Talking Art: The Art of the Book
Sunday November 18th, 2018: 12-1pm
Using Diane Samuels’ work as a springboard, this panel will discuss various forms and motivations behind artists’ books. Panelists include Diane Samuels, Mary Austin, and Stephen Woodall.
Diane Samuels is a visual artist based in Pittsburgh, PA, with studio and public art practices. In both, she uses other peoples’ words and her own handwriting as her literal and figurative raw material. For this exhibition, Samuels has created monumental works by writing out the texts of entire novels in micro-script. The centerpiece is a hand-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, staring with “Call me Ishmael” at the top of the work, which measures 48 feet long by 8 feet wide.
Samuels’ work has been exhibited 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 Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati, the Municipal Museum of Art in Gyor, Hungary, and the Czech Museum of Fine Arts, among others. Samuels holds both a BFA and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, a diploma from the Institute in Arts Administration at Harvard University and has received honorary doctorates from Seton Hill University and Chatham University. She is also co-founder of City of Asylum Pittsburgh, which provides sanctuary to writers in exile. Samuels is represented by Pavel Zoubok Fine Art, New York, NY.
Mary Austin is Co-Founder and chief financier of San Francisco Center for the book. She is an Artist’s book collector and philanthropist with extensive experience in non-profit management, and served as Curator and Assistant Director of the Museum of Printing History in Houston, TX for many years before becoming Director of Explore Print! in San Francisco. Mary is the proprietor of The Underground Press.
Center for the Book
The San Francisco Center for the Book was co-founded by Mary Austin and Kathleen Burch, who recognized a growing need in San Francisco, the Bay Area and on the West Coast for a facility specifically designed and equipped to support the appreciation, teaching and creation of book arts. The first center of its kind on the West Coast, San Francisco Center for the Arts was incorporated in March of 1996 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Steve Woodall was the San Francisco Center for the Book’s Education Director and Artistic Director from 1996-2008. He directed the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago from 2008-2015, and is currently Collections Specialist at the Achenbach Foundation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, working with the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books.
“Though I have many interests, my primary concern is the contemporary artist’s book: its history, current range of form and practice, and relationship to digital technology, now and in the future. I have long been interested in working to make the artist’s book much more widely known, broadening critical discourse and scholarly engagement with the genre, and creating new relationships in related fields of practice (literature, photography, mainstream publishing, graphic narrative, new media). I am well networked in artist’s book, photography and literary communities, and in the constituent fields of typography, design, bookbinding, printing, and small press publishing.”