Paper, Art & the Book
September 27 - December 7, 1996

Participating Artists

Stefan Arteni &
Myriam de Arteni

Eugenie Barron
Guy Beining
Martha Carothers
Robert Checchi
Beatrice Coron
Betsy Davids
Donna Emerson
Michael Ensminger
Anita Lynn Forgach
Rebecca Goodale
Victoria Hanks
Caren Heft
Helen Hiebert
Angeline Labrucherie
Iain Machell
Joyce McDaniel
James Pernotto
Sarah Peter
Robin Price
Marilyn Rosenberg
Susan Rotolo
Miriam Schaer
Ann Corley Silverman
Claire Van Vliet
Jennifer Vignone
Beck Whitehead
Andrea Zemel

    Michael Ensminger
    Dance, Daddy, Dance #5
    11" x 8 1/2"
    Children's coloring book pages, flasche

    This piece is about the intrinsic structure of books, how this structure conveys meaning and how we perceive visual information and its composition. I am interested in how the paper -- the primary structure -- can carry meaning, in and of itself, and provide another layer of content to the finished piece. This is acquired through a passage of time apparent in the scars, discoloration and other traces of age and use, as well as in the markings of my hand. The qualities of the paper also carry with them a cultural significance.

    I explore the way these three things: the paper, the illustration, and the text come together to inform each other. Along with my recycling of these components and their historical and/or cultural meanings, I provide a visually reductive, abstract reference to a perception of "the book" and its possibilities.

    Anita Lynn Forgach
    Title sheets for the "Words & Hands" Portfolio
    A Contemporary Czech Art and Literature Edition of Prose
    23 1/2" x 16 1/2"
    Text by Zdenek Urbanek
    Designed by Tom▀s Machek
    Printed by Jiri Liska and Peter Kruty.
    Letterpress printing, embossing, and pigment on Velke Losiny cotton handmade paper made by Tomas Hruska.
    Single leaf portfolio housed in linen-covered clamshell box.
    Edition of 200

    Nationalism was created on an International Research and Exchanges Board for Scholars Fellowship (IREX) to the Czech Republic. This collaboration with Zdenek Urbanek, noted Czech writer, translator and essayist is selected from one of two portfolios, one of poetry and one of prose, entitled "Words and Hands" "Slova a Ruce" Contemporary Czech Art and Literature Portfolios. Each portfolio in its entirety consist of twenty poets/writers (including President V▀clav Havel) collaborating with twenty artists form the Fine Arts Academy of Prague. The specially written text by the authors is in the original language with English translation - each appears on a separate sheet of paper. "Words and Hands" continues Czech tradition of collaboration between literature and the visual arts and honors the centuries-old tradition of fine paper-making as it is still performed at the Renaissance papermill Velk? Losiny in Northern Moravia. These works highlight the flourishing literary and artistic traditions of Central Europe. The goal is to create a fully integrated graphic work in which text, visual image and paper compliment and illuminate one another. The collaboration thus expresses different voices listening to, responding to, overlapping with and amplifying one another.

    Rebecca Goodale
    She Talks in Circles
    32" x 22"
    Silkscreened and hand colored on handmade rag and coconut paper, book cloth, ribbon, wood, ink
    Folded banner book
    Second edition of 5

    The books that I make include unique (one-of-a-kind) volumes and limited silkscreened editions. My motifs include loquacious female figures, quiet wanderings in dream-like landscapes, and feminine biology. I am concerned with structure and create books in a variety of physical forms. Some are cascading accordion books that are six feet tall, while others are more intimate objects which incorporate a variety of materials and media to generate images as well as original texts.

    Victoria Hanks
    Excerpts from the Other Side
    26" x 16 x 3"
    Ink, glue, graphite, gesso, papier-mache with Italian newsprint

    This piece was made during a eight week stay in Venice, Italy in the summer of 1995. The impetus for making a book came from looking at a show of women's artist's books shown at an art academy in the city. The mostly hand-made, painted, xeroxed, molded, etc. assortment prompted me to make a rough-hewn volume out of ubiquitous Italian newspapers. The book is all imagery; text appears only in the form of what is still visible of the various newspapers used.

    The book is one object as well as multiple objects due to its pages or compartments. The reader/viewer experiences the whole and segments simultaneously through a language of visual forms and tactile shapes. This intuitive type of communication, as opposed to a more structural formal organization of words and sentences refer to women's ""alterity"". Woman, as other as foreigner (though often fluent and productive in a plurality of arenas) feels and conveys her own language in a subterraneous society, within the dominant male environment.

