In 1960 Samaras began a series of Surrealistinspired boxes filled with personal materials that he encrusted in needles, mirrors, shards of glass, and brightly colored beads. The boxes were followed by room–sized installations and subversive Polaroid self–portraits. Like Samaras's boxes, Book is a multifaceted object and a miniature world in itself. Although it includes eight fictional narratives written by the artist between 1959 and 1967, it is not a storybook. Each thick amoeba–shaped page contains surprises, such as pop–ups, pockets, interlocking layers, foldouts, and hidden pamphlets. Samaras's working maquette for Book offers a glimpse of the handcrafted origin of this sculptural book.
Gallery label from Book/Shelf, March 26–July 7, 2008.