Power of the Page

power of the page: artist books as agents of change

New Museum Los Gatos – May 4, 2017 – October 8, 2017

Power of the Page: Artist Books as Agents for Change, is an exhibition that celebrates artist made books as agents for change and social awareness. The book has played a vital role in the realization of our modern freedoms. The medium of the book creates opportunity for both intimate reflection and broad communication. Artists’ books are conceived as works of art in their own right and employ the unique expression of an artist’s design, words and images. In Power of the Page: Artist Books as Agents for Change, artists’ books tell stories of liberty and give voice to the call for justice. Narratives range from personal to public, from mythical to political.

Works on view in the exhibition include selections from artists from the Bay Area and beyond. Themes of personal freedom and public transparency inform the work of Ginger Burrell. Internationally known book artist and book art educator Julie Chen explores both form and content in her work, spanning from environmental issues, to a myth infused history of chocolate. Casey Gardner invites us to examine the variables of communication and transformation. Diane Jacobs celebrates the lives of legendary warrior women. A search for banned books inspired Lisa Kokin to transform a dictionary into art and a call for tolerance. As a reaction against war, Susan Laudermilk’s book delivers a poetic plea for reliance on community and cooperation for peace. Mary Marsh chronicles the dissemination of information throughout the ages, reminding us of how access to ideas and news is the foundation of democracy. Personal choice contrasts with the reality of modern-day slavery in the books by Camden Richards. Clarissa Sligh’s book examines oppression and violence with her poignant personal story of moving beyond hate. Michelle Wilson’s narrative draws parallels between book conservation, political disappearances, and endangered bird species. Linda Vallejo asks us to consider some of the most difficult questions of our time: “Do race, color, and class define our status in the world?” “Is it possible to be a part of and earnestly contribute to multiple cultures simultaneously?”

Curator Marianne McGrath says “The themes and subject matter explored in Power of the Page is timely. The combination of art, creative craftsmanship and the book format create a unique platform for these issues. I am excited to share this work with the community.”

The exhibition includes selections from artists from the Bay Area and beyond, including Ginger Burrell, Julie Chen, Casey Gardner, Diane Jacobs, Lisa Kokin, Susan Laudermilk, Mary Marsh, Camden Richards, Clarissa Sligh, Michelle Willson and Linda Vallejo.

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