"Take a book, and you will find it offering, opening itself. It is the openness of this book that I find so moving. A book is not shut in by its contours, is not walled up as in a fortress. It asks for nothing better than to exist outside itself, or to let you exist in it."
- Georges Poulet, Interiority and Criticism, 1970
Print Imprint is a two-part exhibition held in partnership with Cirrus Gallery for Pacific Standard Time. The exhibition responds to the form and display of the book as an artist’s medium. Participating artists include Ali Bailey, Scott Benzel, Guy de Cointet and Larry Bell, Doug Edge, Cayetano Ferrer, Katie Herzog, Laura Owens, Ed Ruscha, and Barbara T. Smith. A limited edition catalogue will be released in conjunction with the exhibition.
The works at Cirrus Gallery and at Actual Size include books and related works by Los Angeles based artists from the 1970’s to present day. In the past century, artists have made use of printed material to disseminate their ideas outside of a traditional gallery or museum, or change the viewer's approach to a work within these institutions. This exhibition collects a variety of LA artist’s books, such as Scott Benzel’s auction catalogue, Barbara T. Smith’s performative documentation of a road trip, Katie Herzog’s publication of research on prison design and Eastern philosophy, Guy de Cointet and Larry Bell’s lexicon of coded language, and Laura Owens’ approach to the book as a unique painting.
Art books, designed to be handled, are altered by their use. Rare books are often displayed in well-lit glass vitrines, changing the appearance and original function of the work. Print Imprint presents a variety of approaches to the utility of the book. In addition to books, the exhibition explores shifting relationships to printed material through paintings, video, musical composition, and sculpture. Like a photograph of two mirrors that face each other, many works in Print Imprint prospect the intricate nature of reproduction through references to and acknowledgement of their place within a history of printed matter. The mirror acts as a reoccurring device and theme in several works presented, reflecting connections between past and present, artwork and viewer, source and document.