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The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art opens three new exhibitions that highlight paper and books
Jacqueline Rush Lee, Anthologia, 2007. Reassembled, inked and folded book, 9 x 9 x 6 inches.

SAN JOSE, CA.- The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art announces three new exhibitions opening on June 5.

NextNewPaper June 5 – September 18 Main Gallery
In this iteration of the NextNew series, 19 Bay Area artists use paper as their medium, creating works that highlight the endless ways that this seemingly innocuous material can be manipulated.

Originally invented in the first century, this omnipresent material continues to be a necessary resource even in this digital age. Letters, notepads, business cards, Post-its, money, utility bills and promotional flyers are all part of our everyday lives. Artists in NextNewPaper examine the numerous properties of this medium, cutting, bending, molding and otherwise manipulating it to create intimately detailed works as well as massive site-specific installations.

Exhibiting artists include: Javier Arce, Michael Buscemi, Peter Foucault, Julia Anne Goodman, Taro Hattori, Carolynn Haydu, Cynthia Ona Innis, Loren King, Kyong Ae Kim, Jacqueline Rush Lee, Monica Lundy, Kirk Maxson, Joyce Nojima, Jann Nunn, Amy Oates, Michael Sell, Weston Teruya, Annie Vought and Imin Yeh.

Joyce Nojima, Weston Teruya, and Imin Yeh explore ordinary objects such as cash register receipts, electrical outlets, and architectural elements to question our relationship to these ordinary fixtures in our daily lives. Kyong Ae Kim, Michael Buscemi, Amy Oates and Annie Vought meticulously cut paper to construct reliefs and intricate silhouettes that emphasize the play of light and shadow. The sculptures of Jann Nunn and Jacqueline Rush Lee are painstakingly assembled with hundreds of thin sheets of paper resulting in amazingly sturdy structures. Collage, mixed media, and abstract markmaking with ink, coffee, and tea (and sometimes with the help of a robot) are seen in the works of Peter Foucault, Javier Arce, Cynthia Ona Innis, Carolynn Haydu, and Michael Sell. Monica Lundy and Kirk Maxson reference leaves and plants to evoke a sense of place and reflect upon history in their nature-inspired pieces. Julia Anne Goodman examines the concept of intimacy with her newest pulped bed sheet work. With Loren King, the two collaborate to create colorful “brain maps” on hand-made paper. And, Taro Hattori’s monumental site-specific installation made of cardboard bends the dynamics of the medium in awe-inspiring ways.

This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 June 5 – September 11 Focus Gallery
In collaboration with Seager Gray Gallery, the ICA is proud to present This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 in the Focus Gallery. For the past decade, Seager Gray has taken the lead in presenting art related to books and recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of their now widely acclaimed Art of the Book exhibition, which takes place each May at the Mill Valley gallery. The ICA’s presentation culls from that rich history and continues where the ICA’s 2001 exhibition This is Not A Book left off.

The typical anatomy of a printed book is text and/or images on paper, bounded by glue or sewn together. On the interior pages, authors write stories and information about places, memories, facts, and images, and on the exterior, a cover details the title of the book, name of the author, and often offers a teaser summary. In This is Not a Book: Chapter 2, 28 artists expand on the very essence of a book. The ubiquitous objects on the shelves of our homes or libraries have been astonishingly altered into wondrous sculptures. One might still discern the materiality of the pages and the characteristics of the covers. However, they are now transfigured into inventive forms, from intimate, finely carved objects to large-scale installations to glowing cubes. With curiosity, whit, and play, artists in This is Not a Book: Chapter 2 create sculptural objects that question our assumptions about book design, the future of the book, and our relationship to these ordinary, but important and cherished publications.

Exhibiting Artists Include: Guston Abright, Jody Alexander, James Allen, Doug Beube, Sarah Brown, Kim Henigman Bruce, Valerie Buess, Julie Chen, Marie Dern and Danielle Giudici Wallis, Brian Dettmer, Lauren DiCioccio, Jessica Drenk, Arian Dylan, Andrew Hayes, Helen Hiebert, Meg Hitchcock, Airan Kang, Lisa Kokin, Vince Koloski, Guy Laramée, Emily Payne, Maria Porges, Jacqueline Rush Lee, Sandi Miot, Mike Stilkey, Vita Wells, and Barbara Wildenboer.

Mary Ellen Bartley: Looking Between the Covers June 5 – September 4 Off Center Gallery*
Mary Ellen Bartley’s photographs explore the materiality of the printed book – the formal qualities of the paper, the binding, the spine, the cover and the color.
Bartley has always had an affinity for books. They have served as an important way for her to learn and think about art. Inspired by the 2008 retrospective of Morandi, the Italian painter and printmaker known for the tonal subtlety of his still lifes, Bartley was moved to find a still life project that she could work on for an extended period of time.

Looking Between the Covers includes work from three still life series made between 2009 and 2012. The muted colors and delicate use of light in her Paperbacks series reflect Bartley’s minimalist sensibility. She has purposefully chosen not to title the images so that the subject of the book does not distract the viewer. She has used a wide palette of "whites," from light grey to pale blue, in order to create “something quiet.” The dark and ominous colors of her Blue Book series create a sense of mystery and sadness. As the painter Ross Bleckner commented, these images reflect both presence and absence. They are beautifully enigmatic and foreboding. The works in Standing Open mark a departure from the minimalist tendencies in Bartley’s earlier work. She came to the series by accident when she stood one of the books upright and the pages began to spread apart. What she discovered was a wonderful striping motif that was created by the pages. Unlike her earlier works, these images afford the viewer a glimpse into the contents of the publication, as do the titles, which reference the books that Bartley is photographing.

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