Joyce Cutler-Shaw ~ California
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Joyce Cutler-Shaw: " Artists books are integral to my works at every level, from proposal pieces and visual documents of installations and public works, to limited editions and unique book objects. My subjects are human identity and the natural world. My themes are evolution, survival and transformation: from reptile into bird, from mammal to human, and from human, perhaps, to humane."
   

Bookworks about New York City
Bookworks regarding Public Projects
Bookworks resulting / relating to her Alphabet of Bones series
Mission Valley Branch Library Installation bookworks
Rio Grande Project

Miniature Book by Joyce Cutler-Shaw

 
   

What Comes to Mind
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2013. Edition of 15 series variants.

5.875 x 4.25"; extends to 5.75" deep. Modified tunnel book or square fold book. Digital prints. Signed and numbered by the artist. Banded closure.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw: "The human body is the matrix of the human condition. With its long history of depiction, the human body remains a frontier, still being re-defined, with the brain, its formation and functions, at the forefront of neurological and neurobiological research. The invitation to develop new work for the exhibition, Seeing Ourselves, which included a comprehensive brain scan, has generated an extensive project ... The invitation was a provocation. It was

  • to realize with awe and wonder that the world and the cosmos are both of and beyond our cognition
  • that the, more or less, three pound, skull encased, embodied structure, the brain, in its marvelous complexity, is what defines and propels us
  • that the emerging and compelling subject/theme, inspired by this initial project for the exhibit, Seeing Ourselves, is the visual translation of the evolution of human consciousness, that is, what it means to be human. It is a continuing project that I have titled, What Comes To Mind."

"What comes to mind is that we are temporal, in a continual now. The past is memory, translated to ... tunnel books with brain scan movies, and memory pictures, as if in a wonderland of images in the mysterious realm of consciousness, of origins still unexplained."

What Comes to Mind has a scan of the artist's brain on the back panel with an image of her artwork on each side of the tunnel. It is the artist's way of showing how the brain accumulates images from the past. There are 15 books in this edition, each with a different set of images.
$100


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Shadows: The Movie Stills
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2007. Edition of 4.

15 x 5" closed; extends to 15 x 61"; 12 unnumbered pages. Digital prints on museum board. Fan fold structure. Black paper-covered boards. Housed in black paper covered letterfold box with bone and leather closure.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw: "The skeleton and its shadows, the most durable and ephemeral traces of the human body, evoke the hidden and mysterious self. The skeleton is our primary human structure, our armature. Human evolution is written in the fossil traces of that skeletal structure. [I have] an extensive series of skeleton drawings, enlarged mylar wall works and dimensional wall collages. … [I approach] the body as a matrix of the human condition and the study of its territory as a geography."

This book comes from Shadows Movie, 2007 — what the artist calls a "drawing movie" from The Skeleton and Shadow drawing series. The movie (3 minute DVD on loop) can be seen at http://joycecutlershaw.com/featured/f_5.php.

This work is an offshoot of Anatomy Lesson: Unveiling the Fasciculus Medicinae by Johannes de Ketham (Robin Price, Printer and Publisher, 2004)
$400



   

Episodes of the City bookworks
   

Memory Pictures: New York
ByJoyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2007. Edition of 25.

5.25 x 3" closed, extends to 36.75"; 7 pages. Accordion fold. Black-and-white illustrations. Black paper covered boards cloth. Signed & numbered by the artist.

Presumably from the artist's sketchbook, drawings of New York City sites and monuments form a mask for a long-haired anonymous figure (face only), or perhaps more accurately provide a window onto and record of what the artist sees.
$100


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The Poet's House is My House
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2007. Edition of 25.

9.75 x 6.75" closed; 8 pages. Accordion book. Black-and-white illustrations. Signed & numbered by the artist. Black paper-covered boards.

A series of black-and-white drawings of the Edgar Alan Poe Cottage in New York City.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, interview with Margaret Lovejoy: "Lola (my mother) worked toward going into business for herself by managing stores, and which she did, with a small shop in the Bronx when I was thirteen. We had an apartment of our own for the first time at 271 East Kingsbridge Road, across from Poe Park and Poe Cottage. I would pretend that the poet’s house was my house. Poets would become prominent in my life at that time. I went to Elizabeth Barrett Browning Junior High School. We learned her poetry by heart, and that of other women poets such as Emily Dickinson...."
$300


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Village Life
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2007. Edition of 25.

9.75 x 6.75" closed; 12 pages. Accordion book. Black-and-white illustrations. Signed & numbered by the artist. Black paper covered boards.

A series of black-and-white drawings of Greenwich Village with handwritten journal-like notes, both made by the artist in 2007, the time of her exhibition “Episodes of The City: New York as a Source Book."

