Exposed Spines #24, 2010
8 x 6 x 5 in
altered book, tea stained cotton batting
With her characteristic reverence for all things book, Alexander "exposes" the beauty, variation and craftsmanship of book bindings, carefully wrapping them in cotton batting and celebrating their natural quality. The works are exquisite and endearing. They spotlight a part of books seldom seen and taken for granted. The term “exposed spine” is one used in bookbinding to describe a book that is bound with the intention of leaving the stitching on the spine exposed. However, this term continually conjures up different images to the artist, usually bodily. At the same time old books with their cloth or leather spines giving away to expose the stitching and the ambered glue continually attract her. Alexander finds beauty in the book’s decay. In her Exposed Spine series she wants to honor this part of the book that holds the pages together but is rarely seen. The presentation of these objects in a pile in the exhibition gives the work a double edge. Because they are plentiful, the books and their usually hidden beautiful spines seems disposable, but by their tender treatment, the artist "mirrors" their natural qualities and deems them worthy of further consideration.