    Caren Heft
    Pagan Babies
    9" x 6" x 1/4"
    With Roger David, Barbara Duffey Hardy, Pat Kardas and Susan Mann
    Letterpress book on Root River Mill abaca paper with found pages of a letterpress printed Bible from the 1860s
    Edition of 59

    Pagan Babies is a series of accounts of a fund raising activity used by the Catholic Church prior to and during the 1950's, until Vatican II. The book came into being over lunch with my colleagues at the Wustum Museum. It seems that everyone but me grew up Catholic. Over that lunch, other staff members were sharing pagan baby stories. I asked each of them to write down their memories of the activity and the book resulted.

    Oral history has long been an interest of mine and of the press. It seems to me that not enough documentation is done on the small things which go into making each of us an adult human being. My grandmother, who died in the 1980s at 97 years old, used to take me to the backyard of her house, point out her huge mulberry tree filled with purple stained grandchildren and say "Someone must write this down, someone must tell people how it was." Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much I valued what she knew until she died.

    Helen Hiebert
    6" x 28" x 6"
    pigmented linen on cotton handmade paper
    Unbound accordion

    My books are the result of a process; an evolution. They begin as concepts and become objects through the execution of cutting and folding. The cutting and folding process alters the sheet of paper, but no piece of the sheet is removed. Thus, if unfolded, the sheet returns to its original state and the viewer can examine how the structure "came to life." Through simple manipulations of the material, new structures emerge.

    The paper of this particular book, handmade from linen scraps, reminds me of the adobe which surrounded me in the southwest of my childhood days. My interest in architecture is apparent in the geometry and symmetry of these constructions. Light is also important to me in these structures. As it interplays with the repetitive forms and casts soft shadows onto the pages of the book, new forms are created. My books are continual experiments. As I decide how to cut the signatures and bind them together, ideas for new structures develop. The excitement of finding new structures and patterns, new ways to look at the same thing, inspires me and leads to new works.

    Angeline Labrucherie
    History of Writing
    8 1/2" x 7" x 6 1/4"
    Poster board and misc paper, polymer clay, papyrus, cotton string, wood

    This piece weaves my love of linguistics and art together. About 142 examples of written languages from throughout history and from around the world decorate the steps of his tower, one language example per step. The tower, when disassembled, reveals 8 chambers, 7 of which contain vehicles of writing from history: hieroglyphic writing on papyrus, a quipu made out of string, an Australian message stick made out of polymer clay, a Phaisdos disc, also of Polymer clay, a found wooden disc with a Greek-like language and a small book with English text. The book, which has an ancient map (c.1400s) for the cover, contains the text:

    Divergent cultures over time
    Invented unique symbol and sign
    To record ideas, to tally for trade
    Now, English prevails, other languages fade

      Iain Machell
      Objets Perdus Book 5
      26" x 10" x 2 1/2"
      Dieu Donn? handmade cotton paper, rust
      Pamphlet binding
      Edition of 4

      Objets Perdus is an ongoing sculptural investigation into the physical and conceptual nature of the book. The book form brings the element of time into the spatial problem, and the possiblity of reading sculpture simultaneously as pictorial and spatial representation, on a vertical and horizontal axis.

      Books 1-7 were created during a one-week residency at Dieu Donn? Papermill in 1994. Discarded industrial forms -- "lost objects" -- were cast into the wet pages and allowed to rust. The seemingly fragile pages, with the positive and negative shapes of each object "trapped" in the folds like fossils, bring to mind books of preserved specimens, which is further enhanced by the organic stains of the bleeding rust. The resulting sheets were stitched into book forms to create time-based visual sequences, engaging the conflicting dialogue between nature and industry.

      Joyce McDaniel
      Monday or Tuesday
      6" x 5" x 5"
      Dressmaker pattern paper, stones, lead, wire mesh

      Virginia Woolf queried what it means to be female; what it means to bear burdens of subordination, accommodation, patterns of lower expectations, rage, even quiet despair. Her life, work and death have struck a resonant cord within me. She chose to own her own death by filling her pockets with stones and walking into the River Ouse. In my attempt to understand that event, I created a series of work paying sculptural homage to her. This piece is part of a series of work dedicated to Virginia Woolf.