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, interview by Margot Lovejoy: "I have no idea what my life would have been like if I had stayed in New York. I am tied to the city in my imagination. It is the city as imaginary. However, I always felt like an outsider, that I did not quite belong. New York is a good place to feel like that. You can be solitary with company. Just being on the street is to be in communication. The phrase that I use in my work I realize now has been an expression of that feeling of displacement-the artist is a migratory worker, home is a portable loft. I felt about New York — which has a tangible energy that energizes me — that anything is possible, but with its fierce competitiveness, perhaps nothing is possible. However, an art life here is always possible, because in New York art is taken seriously, and the art audience in itself is diverse."
$300


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Work resulting from the commission from the City of San Diego Library Department and The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and culture in 2002 for the Mission Valley Branch Library.
   

The Sycamore Leaf Canopy
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003. Edition of 25.

7 x 5.4" closed; 10.75 x 4.5" open. Panoramic slide-out box. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs. Signed by the artist.

The City of San Diego Library Department and The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and culture commissioned The Sycamore Leaf Canopy in 2002 for the Mission Valley Branch Library. The theme of the library branch is the San Diego River, a prime natural resource of San Diego's Mission Valley. The riverbanks are a habitat of native California sycamore trees which inspired this design by Cutler-Shaw. The installation consists of eight columns, visual metaphors for the sheltering bower of a tree. The columns are 16 by 16 foot sections of quarter inch plasma cut steel. Each section is set within one of the eight structural columns, which support the arched library ceiling. Cutler-Shaw produced this black and white slide-out artist book to commemorate the installation.
$200


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The Railing of the Wild River Grasses
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003. Edition of 25.

Mixed media fanfold book with bark cover.

The City of San Diego Library Department and The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture commissioned three art installations for the Mission Valley Branch Library in 2002. The theme of the library branch is the San Diego River, a prime natural resource of San Diego's Mission Valley. The riverbanks are a habitat of native California wild river grasses which inspired this design by Cutler-Shaw. The installation of the Railing of Wild River Grasses consists of thirty-nine etched glass panels, each from a unique drawing, 42 inches high, and from 22 to 53 inches wide, of quarter inch tempered glass, for the balcony and staircase. Cutler-Shaw produced this fan-fold book to commemorate the installation.
$200




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Elegy for the Natural World
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003. Edition of 100.

12 x 23 cm. Printed in black on translucent white vellum. Bound in handmade paper to resemble bark.

An accordion fold artist's book that duplicates Joyce Cutler Shaw's 65' by 3'' public installation of large scale drawings of sycamore branches, cascading leaves and silhouettes of wild birds. The book was conceived as a result of the installation and as a homage to our disappearing natural landscape.
$100

 


Bookworks resulting / relating to her Alphabet of Bones series
   
Ode to Avicenna
a facsimile book
from the 1986 Notebooks

By Joyce-Cutler Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003. Edition of 25.10.5 x 8" closed; accordion fold. Facsimile, digitally reproduced on Via Natural Text 80 Smooth paper. Bound in black boards with Alphabet of Bones design paper pastedowns.

Colophon: "Ode to Avicenna is a facsimile book in response to the writings of Avicenna, the noted Persian physician and philosopher (Abu Ali Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina, 980 - 1037). A practicing physician from the age of 18, he wrote and journeyed extensively.

"His Canon of Medicine was a standard text, widely translated and studied for centuries. For me his 'Recitals' of his journeys – particularly his 'Recital of the Birds' – were the most provocative."


Abu Ali Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina was born at Afshana, a village located near Bukhara at the far south of Russia. This is known in the West as Avicenna.
$100

 


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Lost and Found in the Garden of Wild Birds and Grasses
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2001. Edition of 1000.

19 x 19 cm folded accordion star fold in black and white. Slipped in envelope.

A twelve part continuously unfolding paper narrative. Shaped like a fortune teller, the book's four corners open out to reveal successive layers of the artist's calligraphies - the first being her alphabet of bones, based on the hollow bones of birds, the next an alphabet based on the silhouettes of wild birds. The most interior layers of the book show photographs of an environment of grasses and branches, and at the final opening, the book becomes a single sheet on the back of which is printed an explanatory text and the translation of a poem in The Alphabet of Bones.
$50

   
   

Three Cages
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
New York City: Center for Book Arts, 1993. Edition of 250.

Handprinted in a triangular accordion format which measures 4 1/8 x 8 1/4" when closed and opens to a full length of 64". Text is typeset in the Alphabet of Bones, an original calligraphic font based on the hollow bones of birds. Printed on 100% cotton fabric Clearprint with cotton fiber museum board covers. The imprinted wrapper is self-folding. Book folded into triangular shapes with text facing each other. Signed and numbered.

