Books as Aesthetic Objects
Collection

The Pop-Up Pinocchio

In 1933, “Nonna” gave to Jerry “with love and kisses” a book published the previous year in which Harold Lentz (without crediting Carlo Collodi the original author of the famous stories) re-tells Pinocchio tales and illustrates them with what we now call ‘paper... READ MORE

Promises Kept

All the definitions of irony are at work in Promises Kept, the verbal, the visual, the dramatic and even the physical. READ MORE

Reunion

Text of course tells a story – everyone who has ever picked up a book knows that, and knows too that a series of photographs also can create a narrative. Karen Hanmer’s artistry in Reunion lies in the integration of the two media, combining them with particular book arts technique into a quietly powerful whole. READ MORE

Sense 9

Open Sense 9 by Timothy Ely, and you may wonder if you've discovered a rare artifact from some ancient civilization, one that communicated with a language long since dead. This private language that Ely has developed conveys a message that is beyond our reach, since we don't have the tools to crack the code. But the book definitely is scientific in nature: we can discern references to astronomy, and to physics, geometry and mathematics... READ MORE

Soap Story

A present, a puzzle and a parable – Angela Lorenz’s work comes wrapped as a gift of soap with both a secret and a story. The colophon itself is printed on a reproduction of a page from a woman’s magazine, October 1956, titled “Mani di Fata” or Hands of the Fairy.” READ MORE

Spanish Landscapes

It is in the simple artistry, prose, and craft that artist Susan Allix speaks to us in Spanish Landscapes. You follow the artist through her time in Spain but in a way and with an expression which offers such great insight that are you not so much transported to the place, than the mind of the witness living in that moment of time. In one description, Susan explains, “When you come here you find that nothing has changed….the village, once a distant patch of white against the sea, is now growing over the next hill, but it makes little difference. READ MORE

Tear Here

"Tear Here started with taking a set of military uniforms, cutting off the arms and legs, and lashing them back together with red thread. Then I took digital images, tore at the seams, and visually documented the seams ripping apart.... READ MORE

The Red Square/Moscow

The invocation in English and Russian appears on the back cover of this physical and imaginative representation of a single building's presence. The front cover is dimensional, a super-imposed detail of a street map incorporated into the geometrical graphics of the title. READ MORE

The Tragedie of Hamlet

The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke. Edited by J. Dover Wilson Litt.D. from the text of the second quarto printed in 1604-05 "according to the true and perfect coppie” with which are also printed the Hamlet stories from Saxo Grammaticus and Belleforest and English translations therefrom. Illustrated by Edward Gordon Craig. Weimar: The Cranach Press, 1930. READ MORE

They All Laughed

Chicago artist Karen Hanmer makes one of the best uses we've seen yet of Hedi Kyle's popular Flagbook structure: she uses the planes of the opposing panels to contrast two themes: archival documents about the Wright Brothers' first manned, powered flight are presented alongside the lyrics from the George and Ira Gershwin song "They All Laughed." READ MORE

The Complex of All of These

Here it is, a book. How many hundreds, thousands maybe, have we held, seen, read? In every book, of course, we can evaluate and appreciate the content; but in this book we are privileged: we can also see the actual labor of making the physical object: the book. READ MORE

The Khmer Legacy

Growing up, Andrew Binder was fascinated with icons of Thai temple rubbings—not your typical childhood passion. The Khmer Legacy, arguably Binder’s finest work to date, is a three-dimensional journey that traces and reinterprets the origins of far eastern iconography and myth, resulting in a handsome, grand-scale, popup-form book. READ MORE

THE PASSION

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about Easter. But here are a few things I do know about: 1) Coffee 2) Deep shades of purple 3) Comically oversized books 4) James Brown. Sadly, my knowledge of James Brown will prove useless once again because the James Brown we are dealing with today is not James Brown the musician (1933-2006), but James Brown the American artist who lived in France and Mexico (1951-2020)... READ MORE

The Pharmacy of Crippling Hope

The Pharmacy of Crippling Hope. What can be said about a book, which isn’t really a book at all, or is it?Instructional, bound, and fully ironic, artist Jessica Poor, or Dr. J. Poor MD as she is listed as the prescriber of this work, offers us a humorous look at self-preservation that without perspective, can be a hard pill to swallow, pun intended. READ MORE

The Picture of Dorian Gray

If ever you wished to peer inside the mind of an artist, then Jim Dine’s work, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is the perfect book for you... READ MORE

Trees

"Trees has been made as a limited edition of thirty copies in the spring and summer of 2010. The images of palm trees have been made as monotypes that have been reproduced as high-resolution digital prints on transparent film. READ MORE

Working Philosophy

To appreciate the scope of the Jaffe Collection, take a giant mental leap: before you stand two objects, the Cranach Press 1930 edition of Hamlet and Melissa Craig’s three-foot tall fiber creation, “Working Philosophy.” READ MORE

Would You Vote for a President

In a homely manila bookwrap tied with blue strings, Joan Goswell packages a book bound in the American Flag. She uses stamps for both text and some illustrations corroborating the feeling of immediacy and protest to a sardonic denunciation of the presidency of George W. Bush. Goswell's tricks include an "extra joker" playing card picturing President Bush and describing him as "a court appointed President, jammed into the deck by the Project for a New American Century and the Supreme Court." The card's value: "Joker: takes the place of a real card." Each section of commentary continues the title question by appending a "who" clause - as in " who posts this [a transcript of remarks by the President about ordering ribs at the Nothin' Fancy Cafe in Roswell, N.M.] on the official White House Web Site? Attacking President Bush's economic social and defense programs, as well as making fun of his personal predilections. Goswell ends the book with "and remember...One-two-three-four, kick the liar out the door!" READ MORE