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Bound & Unbound 5

Jessica Drenk is an American artist raised in Montana, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today. Tactile and textural, her sculptures highlight the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Drenk’s work is also influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world. Working with altered books for over 15 years, Drenk’s work can be found in private collections throughout the world, and can be seen in galleries across the United States. Her work is a part of several corporate collections, such as Fidelity Investments and the Macallan distillery in Scotland, as well as university collections, including Yale University Art Gallery. Drenk has been the recipient of several awards, including the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, and her work has been pictured in Sculpture and Interior Design magazines, as well as the Workshop Guide to Ceramics. Drenk received an MFA in 3D Art from the University of Arizona in 2007 and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in 2002. A working artist since 2007, Drenk’s home and studio are currently outside Rochester, New York. 


The pieces chosen for Bound and Unbound V represent a variety of artistic responses to books. Some artists are engaging with the specific content of a particular book or author, while others are working with the general notion of books as repositories of knowledge, narrative, or institutional bias. In places, printed words have been obliterated or rearranged, and some artists have added their own words to recontextualize or undermine original content. Several artists have completely reshaped the book, treating it as a physical object and embracing the material qualities of paper and binding. A few have created their own content and format, pushing the boundaries of what one might consider to be a book, and exploring the very idea of “the book.” Each piece asks you to engage with books in new ways: to read the book visually and to apply new layers of content to original text.

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