There’s more than one way to tell a story. In this exhibition, we’ve paired artists’ books from the Jaffe Collection––all of which take a slightly different approach to the delivery of their narrative––with works created by students of JCBA International Programs Director Jeanne Jaffe. In the Fall Semester of 2018, inspired by puppetry and shadow plays, Jaffe taught classes at Xian Academy of Fine Arts and at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, both in China. Her students there created the marionettes and puppets featured in our exhibition and told stories through them. Many are accompanied by stop motion animations.
As for the books we’ve paired with the students’ works, you’ll find works here by Anne Kresge, who asks us to view her stories through shadow puppets and through kites on the wind, and by Ron King of the Circle Press, who also makes use of puppets. Warja Lavater was an artists’ book pioneer who retold popular fairy tales through code, and Betina Pauly brings us the story of Hansel and Gretel through paper dolls in a book that opens to a stage set. Lynd Ward and Frans Masereel give us stories told through visuals with no text in wordless novels that were created in the 1920s. Before them, in the 1910s, F.T. Marinetti, founder of the Italian Futurists, advocated for "Parole in Libertà”––Words in Freedom: the idea that typography should be expressive and that poetry should look on the printed page as it sounds. And so our exhibition includes work by Marinetti and by Luciano Folgore, another Futurist poet, and a contemporary piece inspired by the Futurists by Howard Munson. Clifton Meador creates his own typeface, made entirely of images of people in procession at a holy site. And Chris Ware, the graphic novelist, rounds out our exhibition with the boxed set of books that gives this show its title.