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Warja Honegger-Lavater exhibition


In celebration of a recent gift, a selection of the bookworks of the Swiss
artist Warja Honegger-Lavater will be exhibited in the John Wilson Room of
the Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon.

The exhibition is from May 15 - June 30, 2001.

An early progenitor of the artist's book genre, Warja Honegger-Lavater was
born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1913.  She worked as an illustrator for
the magazine _Jeunesse_ from 1944-1958, and moved to New York shortly
thereafter where she began this wonderful series of artist's books,
published in the United States, in Switzerland, and in France by Maeght

These books were published between 1962 and 1971, an exceptionally ripe
time for artists to turn to the bookform, a time when the most often cited
"first" artist's book also appeared, _Twentysix Gasoline Stations_ (1962)
by Ed Ruscha.

All of Honegger-Lavater's books are made using the accordion-fold binding.
Her aesthetic has been aptly described as "very clean, very Swiss."  Each
book tells a story, sequentially, like traditional books, but varying from
them by rarely using words.  Instead she chooses a symbol to represent,
for example, a character, as in the red dot standing in for Red Riding
Hood in _Little Red Riding Hood_, or small black dots representing the
trail of a little dog, in _La Promenade en Ville_ (A Walk Through Town).

Sometimes the symbols themselves have a life of their own, as in her book,
_Conformismus, conformity, conformisme_, where the squiggles struggle to
be independent but eventually fall into line.  Some books differ by
providing instead a glimpse of daily life, albeit in the eyes of an
artist, such as _Walk Don't Walk_ which is a graphic dance of pedestrians
and traffic signals.

All of Honegger-Lavater's books, however, are a delight to "read" and a
pleasure to spend time with and you are encouraged to do so in the Wilson

A selection of the gift of 16 Honegger-Lavater titles is on display; the
remainder can be examined in the John Wilson Room during open hours.

The John Wilson Room hours are:

        Tues  2:30 - 5:30 pm
        Wed   5:30 - 9:00 pm
        Fri   9:30 - 1:30 pm
        Sat   2:30 - 6:00 pm

and is located on the second floor of Multnomah County Library's Central
Library, 801 SW 10th St., Portland, OR 97205

For more information contact Jim Carmin, John Wilson Room Librarian
(503-988-6287; or jimc@multcolib.org).

 ----------                               ------------------------
 Jim Carmin                               Multnomah County Library
 John Wilson Room Librarian               801 SW Tenth Avenue
 Central Library                          Portland, OR 97205-2597
 jimc@multcolib.org                       503-988-6287

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