Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Book Sculptor James Allen

Portland, Oregon's James Allen is an artist who "excavates" vintage books he finds in used bookstores, transforming them into sculptural objects that tell a new story visually. 

Educated at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, from which he received a bachelor's degree in fine arts, Allen has shown his work in numerous group shows around the country, including "The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book" at Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington.

Currently, Allen's Onomatopoeia (2015) can be seen at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in "This Is Not a Book: Chapter 2", continuing through September 11.

Allen's work can be found in a number of public art collections, including Johns Hopkins University's Milton S Eisenhower Library, Baltimore, Maryland; Ringling College of Art and Design, Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library, Sarasota, Florida; and the University of Colorado's Special Collections Library, Boulder. In addition, images of Allen's work are in Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed (Chronicle Books, 2013). 

In 2015, Allen was the subject of an Oregon Art Beat profile at Oregon Public Television.

In addition to his marvelous and beautiful book excavations, Allen is a painter; see his image transfers.

Allen is represented by Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, Oregon (view images of his work there) and Seager/Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, California (view images).

Also see images of Allen's unique piece Skulduggery, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, at 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon, and read the gallery's feature "New Artist Spotlight - James Allen".

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