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Karen Baldner: Witnesses
April 11, 2008 - June 28, 2008

Karen Baldner

Featured Artist Project organized by Alexander Campos

Over the years making artist books has become a way for Karen Baldner to encapsulate ideas left unaddressed in her larger bodies of work. As such her books have become witnesses to the processes of her creative cycles. She looks at them as small emissaries of relatively large thought processes. The content of her books covers a gamut of ideas as they evolve from one body of work to another. Some examples: “One-Liner” grew out of a cycle called “Human Traces” which recorded and regrouped conscious and unconscious mark making. “Pax Omnibus Res” addresses angles of world conflict from the cold war to 9/11. “Fat Little Book” is about abundance and neglect, the central theme of her “Heartland” series. “Mix & Match” and “Homo Sapiens Sapiens” accompany an installation in progress called “Dis-Memberment and Remembering” in which she separates casts of body parts from their original structure and re-integrate them into new contexts. “German/Jew” accompanies a new body of work in which Karen addresses her dual identity as a Jew and a German. “Obituaries” and “Heimat” take on a more conscious witnessing role as they accompany a dialogue and have become a repository for a collective process.

Handmade paper is a staple material in Karen Baldner’s books. She says, “for me it references skin, a place into which life’s process inscribes itself for better or for worse. Thus I hope to provide my viewers with a means to viscerally participate in the witnessing process of my books, whether by touching and reading them or by simply experiencing them visually.”


Karen  Baldner
Fat Little Book or The Plight of Plenty
(2003) Handmade paper sewn onto double raised cords with wooden boards, text: hand stamped, stenciled, images: lithography
German/Jew
(2004) Book structure; handmade paper casts with stenciled text and embedded twin
Heart
(2003) Pigmented handmade paper with text stencils, letterpress printed from polymer plates, image: lithography
Heimat
(2005) girdle book, handmade paper w/ embedded maps, wire, horse hair sewn into raised cords; wooden boards covered with leather; text: stamped/stenciled; images: lithography
Homo Sapiens Sapiens
(2003) Piano hinge binding, pigmented handmade paper with stenciled text and embedded human hair
Human Traces
(1990) Pamphlet binding with horse hair and quill, handmade linen paper, pencil
Intimacy
(2004) Pigmented handmade paper with text stencil, letterpress printed from hand-set lead type and polymer plates
Mix & Match
(2000) Ink drawing
Obituaries/Nachrufe
(2004) Collaboration with Bjorn Krondorfer, french door binding, acrylic, mirror, handmade paper, cloth, horse hair, wire, sand, text: trasnfers, images: digital
Open My/Your Wound
(2007) Maze book, digital image and text, slip case, wrap-around cover, handmade paper,
Pax Omnibus Res
(2002) Pamphlet binding with horse hair and quill, handmade acaba paper, pencil, ink, wash
Pushmepullyou
(2007) Collaboration with Bjorn Krondorfer, piano hinge binding with horse hair, pigmented, shaped handmade paper, text: hand stampe, stencil, transfers, digital, images: digital, linocuts
Stacks
(2004) Pigmented handmade paper with text stencil, letterpress printed from polymer plates, image: lithography