The Book Borrowers, Exhibited at Bellevue Arts Museum

Call me a snob, I don’t care–I love art museums. The curators get to choose the finest, most intriguing work, and they’ve done it again at the Bellevue Arts Museum. I’ve been wanting to see this one for a while. As one of the early “Altered Book” artists back in the 90’s, this was intriguing to me.

Link to Book Borrowers Page

Larry and I talked it over after seeing the work, and we liked most of, but not all the same things. Something called a book excavation was interesting to me, related to, but a few steps beyond the well known book The Humument by Tom Phillips. It appears that the artist would take a book, (or three copies of the same book in one case), with illustrations, and page through the book, choosing which illustrations to retain and cut out around and feature, in one case, animals. Leaving words that relate to the pictures, the animal pictures are left in situ on the page, and most of the rest of the page is cut away. Page by page the artist goes through the book, excavating out the excess and leaving a sculptural collection of animals. Ah shoot–just go see it!

There were also stacks of books that had been sandblasted into various shapes, cutwork, altered, revised, upended, rolled into log like shapes that looked like a slice from a tree, book covers turned into lace paper, inked, and books that were merely the background for some fascinating machine puppet animal skeletons made from wire and string. Fascinating.

Lynette, the Flying Redhead


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