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Aching Days of England , 2011 Hardcover Book, Acrylic Medium 15 3/8 X 20 1/2 X 1 ¼ Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Tourell Fine Art

49 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
February 1st, 2012 - March 31st, 2012

Closed as of April 2015


Toomey Tourell Fine Art is pleased to announce a one-person exhibition of altered books by the artist Brian Dettmer, entitled “Brian Dettmer Textonomy”.

In this exhibit, Dettmer continues his investigation of the book as both artifact and object- a kind of intersection of sculpture, information technology, poetic text and historical tract. Each separate work pursues and promotes its own philosophical, economic or political agenda while at the same time asserting its specific form, or sculptural reconfiguration. The books take on a life of their own- as an original, compelling means of presenting text or graphic elements, but also revealing in the process fresh subtexts, and visual juxtapositions. This revealed symbology begins to make new connections, often re-arranging disparate pieces of information which then create new meanings. New narratives stream from his arrangement of fragments and images- a hijacking, or intervention of the existing form resulting in a work of art uniquely his own. In the artists own words:

“In this new series I continue to question the past, present and future of the book by exploring and expanding the possibilities of the book’s form and content. After a book or series of books is sealed into a solid form,I cut into the surface, reading with my knife one page or layer at a time. Fragmented images, words and ideas emerge to expose and create new relationships within the book’s internal elements. In recent work I have shifted the focus to text and transcribed the visual poetry that emerges from the sculptures onto the printed page, highlighting a new light on the chance text while illustrating the clouds of ideas within a piece. For my Paper Back series, horizontal rows of multiple paperback books in specific genres are compressed and sanded into solid linear forms. The investigation into language, its possibilities and limitations continues as suggestive clichés are carved into the surface of the fictitious narratives. Hundreds of words and phrases are excavated within each letter, creating links and clusters of ideas. Words are torn from their original meaning and float to latch onto new possibilities”.

Born in Chicago, Brian Dettmer now lives and works in Atlanta, GA. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad, and his work is in many important public and private collections, including the High Museum of Atlanta, GA, and Microsoft, USA. Articles on Mr Dettmer have been numerous, and include The New York Times, The Guardian, Modern Painter, and The New Yorker. Future projects include a one-person exhibit AT MOCA Atlanta commencing in October 2012. In conjunction with this exhibit, there is a concurrent exhibition of Mr. Dettmer’s work at the Eugene and Elinor Friend Center for the Arts at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Please contact the gallery for more information.