The winning entry in a juried competition of small book concepts for publication by the Center for Book Arts in New York.
$225

 

 

 

   

Joyce Cutler-Shaw has been involved in a number of public projects throughout her career. With each project she produces a small editioned book to commemorate the work.
 

Into Flight
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2008. Edition of 25.

4.75" x 7" closed, extends to 11". Panoramic slide-out box. Black-and-white illustrations. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw: "'Into Flight' is a sculpture installation commissioned for The White Sands of La Jolla ["continuing care retirement living"]. On January 7, 2008, The White Sands of La Jolla dedicated the newly installed courtyard sculpture titled, 'Into Flight' .... The sculpture rises to sixteen feet on two slender, round steel curving tubular forms, or "trunks", that intersect at twelve feet above ground to support a crown or "nest" of interlaced rods alighted with five cut steel silhouettes of birds in flight. The sculpture is powder coated with a luminescent blue that reflects light to various effects, and at sunlit daytime hours, casts linear shadows onto the surrounding retaining walls."

This bookwork commemorates "Into Flight" created by Joyce Cutler-Shaw.
$200


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Bird Silhouettes
from the Stonecrest Stepping Stones
with titles in the Alphabet of Bones
by Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003. Edition of 8 and 25.

7 x 7"; 27 loose pages. Handprinted silkscreen on archival paper. Laid in self-folding envelope of Japanese handmade paper.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw: "This print series was inspired by the square stepping stones, imprinted with bird images of local species, of The Open Cage of Wild Birds and Grasses project.

"The Open Cage of Wild Birds and Grasses was commissioned in 1999 by California Pacific Homes, a division of the Irvine Company, as a gateway sculpture for Stonecrest Village, a major housing development in San Diego, California. Joyce Cutler-Shaw proposed this new work as a conversation between the unpredictable landscape of nature – of wild birds and grasses – and the built environment. Since 1975 she has been exploring human relationships to the natural world with her public projects.

"The sculpture, of hand-forged steel, is in two parts on facing street corners. Each open half is 17 feet high by 18 feet wide at the outer edge, by 13 feet deep. Seen from certain angles, there is the illusion that each is a fully closed circular form rather than half of a divided whole. A tangle of metal loops and coils, as vines, wind about the sides and rounded tops, where the silhouettes of five birds in flight – homing pigeons – arc toward the opposite corner. Bird silhouettes of local species circle the open structure above lines of a poem. Clay stepping stones, set in a random path among wild grasses within each structure, have images of local species of birds, identified by name, and for some, the imprints of their tracks."

$200

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The Fence of Wild Grasses
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003. Edition of 100.

8 x 1.75" closed, extends to 24"; 3 pages. Fan-fold. Offset image cutout tipped on. Handmade Japanese paper cover as exterior backing for image cutout with title handwritten by artist. Signed and numbered by the artist.

A book to commemorate the design and installation project in 1998 of a metal fence of grasses.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, Public Projects: Fence of Wild Grasses Commission, 1998: "The Fence of Wild Grasses is a hand wrought metal fence with Native American quotations, 38 inches high by 60 feet long, commissioned for a community overlook above Lopez Canyon nature preserve. It is a 1997 AIA award winning community project in Sorrento Mesa, California, (Rob Quigley, architect.) A metal gate of similar design was installed by the artist at the site in May of 1998. The fence includes Native American sayings along the lower edge, such as: everything in this world speaks, the trees, rocks, wind, water, everything."
$50

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The Cage of Wild Branches
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2001. Edition of 25.

7.25 x 7.25" closed; 10.25 x 7.25" open slide-out book.

Cutler-Shaw was commissioned by California Pacific Homes, a division of the Irvine Company, to create a gateway sculpture for Stonecrest Village, a major housing development in San Diego, California. She proposed this work as a conversation between the unpredictable landscape of nature - of wild birds and grasses - and the built environment. The sculpture of hand-forged steel is in two parts on facing street corners. Each is an open half seventeen feet high by eighteen feet wide at the outer edge, by thirteen feet deep of a whole circular cage. Seen from certain angles, there is the illusion that each is a fully closed circular form rather than half of a divided whole. An angle of metal loops and coils, as vines, wind about the sides and rounded tops, where the silhouettes of five birds in flight are toward the opposite corner. Cutler-Shaw created this slide-out artist book to commemorate this public art sculpture.
$250 (Last Copy, Artist Proof)

 


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Rio Grande Project

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, The Rio Grande: Water and Collaboration: "Water is a primary issue in New Mexico. Because the Rio Grande river water is essential for the survival of the Las Cruces area and a good part of the state and the region, it was the focus of a two-year research project culminating in an exhibition in the Art Gallery at New Mexico State University. The river was the central image, subject, and metaphor. We can live without food for some time but we cannot live without water. ...

