 21 October — “Formation: A Juried Exhibition of the Guild of Book Workers”, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Suite 100
20 July through 30 September — “Freud on the Couch: Psyche in the Book”, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Suite 100
Harriet Bart and Jon Neuse are curating the intriguing exhibition “Wallpaper”. They invited twelve artists, known for their engagement with the art of the book, to participate in an experiment. The artists were each given a copy of the book Wallpaper: A Collection of Modern Prints by Charlotte Abrahams and tasked with using it, its form and/or content, to deliver an original work.
The result of the Neuse/Barton effort is a mixed media exhibition well worth pondering. Below is a sampling of photos from the exhibition (links lead to the artists’ sites).
As always with book art, there is the self-reflexive, self-referring humor: Jon Neuse’s pun on the book scroll housed in a house-shaped codex in which miniature scrolls of wallpaper are housed and Scott Helmes’ pronunciation-entitled work subtitled with a joke to which the work’s sculpture is the punchline. The exhibition also covers a good variety of the forms book art has taken and may pursue even further in the future: Vesna Kittelson’s carving, Joyce Lyon’s accordion book, Doug Beube’s excavated book (not shown), and Harriet Bart’s painted-book homage to Charlotte Perkins Gilmore’s short story “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and Yu-wen Wu’s digital take on the challenge.
It is not far from Traffic Zone to the MCBA: a 5-minute drive, a 24-minute walk or bus ride. A rare occurrence to have three book art exhibitions within such close proximity.
Subsequent to this notice, one of the participants – Doug Beube – posted the following demonstration of his contribution Wallpaper Selfie.