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A Catalogue from Gary Spinosa's 2007 exhibition, Philosopher's Stone, at the Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
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This book is a 185-page, glossy masterpiece, and an object for the hand as well as the eye. The book-as-object is something book designers, publishers, bookbinders and craftspeople know well, but most of the rest of the world experience it only fleetingly upon the purchase or receipt of a particularly prized edition. The book as an object, a work of art itself, has seldom been so conspicuously made manifest as with this volume, and it is appropriate that Gary Spinosa: Philosopher's Stone is the Bruce Gallery Press's inaugural publication. Having as its subject the work of a tactile artist, the volume is in itself a kind of interactive, kinetic, meta-Spinosa sculpture that allows the reader to touch and linger over Spinosa's multifaceted shapes, intricate details, complex textures and colorations. And, clearly, the creators understood this would be the case from the beginning. Entire pages are given to textured close-ups so tight it becomes nearly impossible to tell which artwork they are details of. Sculptures are photographed repeatedly from different angles, approximating one's turning the object in the hand. Page after page of luminous images by photographers Jeff Willis and Dan Fox open to reveal the kind of deep meditation you'd give only if you had these works in your home and contemplated them over time, as the mood caught you, revealing new insights. Gary Spinosa: Philosopher's Stone is far too overwhelming to be appreciated in any one sitting, and the book fulfills the real definition of a book one needs to own: It will be repeatedly referred to over a lifetime, and give increasing joy. The volume is divided into two sections. The first, printed on a heavy, matte, ivory stock, presents a lucid insightful introduction by John Bavaro and an astute, learned essay by professor of art history Charlotte H. Wellman. These pages are illustrated with a combination of images from Spinosa's sculpture, paintings and drawings, photographs from previous exhibits, sketches from his notebooks, and assorted photographs from his home and studio, along with various images that parallel, in a casual manner, the creative impulses of Spinosa's art: Cambodian temples, painted Indian elephants, ancient ruins, and aboriginal carvings. These images are not attributed nor annotated, and readers are left to make what connections we will. It's a daring move in a bold book. The main section follows. Printed on heavy gloss stock, photographs of work from the exhibit are laid out in a perceptive aesthetic approach that allows Spinosa's work to radiate from the page so naturally that it is a work of hard imagination to realize that in lesser hands a different organizational strategy could easily have diminished the power of the artwork the book presents. Moving from full views to details to intense close-ups, often with an eye to nothing other than the sheer visual power of color and form, each page reinforces what comes before and sets us up for what comes next, and this can be proven by randomly skimming through in the pages. The eye can glide and land anywhere in the book and strike gold. None of this is cluttered with notation. All the attributions are left to concise endnotes. It's a brilliant performance. --Cambridge Springs Press
The power of Gary Spinosa: Philosopher's Stone is that it is more than a record of an exhibit. It is a work of art in its own right. It is Spinosa's artwork in fact, brought forth through the multiple lenses of Bavaro, Willis, Fox, Art Director Shelle Barron, and Designers Sara Bressler, Karthryn Budner, Jamie Schricker, and Jessica Shoemaker, each consciousness comprehending the vibrant energy of Spinosa's work, and finding a way to amplify it through their independent artistic vision. And as the book rests weightily in the hand, this may be as close as many of us will get to owning the un-ownable. To possess, and scrutinize, and meditate upon, and bask in a unique art form at our leisure, and as long as we please, and whenever we want. --Erie Times-News
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Book Description Bruce Gallery Press, 2007. Condition: UsedAcceptable. book. Seller Inventory # M0979141400_4