From hair curled inside a book to notes on a soon-to-come bridge, page-centric pieces from more than 20 artists are on display through Jan. 27 at the Art Center’s Williamson Gallery.
The aptly titled “Pages” exhibition, which was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times, was 18 months in the making and features on array of objects, books and papers honoring the page’s seminal role in crafting culture and knowledge.
“You can look at a book as if it’s a body,” said artist Suvan Geer of her 1999 piece “Loose Ends,” which pairs an open book with human hair. “When someone dies, their hair and nails keep growing … When you close [a book], where does it go? How do you know when something’s alive?”
Faculty member Simon Johnston took a seemingly obsessive-compulsive approach with “Investigation.” The 1997 piece is comprised of 256 individually framed pages from “Philosophical Investigations,” Ludwig Wittgenstein’s influential book about the shortcomings of language, with all of the words omitted except “this.”
“Words act as signals that take you to a thing, except ‘this.’ It’s a black hole of language,” he said.
Large-scale sculpture Andrew Leicester designed against type when he was selected to develop a light-rail bridge in Arcadia. The project, completed Dec. 15, has undergone nearly 200 incarnations, one of which is on display.
“This isn’t the concept for the final bridge, but the curators liked this page,” said Leicester of snake-like pattern in his sketchbook. “The snake is still in the project; the bridge itself is like a sinuous snake.”
Other works on view include Albert Einstein’s 1896 high school certificate and Mark Twain’s handwritten revisions to “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” the short story that brought him international attention.
The Williamson Gallery is located at 1700 Lida St., Pasadena; hours are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and noon to 9 p.m., Friday. For more information, call (626) 396-2446 or visit www.artcenter.edu/williamson