      James Pernotto
      Vinny in Tahiti
      Unique page from manipulated book Ghost Ship to Treasure Island
      32" x 24" x 2"
      Formed paper, sea shells, pigment, acrylic paint

      ...we did talk about Joe Wilfer on several occasions. I told him of Joe's Joycean use of metaphor and expressions the last time Katolin and he and I were together in Racine; the factories, the Indians, the Boy Scout camp and the cedar chest. On the way home, I saw Merlin in the street. He yells, "Come here. What did Buddha say to the hot dog vendor?" "What," I say. "Make me one with everything."

      Sarah Peter
      6" x 4" x 1 1/4
      Lokta with asparagus fern & sanganeer apricot paper, photos, brass lapels, sealing wax, cloves, saffron, silk button
      Accordion binding
      Edition of 3

      Pickings is a book that was inspired by a beautiful floral hand-made paper I bought some time ago. The book is an assemblage of information regarding flowers that has been designed to include photos, garden labels, and other related items that caught the fancy of this non-gardening artist.

      Robin Price and Keiji Shinohara
      Altar Book for Gorecki
      12" x 6" x 1"
      With calligraphy by Paul Shaw and reproductions of 17th century copperplate engravings by Francis Willughby
      Letterpress and monoprint on hand-stained Wahon paper
      Triptych of wood boards hinged with vellum strips, housed in wood box by Franklin Nichols
      Edition of 60

      Altar Book for Gorecki was inspired by Henryk Gorecki's symphony No. 3, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," as recorded in 1992 by soprano Dawn Upshaw. Three copperplate engravings from "The Ornithology of Francis Willughby" are reproduced as visual equivalents to the symphony's three movements. The somber coloration of the paper (hand-stained a purple grey, and selectively blotted dry) is in keeping with the mood of the symphony, which was performed in a 1989 concert in Brunswick, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Gorecki's inspiration for the piece came when he saw a photograph inscribed into a cell wall by a young prisoner of the Nazi's; four years later, in 1976, he wrote the symphony (with the words of that prayer forming the lyrics to his second movement). With this book -- in its visualization of musical sounds and focus on the original Polish lyrics -- the process comes full circle.

      Marilyn R. Rosenberg
      A Labyrinthine Adventure
      10" x 12 1/2" x 2 1/2
      Handmade paper by Chuck Welch of Sand Bar Willow Press
      Leather tie, mylar, ribbon, string, found images and objects, waterbase paints, inks

      The puppets, covers of the three largest books, the small box, as well as the pages of Part 2 are hand made paper by Chuck Welch (Sand Bar Willow Press), given as a gift to the artist.

      A female Don Quixote Donna, has a side kick Sandy. A myth, this tale is the story's sister to the puppet show in the original, "The Adventures of Don Quixote" Box cover 10"h x 12 1/2"w x 2 1/2"d Fractured Tract and Herstory-History Series, misc. media including water color and inks, collage, and found objects, hand made puppets all with unusual hand made paper by Chuck Welch. True to its inspiration, this piece is a parallel read to it. Part 1 is as the 'lost notebook' and an analysis of Cervantes' method; Part 2 is a large re-dramatization of Quixote's dilemma, a recreation of the original story, a drama puppet stage/book. There is also a photocopy flip book addendum showing the motion of the puppets, and 2 small books, plus one small book made of reflective mylar, and finally, a small box with tiny found objects for the puppet stage. The piece is complex and intricate, fun and full of satire, and colorful.

      1991 The flip book section, done again larger was created for the collection of the Electrographia Museo Internatione, Universidad de Castella La Manch.

      Susan Rotolo
      Pasta Phile: Spaghetti
      5 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1/4"
      Canson papers, De Cecco pasta box (altered), ribbons, mylar, beads
      Accordion binding
      Edition of 4

      I am incapable of throwing anything away that is graphically interesting. I eat a lot of pasta and have a small studio; something had to be done with all those empty De Cecco boxes.

      Miriam Schaer
      Eve's Meditation
      3" x 4" x 43"
      Roma paper, silk, beads, acrylic paint
      Open spine binding sewn on cords

      Like the orobor, the lizard that ate its own tail, Eve's Meditation is an emblem of the snake who knew too much, the persistent link between knowledge and sin. Starting in Eden, we open the face of the snake to examine the fruit it has swallowed. This is Eve, expelled yet unbroken, carrying inside her mind's eye a glittering prize, the painful secret that awareness is more precious than bliss.

      Ann Corley Silverman
      38" x 25" x 10"
      Composition notebooks, muslin, wire, flax paper, beeswax

      Journal is a piece about a specific woman, my grandmother, and her journals. There is a borderland between art and craft where the creativity of many women lives in the knots of their knitting and the pages of their journals. Paper, as a material and as a process, travels that land well. My own art may include many things besides paper, but paper is the heart of it. It is inclusive, accepting of things embedded, receptive to things imprinted, a fluid medium.

