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Liberry Card

12/05/2010

At Oakland’s Art Murmur this Friday, we saw a great show by Jennie Ottinger at Johansson Projects. Ottinger’s paintings are wonderfully minimal and worth seeing, but I’m touting her “sculpture” here, which is book-based and quite entertaining.

At first, it appears that the artist has simply redesigned the book jackets of a series of classic and acclaimed novels. Take a look at these.
Jennie Ottinger

Jennie Ottinger

Jennie Ottinger

Jennie Ottinger

On a purely design front, I think these jackets are fantastic. Orlando was one of my favorites:
Jennie Ottinger

But look closer, and you’ll find that inside each book is a tiny, handwritten summary of three or four pages. Not just any summary, but a pithy, typically irreverent assessment of each novel. Though some are more serious, others are quite funny, and all are really concise but thorough distillations of the work.

Jennie Ottinger

My favorite was Rabbit, Run, by John Updike, which ended with a list of themes: “General rabbit behavior: sex, running, vegetables.” Too funny.

Jennie Ottinger

Rabbit, Run

If you’re in the Oakland area and have a literary bent, this show is really worth the trip and time to read through the whole project.

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