The average book is rectangular and flat, and to most college students, also arduous and boring. But Harry and Sandra Reese are about to change all that.
The art and creation of bookmaking stands out as an intriguing experience for the husband-and-wife team. Their exhibit, entitled “Every Force Evolves a Form,” opens today at the University Art Gallery.
“It (the exhibit) really shows how a book, which many people might not even think of as art, can actually incorporate art from all different disciplines,” said Christine Kuper, the coordinator of Cal Poly’s University Art Gallery.
The abstract thinking needed to produce these unique styles of book art is what fascinated Reese to his creations.
“(In college) I was very interested how poetry looked on the page, and the shape of how it is translated into print,” said Harry Reese, founder of Turkey Press. “I started not only to explore the dynamics of poetry, but also the shape and form of it.”
Reese founded Turkey Press in 1974 as a graduate student of creative writing at Brown University. He married his wife, Sandra Liddell in 1975 and began making unique books together. In 1990, the couple founded Edition Reese, which concentrates on individual collaborative projects, mainly artist books.
Over the years, the Reeses have worked with such names as William T. Wiley, Ann Hamilton, Jud Fine and Yoko Ono.
Reese said he was interested in starting a company in order to “attempt to bring poetry to another group of people.” With this gallery, students are encouraged to understand his creations.
“For certain reasons, the art of bookmaking is really popular right now,” Kuper said. “One reason might be that the more and more digital and virtual people’s experience become, the more things like books, and especially books in limited edition, that are art objects, become more valued for what they offer for something different.”
Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library is hosting unique books from other libraries and artists in honor of the University Art Gallery exhibit. Here students will be able to better understand the construction of the works, and come to a better appreciation of bookmaking and writing.
“Many of the books are really more about the tactile experience of the book as an object in addition to what you’re getting through the written word,” Kuper said.
A discussion with the artist will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in room 227 with a reception to follow in the University Art Gallery. The exhibit will be available for viewing in the University Art Gallery in the Dexter Building until Oct. 22. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.