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Artist Books by Ken Campbell: Exhibition Opening at Yale Center for British Art

An exhibition of artist books by Ken Campbell is opening at the Yale
Center for British Art.  The press release is posted below.  For more
information, please contact Lorelei Watson, Coordinator of Information,
Yale Center for British Art, at 203-432-2850.  To purchase a catalogue
(24 pages with 8 color illustrations, available for $12.95 plus shipping
and handling during the run of the exhibition, $14.95 plus shipping and
handling thereafter), please contact the Museum Shop at 203-432-2828.


        A retrospective exhibition of books by the artist, poet, and
printer Ken Campbell will be on view at the Yale Center for British Art
from August 3 through November 3, 1996.  All nineteen of Campbell's books
will be on display, including his latest project completed in April of
this year, called The Word Returned.  The books are from the Center's own
rare books collection and the exhibition is augmented by prints,
paintings, and sculpture on loan from the artist.  Campbell has also lent
a number of objects that allow a glimpse of both the creative process and
the physical aspects of producing his books, including proof sheets of
printed pages, everyday objects, and actual letterpress formes assembled
with type and ready for printing.  A videotape, produced especially for
the exhibition and on display there, will allow visitors to see the books
opened page by page.
        Born in 1939, and still, as he puts it, "crawling from the
wreckage," Campbell is one of the most innovative book artists working in
London today.  He trained as a letterpress printer and then as a graphic
designer at the London College of Printing during the early 1960s, where
one of his teachers was H.C. Beck, designer of the London Underground
map. Campbell's work goes well beyond traditional methods and materials.
 His use of the press is most unconventional: he runs his pages through
the press over and over again (over 66,000 times for one poem in The Word
Returned), saturating the sheets with printer's ink, printing not only
from type in the ordinary way, but using printer's ornaments, rules
andborders, wood and linoleum, torn and cut pieces of metal, to make rich
and powerful works. In most of his books, there is, as the critic Cathy
Courtney writes, a tension between "the reined-in anger and dark
foreboding of the text and images and the fact that the works are
delicately made, elegant vehicles designed to be handled with care and
        The exhibition is being organized by Elisabeth Fairman, Associate
Curator for Rare Books at the Center.  An illustrated catalogue will
accompany the exhibition and will include an essay by Johanna Drucker,
Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory, Yale University, and
author of the recently published The Century of Artists' Books (Granary
Books, 1995).
        Ken Campbell will speak about his work on Tuesday, September 10
at 4 pm in the Lecture Hall of the Center.  As part of the Center's "Art
in Context" series, Johanna Drucker will talk on "Printing and the
Concept of the Book: Ken Campbell and Other Artists" on September 17 at
12:30 pm. Elisabeth Fairman will give a gallery talk in the exhibition on
October 1 at 12:30 pm. For more information about these and other
programs associated with the exhibition, call (203) 432-2858.
        The Yale Center for British Art is located at 1080 Chapel Street
at the corner of High Street in New Haven. It is open Tuesday through
Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 12 to 5 pm. Admission is



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