"I strongly believe that it is the cross-disciplinary collaboration and research-based nature of such projects that gives them meaning and a potential for generating and encouraging social participation in the critical ecological issues of our time. I see my role, as a visual artist, to be a translator: to present, in visual form, through images and text, both the context and pertinent details of our threatened environment. Particularly relevant are issues of water, a resource essential to species survival on earth."

   
The Stones: When the River Runs
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2010. Edition of 25.

7.25 x 4.5" closed, extends to 10.75". Slide book. Signed and numbered by the artist.

A panoramic view of a rock bed section of the Rio Grande presented a s a slide book. Initially a view of rock bed only, sliding the book open reveals banks of trees and shrubs.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, exhibition catalog Of Water and the River Meditations on the Rio Grande: "Treading the Rio Grande shoreline there is sandstone and gravel beds of 'cores.' ... There are gravels trapped by sandstone outcrop in the river near Rosarita."
$150

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After the Fires in Seldon Canyon
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2009. Edition of 100.

5.625 x 7.625"; 4 pages. Fan-fold book. Digital prints from original
graphite drawings. Black paper-covered light weight boards. Signed and
numbered by the artist.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, exhibition catalog Of Water and the River Meditations on the Rio Grande: "It is in the intelligence of nature for periodic fires to clear inhibiting underbrush and germinate fire-awaiting seedpods. Cottonwoods benefit from fire clearing whereas, we have discovered, non-native species, as salt cedar, are more vulnerable."
$100


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At Elephant Butte: When the River Runs Dry
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2009. Edition of 25.

7.25 x 4.5"; extends to 10". Slide book.

A panoramic view of a rock bed section of the Rio Grande presented as a slide book. When opened the viewer sees a meandering river with tree limbs arching over it.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, exhibition catalog Of Water and the River Meditations on the Rio Grande: "After generations of river control, after the cottonwoods have aged and disappeared, after marshes and wetlands have been drained for conversion to farmland, after mining wastes have degraded and polluted the waters, many species have been endangered, threatened or lost, their habitat gone: animals and birds such as the Phantom shiner, the Piping plover, the Interior least tern, the Spotted bat, and native plant life as the Great Plains spirathes, Catchfly gentian, and Pecos sunflower. ...

"Beyond summary are the continuous and continuing complex of measures and treaties, by which the Rio Grande, once braided and meandering, has been channeled and controlled. With recurring years of drought it is also running dry."

$200

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Into the Labyrinth
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2009. Edition of 25.

6 x 6.125", extends to 3" deep. Tunnel book. Digital prints. Gate fold
opening. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, exhibition catalog Of Water and the River Meditations on the Rio Grande: "The Elephant Butte Dam was completed in 1916. ... Elephant Butte Dam is a magnificent monument to human creativity, engineering, and resource control. At its introduction it was the largest dam built. In the interior, going down and down into the labyrinthine passages, a fascinating netherworld, the color of heat, power generating, mysteriously wired and cross-wired to staggered stages of technical advances, tunneling and tunneling."
$200


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Scorched Trees
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2009. Edition of 25.

7 x 4.5" closed; extends to 10.75 x 4.5". Slide book. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Photographs after the fires in upper Seldon Canyon, New Mexico.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, exhibition catalog Of Water and the River Meditations on the Rio Grande: "In the short term, perhaps for one or two years, fire can enhance the water table for native species and stimulate the growth potential of some native grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs. Periodic fires, of course, dangerously threaten the myriad housing developments, the shopping centers, and populated areas that have multiplied to co-habit with and inhabit native ecosystems. Fires can devastate the former as they may benefit the latter."
$200


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Stones
By Joyce Cutler-Shaw
San Diego, California: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2009. Edition of 100.

3.5 x 7.5" closed, extends to 295"; 40 pages. Fan-fold book. Digital prints from original artist sketches. Black paper covers. Band closure. Signed and numbered by the artist.

During her visits to the Rio Grande Cutler-Shaw kept sketch books and
journals. This fan-fold book of stone images presents excerpts from her sketch books.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, exhibition catalog Of Water and the River Meditations on the Rio Grande: "Upland deposits, above the river, called 'Uvalde gravels,' could be artifacts of prehistoric settlers ... Across the Rio Grande South Texas Plains are chalcedony, chert, limestone, sandstone, metamorphous rocks as quartzite, and volcanic rock as rhyolite. The Rio Grande gravels, though diverse, are mostly small, of tough materials, and like our explorers of the west, are said to have 'survived' long journeys."
$150


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Page last update: 07.05.16

 

   
  
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