We are excited to introduce James Allen's work in a guest exhibition of his book excavations.
Allen begins each of these pieces by cutting a hole in the cover of a book with a scalpel or x-acto blade. He selectively cuts through pages isolating fragments of images and words to create a cohesive composition from the depths of the book. While the compositions emerge intuitively, the resulting imagery is cohesive and sometimes narrative. Subject matter ranges from historical and archaic subjects, to haute couture, to botany or the aquatic world. Allen notes that he "enjoys how these Excavations turn the linear format of a book into a flat window through which to observe many pages at once."
James Allen was born in 1977 in Illinois. He earned a BFA from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2000. Currently he lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Allen's artwork is included in Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed published by Chronicle books. His work was exhibited at the Bellevue Arts Museum in The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book in 2009. His Book Excavations can be found in Public collections at UCLA, Johns Hopkins University, Ringling College of Art and Design, University of Puget Sound, University of Colorado Boulder, Baylor University, and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He's also exhibited across the country in New York, Seattle, Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland, Miami, and San Francisco.