Printmaker and Book Artist Casey Gardner Conveys Wonder About the Nature of Life in Solo Exhibition at the William Paterson University Galleries

Recent artist’s books and prints by Casey Gardner, the Grand Prize recipient of the 2018 Ink, Press, Repeat exhibition will be on view at the William Paterson University Galleries in the Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts from January 27 to May 6, 2020. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and select Saturdays (March 7, April 4, and April 25) and Sundays (February 23) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. 

On view in the East Gallery, Gardner presents letterpress books printed with a variety of media and linoleum prints. Drawing inspiration from cartography, mythology, and science, she conveys wonder about the nature of life. The artist elaborates: “I am inspired by the interaction of body and mind, and how turning the pages of a book offers limitless possibilities in sequence, timing, and motion

The exhibition is titled after Wonder Might Ignite (2012), a limited edition artist’s book about a journey of wonder and spontaneity. Printed with wood type and photopolymery plates, this accordion-bound book melds poetry and science while investigating opposing forces of inertia and momentum and processes of expansion and contraction.

Cartographical Incantations (2015) features unfolding and tessellated map fragments interspersed with illustrations of imaginary creatures. This cartographic imagery is based on the artist’s research on 16th- and 17th-century Dutch maps found in atlases at the Public Library of Amsterdam, Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. The accompanying text consists of a traveler’s tale and “Wayfarer Incantations” or poetic ruminations on wayfinding.

Matter, Antimatter & So Forth (2013) consists of seven folios describing missions into celestial realms and investigations of vital components of the universe: light, time, gravity, matter, infinity, and science. This letterpress series seeks to find meaning in the natural forces and phenomena of the cosmos.

In Threshold (2012), Gardner reinterprets Ovid’s Metamorphosis from the perspective of the nymph, Daphne, the huntress who was pursued by the god Apollo. The book also features four “Mythological Meta Musese of Flux,” muses of imagination who offer guiding assistance in the passage through thresholds and transformations.

Gardner is a printmaker and book artist living in Berkeley, California. She grew up in Aspen, Colorado where there were plenty of bookstores, mountains, and starry skies to explore. After graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder, she worked in journalism and ski racing before moving to the Bay Area. She received a BFA in printmaking and graphic design from California College of the Arts. Her multilayered narratives explore the intersection of scientific understanding and human meaning. She writes, draws, prints, and binds her own work with Set in Motion Press. 

Wonder Might Ignite is one of three exhibitions on view concurrently in the William Paterson University Galleries. On view in the South Gallery, Ink, Press, Repeat is a national juried exhibition of traditional and digital print media and book art by 37 professional artists from across the United States. In the Court Gallery, artist Marion Wilson investigates ecology and landscapes that foster a closer connection to self and place through her photographs, paintings, and installations in Marion Wilson: The Landscape Is Sanctuary to Our Fears.

This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print educational materials are available. For additional information, please call the William Paterson University Galleries at 973-720-2654. 

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