Art style

Seven artists unveil the art of printed matter in “Bookworks”

Art craft illustration

#books #exhibition #London #painting #engraving #sculpture

Guy Laramée, “Larousse Encyclopedia” (detail), sculpted books, pigments, inks and metal clip. All images courtesy of James Freeman Gallery

Books have enthralled us since they appeared in the form of ancient scrolls and codices across the world. The way we access, use and enjoy reading material has undergone a technological transformation over the centuries, from the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century, to the first dictionary produced in 1532, to the advent of affordable paperbacks in the early 20th century. Paper tomes have had an immeasurable impact on society and our ability to relay knowledge, and even in the age of digital e-readers, the physical volume still embodies as timeless an appeal as literature itself. In a new exhibition in London, the world of reading offers the seven artists a starting point to explore a wide range of themes and materials, underlining our enduring fascination with the printed and bound medium.

Cheri Smith, Russell Webb, Guy Laramée (previously), Aron Wiesenfeld, Guillermo Martin Bermejo, El Gato Chimney and Claire Partington (previously) work in a wide range of styles including sculpture, illustration, painting and printmaking. In bookstores, Laramée’s deconstructed reference volumes transform into miniature topographic landscapes that challenge our sense of scale. Cheri Smith’s paintings, sometimes painted on book covers, refer to the eccentricity of animals and how they are classified in natural history catalogs. El Gato Chimney constructs elaborate narrative illustrations into accordion-style posts that follow an eccentric cast of characters as they battle giant creatures.

Books is on view at the James Freeman Gallery until June 4.

Guy Laramée, “Larousse Encyclopedia”, sculpted books, pigments, inks and metal clip

Guy Laramée, “Larousse Encyclopedia”, sculpted books, pigments, inks and metal clip

El Gato Chimney, “The appearance of the frog” (2021), watercolor and gouache on Moleskine notebook

El Gato Chimney, “The appearance of the frog” (2021), watercolor and gouache on Moleskine notebook

El Gato Chimney, “Crazy Wind” (2022), watercolor and gouache on Moleskine notebook

Chimney of El Gato, “Kyu! Kyû!” (2022), watercolor and gouache on Moleskine notebook

Guy Laramée, “Petit Larousse Illustré” (2019), sculpted dictionary, pigments, inks, brass clip

Guy Laramée, “Petit Larousse Illustré” (2019), sculpted dictionary, pigments, inks, brass clip

Aron Wiesenfeld, “Readers” (2021), gouache on paper

Russell Webb, “Portrait of the Artist as an Author” (2022), oil paint and varnish on ply

Cheri Smith, “Sausage” (2020), oil on board

#books #exhibition #London #painting #engraving #sculpture

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