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[BKARTS] Artists' Books at Bowdoin College

Two exhibitions of artists' books are now on view at Bowdoin College's
Hawthorne-Longfellow Library in Brunswick, Maine. The exhibits run
through March 31.

"Holding In, Holding On: Artist's Books by Martha A. Hall" is a
traveling exhibit that has already appeared at Smith and Wellesley
Colleges and will end its run in late 2004 at Yale University.

As a complement to the Martha Hall exhibit, Bowdoin has installed
"Artists' Books from the Collections," featuring works from the
library's distinguished Book Arts collections.

"Holding In, Holding On: Artist's Books by Martha A. Hall" --

Twenty-eight of Hall's works - from Bowdoin's collection, from the
libraries at Smith and Wellesley colleges, the University of New
England, and Yale University, and from the Hall family's private
collection - make up the show.

Hall, a book artist from Orr's Island, died of breast cancer in December
2003, and cancer informed nearly all of her work. She expressed her
emotions and sentiments as a patient living with this frightening
disease eloquently, creatively, and with technical complexity.

Her pieces challenge the conventional book form through the construction
of unusual binding structures, complex paper sculpturing and altered
sequencing of paging and text. She combines papermaking, collage,
various printing and painting techniques, stitching, and cut-outs with
the use of color and abstract shapes to convey mood as powerfully as she
does through the verse and text that accompany her constructions.  Her
works express joy, fear, hope, depression, anger, doubt, but above all
they celebrate such essentially human concepts as dignity, tenderness,
vulnerability, and living well.

Books in the exhibition date from 1997-2002. Some, like Legacy, are
miniatures crafted in inexpensive editions. Others, with accordion-fold
bindings, fancy flag-book structures and hand-made papers, are of
extremely limited editions, and many are unique. For some of her works,
Hall collaborated with other writers and artists (for example Allison
Brown in the epistolary series Paper Passages). Mostly, though, Hall's
artist's books are solely of her design, composition and construction.

"Artists' Books from the Collections" --

Bowdoin's collection of artists' books serves the teaching and learning
that are fundamental to a liberal arts education.  Focusing mainly on
Maine artists, items are selected to exemplify a broad array of
techniques and approaches, especially those that interrogate the book
form and demand a physical reading of the work in unusual ways.

Represented in the exhibition are works by Leonard Baskin, Crystal
Cawley, Julie Chen, Roberta Delaney, Donald Glaister, Rebecca Goodale,
Michael Kuch, Nancy Leavitt, Richard Lee, El Lissitzky, Thomas Logan,
Mark Melnicove, Jan Owen, Georgiana Peacher, Stephen Petroff, Bern
Porter, Ed Ruscha, Jill Timm, Claire Van Vliet, and David Wolfe.

Some of these artists collaborated with Martha Hall or watched closely
as she developed her craft. Others share her ability to translate
feelings, thoughts, and artistic skill into art objects that we can
view, handle, and interpret.  "Reading" these artists' books brings
understanding and provides perspective for our own being, as good
writing and good art always do.

Both exhibits are installed on the second floor of the
Hawthorne-Longfellow Library on the Bowdoin College campus. Exhibit
hours are 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Admission is free. For more
information call 207-725-3288.

Richard H.F. Lindemann
Director, George J. Mitchell Dept.
    of Special Collections & Archives
Bowdoin College Library
3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine 04011
207-725-3288 /fax: 207-725-3083

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