Ken Botnick: Typographies
Craft as a Pathway Towards Humanity
January 11, 2013 – March 24, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 6 – 8pm
Ken Botnick is a well known printer/publisher and book designer whose work is found in collections around the world. In the words of French philosopher Roland Barthes, "the object is the world's human signature," and for Ken Botnick, his personal “signature” is the book. This solo exhibition, the artist’s first in St. Louis, presents an array of books, prints and sculptures inspired by his experiences and reflecting his ongoing investigation of “how a book means in the world.”
In today’s digital era, Botnick’s explorations in typography serve as a refreshing counterpoint to the standard black font on an illuminated screen. At its core, Botnick’s work is “grounded in text, and typography is what makes text visual, gives it a voice, a shape, an identity.” Encouraging slow and thoughtful interpretations, he creates stacked-book edifices, books that can be paged through and text-based sculptures that can be read from both sides. His choice of source material is often a personal reflection of life experiences or the outcome of collaborations with writers or poets like Mary Jo Bang.
“I’m a craftsman at heart,” Botnick muses, “drawn to the play of material, technique, design and soul, whether it’s in a poem, a painting, a bridge or a ceramic pot. Craft is one of the defining human characteristics. For me, the book has been a kind of path toward that humanity.”
Opening concurrently at the Charak Gallery is The Blank Page, featuring Erin Vigneu Dimick, Jana Harper, Catherine Johnson, Matt Kleinberg, Joanne Kluba, Elysia Mann, Michael Powell, Amy Thompson, and Miriam Wiegand. Each of these artists were challenged to create ten to twelve blank journals. They were asked to construct the book through traditional and non-traditional bookbinding techniques and not to consider what the content would be, but just the book itself. The Blank Page explores infinite possibilities to the artist making the book and to the person filling the blank pages.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10am – 5pm / Friday – Saturday 10am – 6pm / Sunday 11am – 5pm
Craft Alliance in the Delmar Loop
6640 Delmar Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63130