PULLMAN, Wash. — A selection of unique art books from the Washington State University Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection will be on display Oct. 19-Nov. 24 in the WSU Fine Arts Department’s Gallery II.
The exhibition, “Celebrating Book Arts,” is presented by the Museum of Art and the Department of Fine Arts in conjunction with two other exhibits on the Pullman campus. The WSU Libraries’ exhibition, “Westward Bound,” will be on display Oct. 18-Nov. 28 in the Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections area of the Holland Library, and “Books and Beyond” is on exhibit in the Compton Union Gallery through Oct. 22.
Curated by WSU Fine Arts faculty members Fran Ho and Emily Blair, “Celebrating Book Arts” features more than books, book covers, pages and boxes constructed in various materials. Among the selections on display will be “Books and Graphics, Part I,” a book by artist/writer Dieter Roth. The exhibit also includes a collection of photolithographs from “Revolution per Minute (The Art Record)” that includes performance artist Chris Burden’s “The Atomic Alphabet” and controversial German artist Joseph Beuys’ “Excerpt from Cooper Union Dialogue.”
Dieter Roth was born in 1930 in Germany to a German mother and Swiss father. In 1943, he moved to Switzerland where he began drawing, oil painting, print making and writing poetry. During his career, he experimented with a variety of media and materials, including baked sculptures, books with holes, and objects made with chocolate and other edible materials subject to decomposition, and collaborated with other artists, including Richard Hamilton and Arnulf Rainer. Roth died in 1998.
Performance artist Chris Burden is probably most recognized for his extreme approach to his work, drawing attention from the media and the public by using his own body as an object in his performances. During 1971, he allowed a friend to shoot him in the arm, and a few years later crawled naked through broken glass with his hands behind his back. Members of the media speculated on whether or not he would live to be 30. In 1974, he compiled documentation from his best-known performances into a book, Chris Burden’s “Deluxe Photobook,” which has been shown at the Riko Mizuno Gallery in Los Angeles and at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York. (He is still alive.)
Joseph Beuys was born in Kleve, Germany, in 1921. He had his first one-person show in Kranenburg in 1953, and in 1961 he became a professor at Düsseldorf Art Academy. He continued there until 1972, when he was dismissed. His controversial dismissal was overturned in 1978. During the 1970s, he exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States, representing Germany at the Venice Biennale in 1976. He died in 1986 in Düsseldorf, where he had lived for most of his career.
Other works in “Celebrating Book Arts” include Eduardo Paolozzi’s “Moonstrips Empire News, Volume I,” and a portfolio slipcover from John Furnival’s “Blind Date.”
Gallery II is located in the Fine Arts Center at WSU in Pullman. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. The exhibition is open to the public without charge. The gallery is wheelchair accessible, and visitor parking permits are available at the Visitor Center in downtown Pullman and at WSU Parking Services.
Funding for museum exhibitions and programs is provided WSU and the Friends of the Museum of Art. A portion of the museum’s general operating funds for the fiscal year has been provided through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency providing general operating support to the nation’s museums.

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