On the Edge of Clear Meaning
By John Wood
"Historically, 'purity' is not a term that has often been applied to the work of John Wood. In photo-historical terms, Wood is thought of as one of those renegades who went against 'pure photography' by incorporating drawing, painting, collage, and every other technique he could get his hands on (not to mention explicit political content), into his practice, thus ushering in the multi media of the 1960s that caused a crisis in 'straight photography.' Long before it became the signal medium of the avant-garde, collage was a folk art, practiced by children, lovers, and grand-mothers. I suspect this is one of the reasons John Wood was initially attracted to it, just as he would later make art out of whirligigs. Or photography, for that matter, that art before and after 'art.' From the jaundiced perspective of our pluralistic present, those once furiously enforced and ferociously defended divisions seem quaint. Now that those and most other boundaries have dissolved and digital imaging has normalized 'impurity' and made the combination and alteration of different kinds of images commonplace, perhaps it's a good time to reconsider the life's work of John Wood."
From the introduction by David Levi Strauss
This book accompanies a major touring retrospective of John Wood's work, encompassing the full range of his productive career from the late-1950s to the present, in over 210 works. Essays include an assessment of John's work by David Levi Strauss, a complete biography and bibliography compiled by William Johnson, and an assessment of Wood's important role as an educator for over thirty years by Ezra Shales. A DVD includes footage of Wood's working, recent interviews and a page turning program to experience his book works in real time.
John Wood's work will be on display at ICP from May 15 to September 6, 2009.
Item Number: B7574
$65.00 | Members $58.50
Images: 140 color
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On the Edge of Clear Meaning (DVD)