Bookish

portrait

portrait

portrait

portrait

ARTISTS: Leo Morrisey, David Bunn, Carol Es
MEDIUM: Mixed
RUN OF SHOW: April 11 – June 21, 2008
VENUE: Hedreen Gallery, Lee Center for the Arts

Seattle - The Hedreen Gallery at the Lee Center for the Arts is pleased to present “Bookish,” an exhibition of 'found' conceptual art that uses the book as source material. Throughout history and across cultures, books have been a symbol of learning, knowledge, and power. In “Bookish”, a collection of contemporary artwork inspired by the book comes together to parody and question this loaded symbol.

Leo Morrisey is most irreverent in his reference to the book. Burrowed deep into the pages of second-hand books and encyclopedias, Morrissey hand-sculpts his own profile into volume after volume. Unapologetically straightforward, the artist imposes himself into pages that range in subject matter, from pollution and poverty to prejudice and geography. Morrisey sculpts a symbol of his own psyche into these books, as if he is pouring himself into the pages. The sculptural object that results asks us to question the way we digest and give power to the written word.

David Bunn similarly questions the manner in which we absorb and create information. Taking possession of old library card catalogs, Bunn relentlessly exposes the internal logic of the archive. By combining cards with inadvertent similarities, such as titles of books with names that begin with the same word, Bunn is able to build a conceptual portrait of an organization system as well as probe deep into the patterns of human thought. Titles of books read as rhythmic lists in his work, exposing oftentimes amusing relationships: "there's always adventure ... / there's always another windmill …/ there's always another Juliet." In Bunn's hands, not only is the catalogue exposed for its deadpan logic, but so too does it become a rather extraordinary and complete record of the cultural complexities that surround us.

In the series “An American Rhapsody,” Carol Es layers personal insights across garment patterns from the book American Way. Textual truisms such as "do not ignore the elderly" and "I am trying very very hard not to hate you" appear in bold blocks of color over the apparel diagrams set within the aging pages. Es balances irreverent statements with raw personal revelations, resulting in a sarcastic and affecting investigation of American values.