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Curator Tour: The Embodied Press: queer abstraction and the artistsʻ book

Join us for a gallery talk lead by Anthea Black, the curator of  The Embodied Press: queer abstraction and the artist’s book, Thursday, November 9th, 4-6pm.

The artist book is a perfect form to experience the pleasures and politics of the handmade. Saturated ink spreading across a page. Layer upon layer. Looking that quickly turns the page to touch. Curator and critic Anthea Black will present new research on artist’s books and publications focusing on queer and transgender artists in the exhibition The Embodied Press. Together we will look at artist’s books, zines and graphic novels that feature experiments with letterpress, screenprinting, and risograph as aspects of craft practice. Books are often read for their content: overlapping several successive decades of LGBTQ+ and queer-feminist political action. And yet, pleasure and care is found in each artist’s skillful orchestration of material and technical elements to engage a range of the senses. So what happens when a book object (or a body) “frustrates legibility” or becomes difficult to read? It must be felt. Held in our hands. Absorbed. In particular, Black will present works that revel in the potentially defiant possibilities of abstraction and the handmade – conveying experience that is deeply felt, but difficult to publicly express through language or imagery alone.

The talk will be followed by a Q+A and refreshments.

Curator Biography:

Anthea Black is a Canadian artist based in Toronto and the Bay Area. Black is curator of several exhibitions including SUPER STRING (2006), No Place: Queer Geographies, (2012-14), and PLEASURE CRAFT (2014) and co-editor of The New Politics of the Handmade: Craft, Art and Design (Bloomsbury, 2020) and HANDBOOK: Supporting Queer and Trans Students in Art and Design Education (OCAD University, 2018). Her studio practice addresses queer-feminist archives, collaboration, and artist-publishing, moving between representation and abstraction. Black has recently exhibited in  Looking at the Invisible, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, Loosely Assembled: The HIV Howler Intervention, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montréal, HARDCORE EINDHOVEN, Van Abbe Museum, Netherlands, Beginning with the Seventies: GLUT, Belkin Art Gallery at UBC, Vancouver, and the Independent Curators International touring exhibition Publishing Against the Grain. She is Associate Professor of Printmedia and Graduate Fine Arts at California College of the Arts, San Francisco.

Event Details

Date: November 9, 2023

Time: 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

Kala Gallery
2990 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702