The invention of the printing press in the 1440s launched the book into the industrial age, increasing the production and distribution of the written word, and with it, knowledge and literacy. Today, our libraries are filled with millions of books, and the digital age allows us to access literature instantly in the palm of our hand. Because the book has been produced around the globe, it has become a versatile and creative source of artistic inspiration.
Including works by Cara Barer, Doug Beube, Long-Bin Chen, Casey Curran, Brian Dettmer, Ann Hamilton, Andrew Hayes, Lisa Kokin, Guy Laramée, Mike Stilkey, and Robert The, Way With Words will show the transformation of everyday books into expressions of identity, community, environmentalism, memory, and reconstructed narratives. Families will see unconventional treatments such as cutting, weaving, tearing, burning, and shredding, as artists transform books into sculptures, animation, drawings, and paintings that capture the book’s significant history and power to inform the public. Children and their families will also create their own artworks inspired by the exhibition.