San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street San Jose, CA
Jun. 5 – Sep. 11, 2016
In collaboration with Seager Gray Gallery, the ICA will present This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 in the Focus Gallery.
For the past decade, Seager Gray has taken the lead in presenting art related to books and recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of their now widely acclaimed Art of the Book exhibition, which takes place each May at the Mill Valley gallery. The ICA’s presentation culls from that rich history and continues where the ICA’s 2001 exhibition This is Not A Book left off. The current exhibition is curated by Donna Seager.
The typical anatomy of a printed book is text and/or images on paper, bounded by glue or sewn together. On the interior pages, authors write stories and information about places, memories, facts, and images, and on the exterior, a cover details the title of the book, name of the author, and often offers a teaser summary. In This is Not a Book: Chapter 2, 28 artists expand on the very essence of a book. The ubiquitous objects on the shelves of our homes or libraries have been astonishingly altered into wondrous sculptures. One might still discern the materiality of the pages and the characteristics of the covers. However, they are now transfigured into inventive forms, from intimate, finely carved objects to large-scale installations to glowing cubes. With curiosity, whit, and play, artists in This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 create sculptural objects that question our assumptions about book design, the future of the book, and our relationship to these ordinary, but important and cherished publications.