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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Stylized form of artistic production

    Book, 1968, created by Lucas Samaras, is one of the many illustrated books on display at the UA Museum of Art.
    ‘Book,’ 1968, created by Lucas Samaras, is one of the many illustrated books on display at the UA Museum of Art.

    For those of you who have temporarily misplaced your childhood in the rush to become mature adults, an exhibit at the UA Museum of Art offers an enticing way to illuminate your senses with childhood texts enhanced by illustrations added after the authors’ deaths.

    “”Livres d’artistes: Selections from the Ritter Collection”” is an assortment of a unique form of art known as the artist-illustrated book. An artist-illustrated book has illustrations by an artist other than the original illustrator or author, which are painted in the book using the pages as a canvas. These artist-illustrated books were printed in limited editions and meant for wealthy collectors, so the chance to view these items is a rare treat in itself. Showcasing a phenomenal lineup, with works from Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali to name a few, this compilation of outstanding illustrations is like a pop-up book collection for adults. The enticing words by poets mixed with glowing artwork combine to make the artist-illustrated book collection visually stimulating. The vibrant illustrations offer texture to literature that is normally presented through a flat medium.

    Similar to books that teach children about texture through fuzzy patches, this exhibit induces a flow of emotions on to the audience.

    UA Museum of Art chief curator Lisa Fischman hopes viewers will appreciate how unique this exhibit is.

    “”I hope museum-goers will respond to the beauty and stylistic variation in this relationship between image and printed text, that they will take the opportunity to think about the ways in which images and texts might inform one another differently,”” Fischman said.

    Although some of these books were previously illustrated, such as Lewis Carroll’s “”Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,”” these artist interpretations of the written work are very rare. The illustrations hold a uniqueness that overshadows the power of the printing press. The brush strokes are raw and evoke the sense that neither the artist nor the author has left the room.

    “”The act of collaboration is a leap of faith, a step into the unknown, where all manner of unexpected things may occur. This is true where an artist responds to the words of a deceased author,”” Fischman said. “”It is not in this practice that one plus one equals two, but rather something surprising results, a thing greater than the sum of its parts and that one party alone could neither have anticipated nor created.””

    Highly recommended for an afternoon spent hiding from the heat, there is also featured reading material, like poems by Edgar Allan Poe and work by e.e. cummings. The reading room was designed to allow visitors to see trade versions of featured author’s work. The UA Museum of Art is located near the corner of North Park Avenue and East Speedway Boulevard. Admission is always free and the museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays. For more information on this exhibit and future exhibitions, visit the UA Museum of Art’s Web site at www.artmuseum.arizona.edu.

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