Bookish: Contemporary Handmade Books
Curated by the Illustration Department, Parsons the New School for Design
Adam & Sophie Gimbel Design Library
The New School Libraries
2 West 13th Street 2nd Fl.
New York NY 10011
In these digital days, there remains nothing quite like a handmade
book. Silkscreened covers, staples, construction paper, thread, markers,
and, of course, drawings all add up to a singular object. The handmade
books on display here are steeped in drawing and narrative. The last 10
years have seen a burst in handmade books that evolve out of communities
of illustrators, cartoonists and fine artists. Perhaps seeking a more
personal and intimate way of displaying their work, these creators have
produced a large body of work across addressing multiple visual and
literary themes. They all share a commitment to image-based drawing and
crafting books that don’t just contain art: they are art.
The present exhibition is organized by community. Providence, Rhode
Island has been the home to a variety of zine and poster making activity
for the past decade. Led by artists including Brian Chippendale, Mat
Brinkman, Paper Rad, and Brian Ralph, Providence art tends to emphasize
psychedelic and adventure-based narratives. To the north, the Canadian
cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have long housed a productive
group of artists who mail their work to one another. Julie Doucet, Marc
Bell, Mark Connery, Peter Thompson and many others specialize in
wordplay, single image narratives, and finely wrought doodles. And in
Marseille, France, Le Dernier Cri, a book arts publishing house, has
been unleashing extreme, often grotesque imagery in silkscreen form for
over a decade by artists such as Blexbolex, Caroline Sury, and Moulinex.
The influence of these three centers of handmade books can be felt
around the globe. The final section of this exhibition presents a
sampling of this influence on a group of disparate and diverse works.
Handmade books satisfy artists and viewers alike with an immediacy like nothing else.
Don’t miss this special exhibition curated by the Illustration Department!