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Doug Beube
"Theoretically and physically I "dig" into the book, as a phenomenological endeavor, twisting texts, creating hypertexts, as if the text block itself is an archaeological site" Douglas Beube
frumkin/ duval gallery is pleased to present the first West Coast solo exhibition using altered books by New York artist Doug Beube. Works included were created between 1996 and 2002 and represent the rich and varied ways in which the artist approaches the book as subject / object of his attention.. When Beube appropriates these books, their words are sometimes available, their shapes are sometimes recognizable, but in every case they are transformed into poetic objects that speak volumes. Yet, deciphering their secrets requires numerous readings. Doug Beube slices, folds, burns, pours honey over, twists, layers and reconfigures found texts. He plants books along with germinating wheat grass seeds in soil; the cycles of blossoming and wilting become a metaphor for the book as disseminator of knowledge that persists and multiplies despite the "paperless" digital revolution. Sometimes Beube has something political in mind, as in "The World Remapped" where he bores into an atlas and locates whole parts of Africa embedded in North America. At other times he works more intuitively finding formal relationships of color as in the altered atlas series "Erosion" where blue seas and oceans give way to bits of yellow land masses below. With each revision, our assumed perception of the bookÕs physical linearity is altered through his intuition and serendipitous encounters with the text. Douglas Beube has exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Franklin Furnace, MOMA, Walker Art Center, Dartmouth College, York University and countless others. Since 1994 he has overseen the curation of "The Book Under Pressure", a private rotating exhibition of nearly 200 artist altered books for New York collector Allan Chasanoff. Beube teaches artistsÕ books, mixed media, and photography and lectures at various universities and art programs around the country.
Ex Libris: a group exhibition of artist altered books
Works by: Maria Anastazi, Barbara Berk, Byron Clercx, Penny Dimos, Linda Ekstrom, Lisa Kokin, Palo Pallas and Buzz Spector
frumkin/ duval gallery is pleased to announce Ex Libris, a group exhibition of artist altered books that will run concurrently with the solo exhibition by Doug Beube in our main gallery. The companion exhibition presents the work of artists from across the country. Best known is Buzz Spector who is represented here with Silence: A Synopsis, his sensuous 1991 edition of an opened blank book in which a frosted glass casting of a human tongue is nestled, and with two large Polaroid photographs of arrangements of books from his library. Linda Ekstrom, who has three previous solo exhibitions with the gallery, is represented with Spherical Bible (1995), a long black box with compartments that hold balls of different diameter and density, each made from the text of the books of the bible as well as several recent works. Lisa Kokin exhibits Kampf and Other Perish both made from an original copy of Mein Kampf purchased at a flea market. In Kampf she has burnt out most words to create a text which subverts the original; in Others Perish the text is partially obliterated with tape which she first put over Hebrew text. In Breathing Room Barbara Berk places a red jacketed book inside a thin skin of gampi paper as though the book itself were a beating heart, and in other works she marries books together as though the texts themselves were engaged in dialog. Maria Anastazi uses mass produced books for their quality as found objects as much as found texts. An untitled floor installation of the boards and spines of books she has stitched together like a quilt has the appeal of a colorfield painting. Penny Dimos draws on her Greek heritage to literally weave the myth of Arachne into the bible with strands of her own hair to address issues of life and death. The series is titled "Web" and alludes both to myth and the "world wide web" which paradoxically holds within it the seeds of the book's demise. What looks like wood grain in Byron Clercx 's Toni Morrison from the Power Tool series is actually an aggregate of laminate and carved book pages. With it he suggests the immense power that knowledge provides. He is also represented with several 2 dimensional laminated and carved book grids. Palo Pallas captures the pleasures of reading in a series of carved lounge chairs created from torn book texts. Although the act of tearing pages initially troubled her, the fact that the books were to be incinerated transformed the nature of her sculptures into acts of preservation.