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February 2, 2019July 14, 2019

Small Inventions: Artist’s Books by Charles Hobson

Small Inventions: Artist’s Books by Charles Hobson celebrates the Museums’ acquisition of 29 works by San Francisco artist Charles Hobson as a gift of collector Marian Kinney. Over the past three decades, Hobson has been a proponent of the book as a hybrid work of art and as a tool for visually communicating complex ideas. His process calls for expanding the definition of what can be called a book and devising a unique form for each volume in relation to its content. His books become physical embodiments of their textual concepts, engaging the reader as an active collaborator and transforming reading into a participatory rather than passive activity.

The artist incorporates surprising physical objects into these books as mechanisms to illuminate unexpected relationships. About this exhibition, he says, “I’m hopeful that the viewer might see how much an artist’s book is conceived and driven to fruition by finding just the right invention.”

Image: Charles Hobson, “Man Ray’s Kiss” (detail), 1995. Book in accordion binding with metronome, monotype, and separate, small volume, 9 x 5 x 5 in (22.9 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm). Published by Pacific Editions, San Francisco. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Marian Kinney, 2017.58.28