BravinLee programs is very pleased to present Dianna Frid’s one-of-a-kind books “The Waves” and “The Comets” (both 2011). These works are constructed through Frid’s signature process where stitching and the integration of mixed media merge to produce tactile sequences that foreground visual pleasure. Thematically, “The Waves” is an exploration of Virginia Woolf’s declaration that in her eponymous book she wrote rhythms, not plots. In Frid’s “The Waves” the book begins with the word “wave” stitched once on the page. As the book progresses, the number of times the word occurs on each folio increases until it crests and recedes. In “The Comets” Frid interprets pictorial representations of portentous and fleeting astral bodies.
Born in Mexico, the artist immigrated to Canada as a youth and currently lives in Chicago where she teaches in Studio Arts at the University of Illinois. Her artwork consists of sculptures, artist’s books, and works on paper. At a larger scale, she has also done site-specific installations in response to particular architectural locations. She has exhibited at P.S.1- MOMA, The Drawing Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and at other national and international venues.
Frid began to make artist’s books in 1993 in Vancouver, Canada under the pseudonym The Artery Archives. Her first projects were photographic editions in which an ephemeral event or sculpture was documented and encapsulated sequentially. Over time, she started to use the components traditionally used for binding pages, namely thread and needle, as tools for marking and configuring content. This became an opportunity to think critically about craftsmanship and to expand on delineations of drawing and mark-making within contemporary art.
Her long-standing production of one-of-a-kind handmade objects represents an engagement with lineages of craft in a domain that has, for the last several centuries, increasingly been mechanized: first as print and most recently as digital dissemination. Like her manual transformations of other mechanically reproduced representations (charts, graphs, blueprints), Frid’s artist’s books draw sensuous attention to the potentials of a form – the book – that, in its predominant mass-produced version, has come to seem little more than a neutral, even disposable medium for conveying information in linear sequence. By calling attention to the embodied physicality of the book, Frid pushes against this neutralization.