|The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works
Bay Area artist Vita Wells has been creating objects since she was old enough to wield an exacto knife. In the late 1990’s while she was deeply involved in textile arts, she was given a provocative book. Compelled to deploy her exacto knife on the volume, she found the results to be quite satisfying. While not abandoning her loom, spindle and dye pots completely, she expanded her toolbox to include a jigsaw, bandsaw, drill press and oxyacetylene torch, and her media to include copper, steel, and books.
The core theme of Wells’ work over these years has been perspective—the constructed and plastic nature of how we see ourselves and the world; the factors of the past and present that shape that perspective; and the role reading plays in identity-formation and meaning-making.
books, steel, wood, glue
6 figure group: approximately 80 x 40 W x 38
6 figures, individually: 69”- 80 x 6½-9 x 11
These standing monolithic sculptures
play with the materiality of books in a kind of vertical library. Mounted on steel and carved wood, Vita Wells has shaped the books into organic forms that pay homage to the physical qualities of books themselves with their extraordinary palette, their jewel-like titles, their stackability and the pleasing weight of them. The forms each have their own character and personality. They are like stelae commemorating the culture of the book.
This collection of figures emerged from a vision of a handful of survivors, kindred spirits holding on in the course of a long and arduous trek through severe conditions. Haggard, gaunt, showing the effects of long exposure to harsh elements. Profoundly challenged, but still standing.
$4200 each or available in groupings. Call the gallery for a price on the entire collection.