The Department of Special Collections’ current exhibition, Dressing the Text: The Fine Press Artists’ Book, is a traveling exhibition co-sponsored by the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County and the Printers’ Chappel of Santa Cruz, with support from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County. The exhibition showcases 48 outstanding examples of work produced by fine press printers and book artists from across the United States during the past decade. Dressing the Text illustrates how fine press artists’ books retain a devotion to text and craft while reflecting recent changes in philosophy and perception which have profoundly altered our definition, understanding, and appreciation of art in the late twentieth century.
THE FINE PRESS ARTISTS' BOOK: “The fine press artists’ book is a discrete form, particular and coherent. It is a kinetic, architectural construction that exists as sequential, narrative fields suspended through time and space. It is characterized by a devotion to text, and to the physical articulation of that text. It is not an illustrated book per se. Its visual elements negotiate a correspondence with its text to reflect a coincident form of narrative. The fine press artists’ book is a mosaic, but rather than a pile of fractured bits, it is the thoughtful amalgam of text, image, paper, binding structure, typography, and meaningful content. The goal is an integrated, harmonious whole. … Books are perhaps the most intimate objects made by human beings; they are meant to be caressed, and turning each page is a kind of seduction. If printing a book dresses a text, then reading a book undresses that text to reveal its essence. …” —Gary Young, GREENHOUSE REVIEW PRESS