Karen Hanmer

The House That George Built, 2007
Flip book, inkjet prints, double-fan adhesive binding, illustration in collaboration with Henry Maron, 2.5 x 4.5 x .75 inches, edition of 100. $50.
HouseGeorgeBuilt_KarenHanmer





Flip Farm, 2002
Flip book, inkjet prints, double-fan adhesive binding, 2 x 3.5 x .5 inches, edition of 100. $40
FlipFarm_KarenHanmer





A2Z, 2013
Flip book, inkjet prints, double-fan adhesive binding, 2 x 4.75 x 2 inches, open edition. $60
A2Z_KarenHanmer





The Model Architect:The Panic of ’09, 2010
Drum leaf binding: pigment inkjet prints, calf and goatskin, tooling and titling in gold, based on The Model Architect, Samuel Sloan’s 1852 collection of house plans and instructions to contractors. The new work pairs historical text and illustrations from Sloan’s work with contemporary text from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s online Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure. The colophon provides commentary by the artist, noting the effects of speculation and financial collapse in her own neighborhood, 14 x 11 x ½ inches, edition of 30. $900




Celestial Navigation, 2008
Pigment inkjet prints; 6.75 x 5.75 x .5 inches closed, 17.5 x 30 inches open, Number 17 from an edition of 30. $800




Star Poems, 2008
Pigment inkjet prints, 6.75 x 5.75 x .75 inches closed, 17.5 x 23 inches open, Number 9 from an edition of 30. $800




Random Passions, 2008
Laser prints on “vellum” paper, pamphlet in case binding covered with velvet finish book cloth, hot stamped title,
7 x 4 x .25 inches, from an unnumbered edition of 100. $100

Statement

At once vast and minimal, sparse and rich, the night sky has always been a canvas upon which people project their myths and dreams.

Celestial Navigation and Star Poems are both constructed of ink-jet printed, hinged triangles that can be held in the hand and read page by page like a traditional book. Unfolded flat, it references historical star charts or contemporary NASA composite photographs. The book can also be folded into myriad sculptural shapes.

In Random Passions couples from romance novel covers traced on translucent paper layer together and multiple new combinations emerge.

In Celestial Navigation a photograph of the Milky Way provides the background for an illustrated catalog of instruments used across the ages to navigate by the stars, and a 19th-century astronomical chart. This historical content is complemented by a brief poem in which the artist looks to the night sky to recapture the memory of a long lost beloved.

Star Poems presents quotes that document response to the night sky across the ages by philosophers, artists, and poets from Plato and Byron to contemporary writers, scientists and astronauts. This text is paired with 17th century mythological images of constellation forms and images of early star gazers on a background of a NASA photograph of the Milky Way. Both Celestial Navigation and Star Poems are both constructed of ink-jet printed, hinged triangles that can be held in the hand and read page by page like a traditional book. Unfolded flat, it references historical star charts or contemporary NASA composite photographs. The book can also be folded into myriad sculptural shapes.

In Random Passions couples from romance novel covers traced on translucent paper layer together and multiple new combinations emerge.

Biography

Chicago binder, book and installation artist Karen Hanmer’s intimate, playful works fragment and layer text and image to intertwine memory, cultural history, and the history of science. Her work weds the ancient act of book binding with the high tech use of the computer to aid her process. The intimate scale and the gestures of exploration required to travel through each piece evoke the experience of looking through an album, a diary, or the belongings of a loved one. However, her works often take the forms of games or puzzles, and many include witty text.

Hanmer exhibits widely, and her work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Library of Congress to UCLA and Graceland. Recent solo exhibition venues include Florida Atlantic University, University of the West of England Bristol, and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (OH). Recent curated exhibition venues include the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Brooklyn Museum, Harvard University’s Fogg Museum of Art, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and The Center for Book Arts (NYC); and traveling exhibitions sponsored by the Guild of Book Workers, the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists’ Guild, and Les Amis de la Reliure d’Art du Canada.

Hanmer holds a degree in Economics from Northwestern University, and has studied with many notable book artists and fine binders. She is Exhibitions Chair for the Guild of Book Workers, and serves on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, a peer-reviewed online book arts journal.

Karen Hanmer Website