      Sol Invictus Press
      Myriam de Arteni and Stephan Arteni
      Laudes Creaturarum
      23" x 15" x 2 1/2"
      Letterpress and original drawings on handmade "Papel Zepia" paper
      Contained in a drop-spine box, rests on plexi-glass stand
      Edition of 26

      Giovanni di Bernardone was born in 1182, at the time of the Crusades, in Assisi, Italy. Also called Francesco, and later known as St. Fransis of Assisi, he was a soldier who, at age 22, turned to a humble and ascetic life after undergoing an inner spiritual crisis. The profound inner feeling of his famous poem, LAUDES CREATURARUM, simple and pure on the surface, reflects Francesco's life of poverty and simplicity. He died in 1226.

      This short poem should not be appreciated merely as a cultural artifact from a foreign past, but rather as an instantly energizing work that can be a focus for meditation. To the poem we have added 15 original ink traces (bokuseki) by Stephan C. Arteni. The image is perfect simplicity: it conveys the meaning through archetypal symbols (Jung and Eliade) unimpaired by theoretical reasoning.

      The original drawings were executed in Sumi Ink. The ink was manufactured by Boku Undo of Nara, Japan. The paper was made by hand at our special request by Nirma Zarate's "Papel Zepia" mill of Bogota, from the fibers of plants that grow in Colombia, South America. Each folio is made of a different fiber or combination of fibers. The plants used were: rush, cat-tail, agave, esparto, bass, pineapple leaf, plantain, Manila hemp, palm tree, African palm, Cuban palm (iraca), laurel, sansevieria, cotton and formium (an Oriental fiber). The book covers are made of coffee plant and cotton fibers. The poem has been rendered into English by Barbara Carle.

      Claire Van Vliet and Kathryn Vigesaa Lipke
      12" x 15" x 3"
      Text by Denise Levertov,
      Wooden cover constructed by Jack Sumberg
      Slipcases by Judi Conant and Mary Richardson
      Pulp painted by Claire Van Vliet at MacGregor-Vinzani
      Edition of 100

      Earth, can we not love you
      unless we believe the end is near?
      Believe in your life
      unless we think you are dying?

      Denise Levertov

      Jennifer Vignone
      I Have to Go
      8 1/3" x 5" x 4 1/2"
      Iris ink jet on kozo paper, wood, acrylic, marker, pen, watercolor, metal, plastic, gold leaf
      Continuous spool binding

      This book explores one of the universal activities known to mankind. I wanted the initial appearance of the book to capture the essence of its subject matter. Paper obviously is a most important element - being the paper of the book as well as the paper on the roll. I sought a weight of paper that was reminiscent of toilet paper to do the printing on. I then perforated the squares or pages, as it were, and rolled them onto their roller.

      Beck Whitehead
      Dear Chuck
      8" x 6 1/2" x 2 3/4"
      Handmade abaca & cotton rag paper over mahogany plywood with pulp painting
      Accordion binding

      Books are personal. I make them for myself and then hope that others enjoy them as well. They are meant to be held and felt. They are designed to speak "one to one." Even a blank book, made with selected materials, has something to say to a viewer. Hopefully, my books of drawings tell a story to the viewer and to each viewer a somewhat different story.

      Andrea Zemel
      20" x 40" x 4"
      Text by Joe Brennan
      Letterpress and block print on waxed rice paper, steel, leather, sinew, wood
      Invented binding
      Edition of 2

      Images are unique in their capacity to predate language as a form of memory. Like dreams, they contain primitive vestiges of experience, which are sometimes inaccessible to the reasoning mind. I measure a successful piece by the richness and complexity of the meaning it offers, as a formal endeavor and a symbolic artifact. The problem of cultural origins and where they have brought us, a theme which arises in my work, can only be accessed with candor through the investigation of subjective material. The public statement emerges from the darkest recesses of the private domain; they are intrinsically connected.

      The titles are a challenge of association. Like the text, they can help to metabolize the feeling of the work, which often comes from a primitive source. An image presents itself like a condition. It is there, it can be studied and labeled, but in the end, perhaps is never fully knowable.

    Exhibition curated by Robbin Ami Silverberg of Dobbin Mill, Donna Koretsky of Carriage House Papers and Brian Hannon.

    Center for Book Arts