Terry Braunstein ~ California

 
   
One-of-a-kind books by Braunstein
Editioned work by Braunstein
 
   
Terry Braunstein: "My bookworks began as collages in pages reminiscent of scrapbooks. Over time the collages became increasingly photographic – the images blending almost seamlessly, though surrealistically. In more recent years I have been working on 'altered books' (artists books made from previously-existing books), that are more sculpture than two-dimensional. The hundreds of pages in these books have been glued together to make only two or three double-page spreads, and they may contain objects and doorways."
 

Unique books by Terry Braunstein  
   

The History of the Decline and Fall
By Terry Braunstein
Long Beach, California: Terry Braunstein, 1998. One-of-a-Kind.

5.5 x 8.25 x 1.75"; 10 pages including pastedowns. Altered book.
Photomontage, mixed media, and cutouts. Hand assembled and signed by artist.

Terry Braunstein: "I have been making artists books for more than twenty years, and have produced over seventy - some one-of-a-kind, others in limited edition. I began to make books because I was interested in the ways in which the viewer's response to this medium differed from that of painting and printmaking, which were my previous media to this point. I wanted to use the way that we accept knowledge as 'deep' and information 'important' from a book; the way that memory is created over pages (time) in a book; and the feelings that we bring to books from our childhood.

"My bookworks began as collages in pages reminiscent of scrapbooks. Over time the collages became increasingly photographic - the images blending almost seamlessly, though surrealistically. In more recent years I have been working on 'altered books' (artists books made from previously existing books), that are more sculpture than two-dimensional. The hundreds of pages in these books have been glued together to make only two or three double-page spreads, and they may contain objects and doorways."

Surreal and allusive, this altered book challenges any reader to make meaning. The tone is one constant, at least as somber as the title.
$1,200


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Heart Throbs
By Terry Braunstein
Los Angeles, California: Terry Braunstein, 1988. One-of-a-Kind.

5 x 7.5" altered book. Original book: Heart Throbs (Boston: The Chopple Publishing Company, LTD, n.d.).

Using collage plus cutting and gluing, Braunstein creates three spreads containing a series of dramatic spaces — including a shadow box and several shallow windows — wherein she sets tableaux playing with the concept of romantic fixation.

Noriko Gamblin, Curator, Long Beach Museum of Art: "There are no ready answers to the questions Terry Braunstein poses, and no promise of a resolution forthcoming. In fact, there seem only to be more questions, and more cross-references. By importing the loaded content of mass media imagery into her artistic landscape, she not only challenges the assumptions implicit in contemporary culture but also addresses one of the aesthetic dilemmas: the interpretive gap between appearance and truth."
$1,800


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On the Brink of the Precipice
By Terry Braunstein
Los Angeles, California: Terry Braunstein, 1988. One-of-a-Kind.

5.25 x 7.75" altered book. Original book On the Brink of the Precipice. Paper-cutting and collage.

Terry Braunstein: "My bookworks began as collages in pages reminiscent of scrapbooks. Over time the collages became increasingly photographic — the images blending almost seamlessly, though surrealistically. In more recent years I have been working on 'altered books' (artists books made from previously-existing books), that are more sculpture than two-dimensional. The hundreds of pages in these books have been glued together to make only two or three double-page spreads, and they may contain objects and doorways."

Using tromp l'oeil effects in three spreads, the first two with an opening to reveal parts of the next panels, On the Brink of the Precipice posits a balancing act that holds dark, or at least threatening, possibilities at bay. It opens to a man and young boy (father and son?) standing on a cliff looking down. Behind them, through a window/doorway in the page, we see a portion of the second spread and a second scene: in a snow-covered valley a skier apparently shoots toward a black horizon. Turning the page, we find the skier is actually plunging into the mouth of a snake, and the black horizon is deep space, where in final performance space a barefooted figure balances on a planet-like sphere — or is it the top of a skull?
$1,200



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Altered books in a series by Terry Braunstein  
   
Speak, Hands
By erry Braunstein
Long Beach, California: Terry Braunstein, 2011. Edition of 25.

8.2511"; 6 pages including pastedowns. Altered book. Photomontage and cutouts. Collage. Hand assembled and signed by artist.

Terry Braunstein: "I have always been fascinated by non-verbal communication. In this work, I explore the way that hands are used to speak both for those who have voices, and for those who do not.

"I realized, after I made this work, that I had been working on pieces about non-verbal communication for years. I think, really, that I have only had about two or three things to say in my whole career as an artist, and have just kept saying them over and over again, each time in a different way."

$900

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Shorted
By Terry Braunstein
Long Beach, California: Terry Braunstein, 1997. Edition of 25.

5 x 7"; 12 pages including pastedowns. Altered book. Collage.

Terry Braunstein: "There were three books in this series, and I have made small editions of each: Shorthanded, Shortsighted, and Shorted.

