Artifacts at the Start of a Decade
A group exhibition of artists’ books
January 19 – February 19, 2021
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The Gardiner Gallery of Art is pleased to present Artifacts at the Start of a Decade, a group exhibition of artists’ books with work by Julia Bradshaw, Julie Chen, Maureen Cummins, Daniel Essig, Helga Fassonaki, James Henkel, Marina Kassianidou, Karen Kunc, Ryan Pierce, Zeinab Saab, Emily Shanahan, and Bonnie Stahlecker.
In 1979, invitations were mailed to a group of emerging and established artists asking if they would like to participate in a project about the end of a decade. Two years after the initial prompt, Artifacts at the End of a Decade was produced, an unbound collection of 45 original works in mixed media by American Artists. Steven Watson, who conceived of the work after seeing an exhibition of artists' books, co-published the edition with Carol Huebner.
This is where Artifacts at the Start of a Decade finds its name and inspiration. This exhibition has invited artists working in various mediums from across the country who were asked if they would like to participate in a project about artists’ books.
An 'artist book' refers to books or publications that have been created as fully-fledged artworks. Historically these books have been inexpensive, and many were meant for broad and popular dissemination. While artist books have often been published or printed in open or large editions, some books are unique objects unto themselves. This exhibition brings together artists who use this term as a guide or loose parameter with some objects that recall conventional books while other pieces are highly sculptural, have sound elements, or use books as their inspiration for photography.