Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marianne Perlak's Book Art

Harvard University Press's last art director, Marianne Perlak has created exquisite transfigurations of books. There are several names for this art, but it falls under the broader category of "altered books" or "book sculpture." Sometimes pages are merely folded; other times artists may slice and dice and add new materials.

Images from flickr

Marianne Perlak has spent her entire career as a book designer considering the physical properties of a book. She has taken the same care and precision of design into a new realm of exploration; creating a more sculptural and three-dimensional object. Nothing is cut in these altered books; the effects have everything to do with the quality of the paper, the density and size of the type, and the kind of binding removed in order to concentrate more fully on the new shape being formed. Others have retained the exterior binding, often for the beauty of their age and design. Nearly all of the books have been resurrected from second hand shops or curbside, on the way to disposal.

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