Center for Book Arts, NYC: Racism – An American Family Value


Racism: An American Family Value

Center for Book Arts, New York

July 9- Sept 12, 2009

Letterpress printer Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. is the co-curator of the show Racism: An American Family Value up now at the Center for Book Arts. The show features work reflecting both racist attitudes and reactions to racist attitudes in America. Included in the show is the Erased Lynching series by artist Ken Gonzales-Day, the Asian American ? Project business card series by Irene Chan, and a book created to respond to the idea that black people cant swim because their bones are too dense by Lisa Beth Robinson. “In the show, no one devoted strictly and solely to the matter of race or racism,” explains Kennedy. “They have a voice and they’re using this voice at this time to sing this song.” “Racism: An American Family Value” will be up until September 12, 2009 at the Center for Book Arts.

Link to video from WNYC on YouTube

This exhibition investigates how visual artists have used the printed word in their artistic practice to address one of the country’s oldest and most challenging social problems. Mixing humor with subversive symbolism, the art exhibited reveals the vast reach of contemporary book art as practiced by a wide spectrum of American culture.

Exhibition Checklist:

Manuel  Accevedo
Military Stream (2008) Mixed media
Monkey Business (2008) Mixed media

Tomie  Arai

Remixed (detail from instalation)(2003) Silk screen

Resident Aliens: Magnetic Poetry Project (2004) Silkscreen

Jamil  Azim

The Book of What… Plain Insanity or Just Evil (2009) Rope, fabric, plastic wrap container

Karen  Baldner
Mix & Match (2000) Ink drawing

Ben  Blount
ABC: An Abecedarium of Black Culture (2005) Letterpress from polymer plates

Africans in America (2009) Offset print

H.N.I.C (2007) Letterpress from polymer plates

Michael Paul  Britto

Poor Choices in Life and Speak, 1-8
(2009) Vinyl on mirror, 8 mirrors


United by Hate, 1-9
(2009) Vinyl on mirror, 9 mirrors


Josely  Carvalho

Does Culture (Box of Ancestors)
(1990) Inkjet print on acetate, paper, text, light, mirror, woman’s handbag

My Body is My Country
(1991) Silkscreen and offset on paper with acetate cover box

Irene  Chan

Asian American? Project
(2007) 35 business cards, print media on paper

Maureen  Cummins

Anatomy of Insanity
(2003) Letterpress printed book

The Business is Suffering
(2003) Letterpress and silksceen

Rory  Golden


See Related Story: the Murder of JR Warden
(2007) Mixed media drawings and audomobile rearview mirrors

Ken  Gonzales-Day

Erased Lynching Series (2006) Lightjet prints mounted on cardstock

Hang Trees (2006) Printed booklet

Stop Lynching (Buttons) (2006) Buttons


Caren  Heft

The Blues and Juives of Dr. Hepcat (1994) Letterpress on Root River Mill papers; sewn binding
Text by Alan Govenar

The CORE of James Farmer (2003) Letterpress on Root River Mill iris and daphne papers; sewn binding
Text by Detine L. Bowers


The Life and Poems of Osceola Mays (1989) Letterpress on Root River Mill abaca papers; bound on vellum tapes; contains a tape of Osceola Mays reciting her poems and singing spirituals
Text by Alan Govenar

Barbara  Henry

Love & Violence (2009) Letterpress / Linolium cuts

Jayson  Keeling

Annihilating Rhythm (a portrait of Grace Jones)
(2007) Glitter and debris on canvas


Maureen  Kelleher

James (2002) Paint, paper and engraving on wood

James II, Reprise (2008) Mixed media: paper, wood, paint, engraving on wood

Glenn  Ligon

Untitled (1992) Soft ground etching, aquatint, spit bite, and sugar lift on paper, Four units

Miguel  Luciano

Cracker Juan
(1998) Archival Inkjet Epson print

Jason  Lujan

Selections from the American Indian Activist Handbook
(2004) Inkjet on newsprint, t-pins

Clifton  Meador

The Long Slow March
(1996) Offset lithography

Douglas  Miles/Apache Skateboards

Happiness is a Warm Gun… Bang bang shoot shoot
(2009) Screen-print

Shervone  Neckles

Primary I
(2004) Fabric, polyester filling, wood / iron desk and book

Soldier Stories
(2007) Double accordion fold, mounted board covered with green linen

Jessica  Peterson

Cause and Effect
(2009) Letterpress printed on handmade paper

Adrian  Piper

Forget it!
(1991) Color offset lithograph

Rosae  Reeder

(2009) Letterpress and ink jet

Philosophy of Race: altered race cards
(2009) Inkjet

Lisa Beth  Robinson

(2009) Letterpress and linoleum cut

Karina Aguilera  Skvirsky

North East South (detail from installation)
(2008) Photography and video

Danny  Tisdale

The Last African American in the 22nd Century
(1994) Offset printed

Kara  Walker

Freedom, A Fable: A Curious Interpretation of the Wit of a Negress in Troubled Times
(1997) Bound volume of offset lithographs and five laser-cut, pop-up silhouettes on black card stock, leather binding

Kara Walker
(1997) Hardcover book with gold leaf cover

Shu-Ju  Wang

(2004) Print gocco

Pocket Atlas for Travelers
(2002) Print gocco, gouache, acrylic

Carrie Mae  Weems

Made for Him, Made for Her
(1995) C-prints and etched glass

Lynne  Yamamoto

(1993) Pressed paper and paper pulp

Film Night

Proceed and Be Bold! Feature Documentary on Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. Wednesday, August 5, 6:30 pm

Artist Talk:

With Nicole Caruth. Featuring artists from the exhibition.
Wednesday, August 19, 6:30 pm

Gallery Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm
Saturday, 10am-4pm
Admission to the galleries is free.

Support for the Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.