Saturday, March 7, 2009

Book Art

I love everything about books and when I see art that incorporates books, I'm a goner. I just want to swoon at the artist's feet.

Cliff Eyland is an artist that uses books as inspiration for his work. When he was at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the 1980s, he cut up a copy of the classic art history textbook "History of Modern Art" by H.H. Arnason into 3 by 5 inch rectangles. He inserted the proxy art pieces into the school's library catalogue (sadly, this would no longer be possible in the digital age) thereby closing the gap between library and gallery. Since that project, all of Eyland's work has been 3 by 5 inches.

In Eyland's current exhibition Bookshelf File Cards at the Leo Kamen Gallery in Toronto, he has created tiny libraries on his computer, made them into 3x5 prints and mounted them onto MDF. Some works are also hand-painted.

Of course, I had to see this work in person and visited the gallery on Thursday. These colourful miniature paintings and illustrations of bookshelves made me smile. Eyland claims to be hopelessly in love with books and libraries and this passion comes out in his work. He even once said "I want all the books in the world!" (I can definitely relate to that). There were several book paintings that I coveted. I wonder if he wants to trade for some miniature origami hats?

Cliff Eyland
Bookshelf File Cards (February 21 to March 21, 2009)
Leo Kamen Gallery
80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 406
Toronto, Ontario
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm 416-504-9515

P.S. If you are in town and a book lover, don't miss The Old Book & Paper Show & Sale. For sale are rare books, comics, magazines, old advertising, maps, magazines etc. It is on today, Saturday, March 7th at the Thornhill Community Centre, 775 Bayview Avenue, Thornhill.
For info, check out