Bound together, the art of books goes on display

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Old books can be found deconstructed, cut, twisted, folded, fanned, and distorted into new objects of beauty and intrigue at the fourth annual San Diego Book Arts National Juried Exhibition, May 26-July 8 at Geisel Library on the UC San Diego campus.

The 57 pieces selected for this show by juror Carolee Campbell (out of 200 entered from 17 states), represent the full range of contemporary American book making. There are examples of fine printing using traditional letterpress techniques with lead type, incorporating limited edition prints, exquisitely bound.

Rarely content to present “just the facts,” humans have been decorating, adorning, and illustrating the book since its inception. The artist’s book is, in a sense, the ultimate expression of this activity, according to Campbell.

In her introduction to the exhibition catalog, she writes, “The best books being made today, as in the past, become greater than the sum of their parts. They sing with metaphor. They captivate. They hold the viewer in their thrall and demand to be returned to again and again in order to rediscover that high energy transfer, that synergistic flow from part to part and back to whole.”

Campbell inaugurated Ninja Press in 1984. She designs, illustrates, hand sets in type, prints, and binds each edition of books. She is committed to making the beautifully executed book, as well as to the continual investigation of form using unusual materials, harnessing both as expressions of book art for the 21st century.

   
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