Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Art for Bibliophiles at Diaz Contemporary Gallery

Bibliophile (noun) - one who loves or collects books.

I am, without at doubt, a bibliophile. I simply adore books and have stacks of them in my studio, in my office, and beside my bed. I also admire and collect art that celebrates books. There are three days left to see a divine show celebrating the art of books and text at Diaz Contemporary Gallery in Toronto.

Joyful Praise by Deanna Brown
Digital Inkjet Photograph at Diaz Contemporary Gallery

Treasury of Song by Deanna Brown
Digital Inkjet Photograph at Diaz Contemporary Gallery

The photos shown above are the work of a young artist by the name of Deanna Bowen, who recently graduated with her MFA from University of Toronto. In this hymnal series, she took large-format digital ink jet photographs which depict the covers of twentieth-century hymn books from south-west USA and western Canada. The titles of these hymn books such as "Joyful Praise" and "Treasury of Song" seem to offer hope and salvation. In her artist statement, Brown makes use of text "by presenting a glimpse of it, but rendering it inaccessible to the viewer".

I was immediately smitten with this peaceful and powerful work. I even considered purchasing one (very reasonable at $1500 each), but in the end was not comfortable with the religious element in my home. Nevertheless, I have to say I admire Ms. Brown's beautiful work and encourage other bibliophiles to make a trip to the gallery before the show closes on February 14, 2009.

Also worthy of note were Ricardo Cuevas work - title pages of imaginary books. Now why didn't I think of that!

Diaz Contemporary Gallery
100 Niagara Street (at Tecumseth)
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 1C5