|The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works
Claudia Smelser is a book designer by profession, insofar as the profession still exists. Her artwork is a tribute to books and the place they used to occupy in our lives. She likes to work with are disintegrating volumes from early in the last century (she'll take older if she can get them), often popular and mass-produced editions such as the early Modern Library series, which often have lovely typography and design. It may not seem reverent to launder books in the washing machine, or burn, bake, or encase them in wax, but these exercises are all means to make explicit the textures and small intimacies of folds and edges that accompanied the experience of reading. She includes bibliographical citations with each piece as a kind of eulogy to the book(s) used. Claudia works with color, especially the dull golds and browns found in old books, and likes to experiment with ways of "painting" with book parts.
A Treatise on Human Nature
books and encaustic, 2011, dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 4.75
The small library here reminds me of collections of specimens preserved in amber. The books are so beautiful in their aging state and the piece hangs on the wall preserving a precious "library" from the past.