Bridwell Library announces the opening of the first gallery exhibit in the library since 2019. Symbiosis of Script, Font, and Form: A Selection of Artists’ Books is a look at books from Bridwell Library Special Collections in which artists or circles of collaborators have integrated corporeal elements of the book form into the literature in sensitive and sometimes astounding ways.
The exhibit features 41 volumes illustrated by over thirty-five artists who have chosen well-known works to enhance or have created their own stories through text illustration. Artists include Henri Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Sonia Delaunay, Sam Gilliam, Rufino Tamayo, Salvador Dalí, and Jasper Johns. The finished books offer words that can be spoken and heard, paper that can be weighed in the hand and felt on the fingertips, ink that is forever as rich on the page as it had been on the press, geometry that cuts through the book page by page, a flow of alphabetic characters familiar and then seen for the first time, all enmeshed, all bound in organic synthesis, together surpassing any individual contributions.
The exhibited selections are in no way comprehensive as an array of twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists’ books. No particular thread in the history of printing or Western book arts was tracked. No succession of artists was deliberately followed. Rather, each book was included for its own sake, on its own terms, in its appeal to human hands, minds, and spirits.
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries
Bridwell Library, SMU Libraries, and Perkins School of Theology, SMU
On view through March 31, 2022