Diane Samuels: It’s a Long Story
November 10, 2018 – February 3, 2019
Moby-Dick, or The Whale, Herman Melville, 2015
Paper and ink
47 x 8 feet
Courtesy of the Artist and Pavel Zoubok Fine Art Gallery, New York, NY
Talking Art: The Art of the Book —
November 18th, 2018
Opening Reception — November 18, 2018
Members Preview 1-2PM
Public Reception 2-4PM
Find news and press coverage on this exhibition here.
Diane Samuels is an internationally recognized visual artist who uses other people’s words and her own handwriting as her literal and figurative raw material.
Since 2008, she has made a series of drawings entitled One Book, One Drawing, each formed by painstakingly and meticulously hand-transcribing an entire book in micro-handwriting. From even a foot away, the drawings appear to be abstractions. However, close-up the micro-script is legible as text.
Many of the works in It’s a Long Story, including Homer’s Odyssey, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, relate to issues of home, migration, language, exile, and authority, all of which are global concerns and commonalities. Nosotros, el Pueblo/We the People is a hand-transcription of the US Constitution in Spanish written in the form of an American flag on paper handmade in and imported from Mexico. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a transcription of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, written on remnants of archival paper and recycled prints that Samuels has painted over, drawn on and collaged with images pertaining to the text. Each page of the book is represented by a horizontal row of the drawing, starting with “Call me Ishmael” at the top of the work, which measures 47 feet long by 8 feet wide.
Samuels’ work has been included in exhibitions at the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory Museum, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Center for Book Arts, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Municipal Museum of Art in Gyor, Hungary, the Synagogue Center in Trnava, Slovakia, the Bernheimer Realschule in Buttenhausen, Germany, and the Czech Museum of Fine Arts. Her art is also held in numerous public and private collections including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Bank of New York Mellon, Reed College, and the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. Samuels holds both a BFA and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, a diploma from the Institute of Arts Administration at Harvard University and has received honorary doctorates from Seton Hill University and Chatham University.
In addition to her studio practice, Samuels and her husband, Henry Reese, cofounded City of Asylum (COA) in 2004. COA, located in Pittsburgh, PA, provides sanctuary to endangered literary writers so that they may continue to write and their voices are not silenced. COA offers a broad range of literary programs to encourage cross-cultural exchange. It’s a Long Story is supported in part by a grant from Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Donor Circle for the Arts and members of the ICA Director’s Circle.
It’s a Long Story is supported in part by a grant from Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Donor Circle for the Arts and members of the ICA Director’s Circle.