DIAMOND LEAVES: Artist Books from around the World was inaugurated on the afternoon of September 18th on the second floor of CAFA Art Museum. A successful collaboration between the Brooklyn Artists Alliance and the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing, the exhibition is curated by Xu Bing, a renowned artist and Vice-President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and Marshall Weber, an interdisciplinary artist and Directing Curator of Brooklyn; it is the first major museum exhibition of contemporary international Artist Books in China.
A decade in the making, the DIAMOND LEAVES exhibition showcases over 200 masterpieces of the Artist Book form created by more than 100 visual artists, some well known and some emerging, who approach the creation of Artist Books as an interdisciplinary and multi-media practice. Using collage, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and digital and social media, artists are creating books that provide us with complicated aesthetic experiences and push the boundaries of book design far beyond the limits of the conventional book’s form. Just as photography liberated painting from its documentary function late in the 19th century, digital media has liberated the book from the burden of operating as a vehicle for text and data, spurring the renaissance of creative bookmaking celebrated by this exhibition.
Focusing on books created in the 21st century, the exhibit demonstrates how an Artist Book can function as both fine art and as an experimental laboratory for global visual language development. The exhibition consists of conceptually, materially and structurally ambitious hand-bound hardcover Artist Books published in limited editions of less than 100. Another component of the exhibit features a reconstruction of a Brooklyn-style bookstore of inexpensive, image-based, paperback, populist, intimate, and artist-produced Zines and comic books published in editions of over 100. Other exhibits components contain examples of the early 20th century Soviet constructivist books that revolutionized book and typography design, and a small exquisite selection of antique European and Asian illustrated books that show the trajectory from older book forms to contemporary Artist Books.
Duration: September 18th—October 28th, 2012
Venue: Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (CAFAM)
Address: No.8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing, China