A Library of Unreadable Things: “The Art of the Book” at Seager Gray Gallery
Estimate $4,500. Focusing on novels, reference volumes, atlases, and art monographs, Doug Beube approaches each text as if it were a body or an archaeological site.
Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Jayne H. Baum Gallery
Trained as a filmmaker and photographer, Doug Beube turned to another narrative form in the late 1970s: books. Focusing on novels, reference volumes, atlases, and art monographs, he approaches each text as if it were a body or an archaeological site, as he explains: “Like a physician or an archaeologist, I am driven to examine it, to dissect it, to cut it open, to dig into it. I am compelled to unfix margins, make tomes weightless, empty volumes of their stories and twist a point of view into its opposite.” Through these processes, he turns the books into objects and sculptures, and incorporates their parts into his mixed-media works. He has, for example, transformed dictionaries into African masks. Beube both honors and critiques authors, re-crafting their words into works through which he comments on the state of the world.
Canadian-American, Hamilton, Canada, based in Brooklyn, New York