"The original book was titled Shorthand, which I changed to Shorthanded, attempting to make the book appear to have had this title all along. It was, in fact, a shorthand (stenography) text (educational). My mother was a stenographer/executive-assistant/typist for years, and always made her shopping lists, etc. in shorthand. That is what first drew me to the book. But then I became fascinated with one's inability to decipher this language,
since it relates to no other that we recognize. Finally, I come from a background of labor unions, and reforms in working conditions, etc. – my parents were involved with labor union organizing during the 1930's. The book deals with what it means to work, to be pressed to work harder, and harder, and to be part of the 'silent' or 'indecipherable' (i.e. shorthand) masses."

$600

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Venus and Adonis
By Terry Braunstein
Long Beach, California: Terry Braunstein, 1997. Edition of 25.

4.25 x 5.5"; 8 pages including pastedowns. Altered book. Photomontage and cutouts. Collage. Hand assembled and signed by artist.

Braunstein uses lines from Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis" as the text for her altered book on love observed. Each page has a collaged bit of the Shakespearean text accompanied by cutouts of windows and doors with couples being observed or observing.
$500

 


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Peace, Perfect Peace
A Portion for the Sorrowing

By Terry Braunstein
Long Beach, California: Terry Braunstein, 1992. Edition of 25.

4.25 x 5.5"; 6 pages including pastedowns. Altered book. Photomontage. Cutouts. Collage. Hand assembled and signed by artist.

Shirle Gottlieb, Metaphorical Books (2004): "Multi-media photomontage artist Terry Braunstein injects an undercurrent of subtle satire, metaphoric wit, or gentle historical jabs into every thing she creates. Whether it's Adam and Eve roaming through eons of time, offered up in In Search of a World, or the madness of inhumanity (think Hieronymus Bosch) in Peace Perfect Peace, her meaning never misses the target."
$700


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Males and Females
By Terry Braunstein
Long Beach, California: Terry Braunstein, 1990. Edition of 25.

7.5 x 9.5", 30 pages including pastedowns. Altered book. Collage. Photomontage.

Males and Female looks at socialized roles gender roles as well as scientific explorations of sex and reproduction.

Braunstein: "The common thread through all of my work can be seen as a kind of visual archaeology: the work begins by exploring the world through research and scientific observation and continues challenging the viewer to find the meaning by delving into the work, as I do in finding my material."
$900

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What Beetle is This?
By Terry Braunstein
Los Angeles, California: Terry Braunstein, 1988. Edition of 25.

5.5 x 8.4"; 24 pages. Altered book. Photomontage. Hand assembled by the artist.

Braunstein substitutes humans for splayed and arranged insects. The effect in playful, pointed, and sometimes painful — and the pain in not from entomologist's pins or chloroform.

Noriko Gamblin, Curator, Long Beach Museum of Art (1991): "To create a picture in the way that Terry Braunstein does is, in essence, to reassemble pieces of our familiar world into a surprising, yet convincing, new world. This process entails collecting, classifying, editing, arranging, and rephotographing pictures cut from the pages of magazines and books. That these images already exist in the media, fully loaded with specific associations, is vital to Braunstein's purpose. In recycling the images, she alters their contexts, thus confounding their usual readings and proposing new meanings....

"This idea of relatedness, of perceiving one's station in terms of other stations, is at the core of much of Braunstein's art. Nowhere, however, is it more playfully evident than in her 1988 bookwork What Beetle is This? Based upon a German handbook for beetle identification Welcher Käfer ist Das? this work investigates the nature and function of classification, by juxtaposing pictures of humans with the existing illustrations of beetles. Most of the beetles pictured are impressive, exceeding our modest expectations with their luminous shells and delicate limbs. A few seem unfairly plain by comparison — although not so ungainly as some of the bug-sized, human specimens. Like people, beetles are subject to comparison with an ideal type promoted through the media; unlike people, they do not suffer the humiliations of not measuring up to an impossible standard. The aspiration to perfection is, after all, a human conceit."
$875

 


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Shorthanded
By Terry Braunstein
Los Angeles, California: Terry Braunstein, 1995. Edition of 25.

5 x 7"; 12 pages including pastedowns. Altered book. Window constructed in front board looks in on worker being bent by mechanical press. Interior extensively collaged.

Terry Braunstein: "The original book was titled Shorthand, which I changed to Shorthanded, attempting to make the book appear to have had this title all along. It was, in fact, a shorthand (stenography) text (educational). My mother was a stenographer / executive-assistant/typist for years, and always made her shopping lists, etc. in shorthand. That is what first drew me to the book. But then I became fascinated with one's inability to decipher this language, since it relates to no other that we recognize. Finally, I come from a background of labor unions, and reforms in working conditions, etc. — my parents were involved with labor union organizing during the 1930's. The book deals with what it means to work, to be pressed to work harder, and harder, and to be part of the 'silent' or 'indecipherable' (i.e. shorthand) masses."
$600


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 Page last update: 12.06.12

   
  
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