by Margarett Fisher
Since the beginning of class I have wanted to construct a tunnel book. This last assignment, about creating a three dimensional book, is giving me the perfect opportunity to do so. One of my biggest inspirations for this book is the visual artist Andrea Dezso. She works with a wide range of materials to create paintings, drawings, books, animations, sculptures, public art, and installations. Dezso’s public art has been installed in two of New York’s subway stations, they are beautiful mosaic pieces. One of these pieces called “Community Garden” was recognized as Best American Public Art in 2007 by American’s for the Arts. Dezso has exhibitions in galleries and museums all over the world. The Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, and the Pucker Gallery in Boston represent her. Dezso is also an associate professor of art at Hampshire College in Massachusetts.
Dezso is greatly inspired by her Romanian childhood; and has been creating one of a kind tunnel books since 2004. Many of her books come from her imagination and dreams. She takes her personal memories and transforms them into strange creatures, dreamy landscapes, and illuminated manuscripts. She also uses the domestic folk arts of her homeland as inspiration. Dezso constructs her books using Bristol and hand-made Shojoshi paper. The left and right side of each book is folded in the accordion style so they can be opened and closed. She then inserts a sheet horizontally into every mountain fold, and sews it in place on each side. Each layer of paper is cut differently in order to expose the layers behind or in front of it. Dezso hand cuts most of her designs, but on occasion uses a laser cutter for the intricate parts. Each layer has different imagery and content but ties in with the rest of the book through similarity in style. Dezso usually depicts animals, people, or fantastical creatures within very detailed plant life. Each book does have a creepy or morbid part to it; she often incorporates skulls, scary animals, and devilish creatures. Some of her books also incorporate well-known fairy tales, which adds to the fantastical feel of her books.
Dezso’s books are displayed open to show the many intricate layers of cuts, patterns and shapes. They are also displayed with a strong light source behind them; which makes the front layer stand out and the rest of the layers look more like a shadow. This effect is made stronger by Dezso’s decision to not use color; each part of the book is the white or cream color of the paper. Dezso takes a two-dimensional material and is able to create a small fantasy world, full of life and imagination. She evokes curiosity, imagination, and wonder from her audience as they look into these small windows to another world. Dezso did allow her tunnel books to inspire her sculptural work as well. She creates large-scale multi-layered tunnel installations. These installations use a large section of a room, but they have the same style and effect as her books. For these sculptures, she has been experimenting with different colors of light. Many of them even look like a portal to a different dimension or world.
“Andrea Dezso.” Andrea Dezso Biography. www.andreadezso.com.
“Andrea Dezso.” Artsy, www.artsy.net/artist/andrea-dezso.
“Andrea Dezso.” Hampshire College, www.hampshire.edu/faculty/andrea-dezso
left: Ancestor's Garden 2013 - 2015 right: The Island of Rauma Lace 2013 - 2015
Japanese hand-made Shojoshi paper - hand-cut and sewn, collapsible, multi-layered one-of-a-kind tunnel books 8 x 11 x 7 inches
Andrea Dezsö: Bat Cave 2015
Japanese hand-made Shojoshi paper
Hand-cut and sewn, collapsible, multi-layered one-of-a-kind tunnel book 14.25 x 11 x 7 inches
Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane
ANDREA DEZSÖ: I WONDER
January 20 - April 10, 2016
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art - Andrea Dezsö: Dreamtime
SEPTEMBER 11 - DECEMBER 31, 2015
I Am really inspired by this artist work, Andrea Dezso. the color is so dream like and the framing within the wall is so intriguing. I never realized the possibilities of a tunnel book taken onto a whole new sculptural level. - Erin L. Kuhn