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Reva and David Logan Symposium on the Artist's Book

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Photo of bookshelves / collection archives

John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater

The Legion of Honor is proud to present Borderland: Visual Poetics in Artists’ Books, the fourth annual Reva and David Logan Symposium on the Artist’s Book.

Join Susan Tallman, Enrique Chagoya and four other presenters for what promises to be a stimulating and enlightening afternoon. Starting from a common understanding of artists’ books as inventions in a permeable borderland, where words and images meet, the presenters will describe how they create or interpret the interplay of text and image in this extraordinarily powerful and appealing art medium.


Stephen Woodall (Introduction) The annual Logan Symposium is an opportunity to make an intimate and powerful art form better known, and to bring together important scholars, critics,and artists in the field. This year, we will throw light on the mysteries of the synergistic relationship between text and image, showing how visual and literary art can come together to create an expression greater than the sum of its parts.

Stephen Woodall is the collections specialist for artists’ books at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he leads a project to create a greater public and scholarly engagement with the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books. In that capacity, he curates exhibitions, produces the annual Logan Symposiums, and creates content for media-rich websites in the Museums’ Insights series.

Susan Tallman (Keynote), Codex Camp: Format, Flirtation and the Artist's Book
Books have a reputation as showcases of authority; artists have a reputation for challenging authority; and artists’ books have a reputation for being by turns cryptic and accessible, ornery and seductive, mute and verbose. From Albrecht Dürer to Tauba Auerbach, artists have used the book to show us that nothing is ever as simple as it seems. This talk glances back over 500 years of important artworks made as books because they had to be.

Susan Tallman is the editor-in-chief of the journal Art in Print and author of The Contemporary Print: from Pre-Pop to Postmodern (Thames and Hudson). Founded in 2011 to address the persistent invisibility of printed art in the general art press, Art in Print is a bimonthly journal and website dedicated to the fine art print. Tallman’s writing has appeared in Art in America, Parkett, Print Quarterly, Arts Magazine and numerous books and museum catalogues. She lives in Berlin and Chicago, where she teaches in the department of Art History, Theory and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Felicia Rice, Moving Parts Press: How and Why
Presenting discoveries made over the 42-year history of a press that straddles a line between art and literature: a short review of collaborative book projects over the last four decades; a dive into a recent book, BORDERBUS by Juan Felipe Herrera; and a peek at current work in progress. Finally, how printing, an iterative process, informs the relationship of text and image.

Felicia Rice has collaborated with artists and writers under the Moving Parts Press imprint since 1977. She is the recipient of many honors, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the French Ministry of Culture, with books held in library and museum collections worldwide. “As a printer,”she writes, “my job is to confront complex issues and render my response to them in book form. As an artist, my job is to do so with profound integrity. As a publisher, my job is to make these issues public.”

Ala Ebtekar, Safina: The Book as a Vessel to Travel in Space and Time 
Ala Ebtekar’s recent solo exhibition, Safina, examines the book as an art object, and as a vehicle to investigate notions of inertia and travel in space and time. Historically, the Persian Safina is an oblong-shaped manuscript, containing a compendium of texts: history, philosophy, astronomy, and most often poetry. The project continues Ebtekar’s commitment to conflating space and time through painting, drawing, artist’s books, and installations.

Ala Ebtekar is an artist, researcher, and educator who works in both his native San Francisco Bay Area and Tehran, Iran. He teaches at Stanford University, where he is the founder and director of Art, Social Space and Public Discourse, a global initiative that investigates changing ideas of public space. Ebtekar’s art practice encompasses painting, alternative photographic techniques, and illumination as means to engage with the idea of the book, exploring relationships between text and image. He founded and continues to teach a popular course in the artist’s book at Stanford.

David Senior, Moving Images and Printed Matter
Drawing from library collections at SFMOMA and MoMA (New York), a presentation of montage and other languages of image-making and sequencing in modern and contemporary artists’ books. A survey of the formal developments of these new art practices and the diverse methods of their distribution.

David Senior is the head of library and archives at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and formerly the senior bibliographer in the library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he curated many exhibitions of artists’ books, magazines, and ephemera. He lectures often on the history of artists’ publications and contemporary art and design publishing. Senior recently published Steven Leiber Catalogs, a book on the sales catalogs of the dealer Steven Leiber.

Enrique Chagoya, Detention at the Border of Language
Pre-Columbian books, such as the Mayan codices, use a system of visual symbols that make up a non-phonetic language. From this model, using both contemporary and historic iconography, an artist can build a unique nonverbal

Enrique Chagoya has been a prominent artist in the Bay Area for decades, with widespread national and international recognition. He is best known for his mixed-media paintings and prints that combine contemporary cultural icons with Pre-Columbian imagery as a means of addressing the roots of political and cultural issues. “For me,” he says, “my work is a form of visual language that I mix to make visual sentences.” Born in Mexico City, he emigrated to the United States in 1977. He is Professor of Art at Stanford University.

Barbara Madsen with Ely Rosa Zamora,The Making of Unspecific Object
A collaborative book featured in the current Dada/Surrealist exhibition in the Legion’s Logan Gallery, was generated in a very 21st-century way. Madsen gathered objects via online crowdsourcing, created environments in which to photograph them, then printed the images in photogravure. Finally, Zamora wrote poems to the images, reversing the customary word/image relationship: in Unspecific Object the text illustrates the image.

Barbara Madsen is known for her works in installation, sculpture, photography, and video. Her vast collections of cast-off 20th-century industrial matter--spark plugs, machine parts, welding masks, light switches, rubber, plastic, prosthetics, artificial eyes, and much more–serve as fodder for her work
depicting a voracious world gone awry. She is an associate professor of art at Rutgers University.

Ely Rosa Zamora is the author of several volumes of poetry. She is represented in the anthology Voces para Lilith: Literatura contemporánea de temática lésbica en Sudamérica, (2011). Born in Venezuela, since 1998 she has lived in New York City, where she is the director of the bilingual poetry reading series “Voces de la ciudad/Voices of the City.”

The 2019 Reva and David Logan Symposium on the Artist’s Book is the fourth in a series made possible by generous grants from the Reva and David Logan Foundation and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation.

Ticket Information

Seating is limited and first-come, first-served. Seating Tickets will be distributed an hour before the event begins in front of Gunn Theater.

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7624


The 2019 Reva and David Logan Symposium on the Artist’s Book is the 4th in a series made possible by generous grants from the Reva and David Logan Foundation and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation.