Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge – Whatcom Museum, Washington


September 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016, Lightcatcher Building

This exhibition surveys recent directions in ‘Book Art’ through the diverse work of 60 prominent artists in the field from across the country (including Great Britain and Australia). It explores the limitless potential of the book as an independent, creative medium through both intimately-scaled pieces and large installations. Many artists carve old volumes or twist their pages into unique, sculptural configurations. Others make their own books and experiment with a multitude of different formats: accordion, pop-up, tunnel, concertina, among others. Some artists reconfigure ancient book forms, such as the scroll or codex, to create unique forms. Books are often combined with other materials – both manufactured and natural, such as plastic, crystals, twigs, even meteorites – to astonishing effects.

Unhinged not only highlights myriad styles and processes, it also presents artists’ personal experiences as well as messages about identity, human justice issues, and environmental concerns. From political statements to metaphysical ideas, book artists interpret their medium through expressive and sometimes humorous constructions. After visiting this exhibition, viewers will never look at a book in the same way again.