Bookish Art: Acrylic paintings of jumbled books and drawers by Jordan Buschur

If you're a book lover and your home is filled with shelf upon shelf of paperbacks and hard covers, then you'll love the work of American artist Jordan Buschur. She loves to create installations of books to photograph and then paint; often piling up and jumbling the various titles before putting paintbrush to paper.

Speaking of her work, she said: "My paintings implant ordinary objects with psychological meanings, implying a human presence through depictions of accumulated collections. In my recent body of work, I begin by creating an installation of books, photographing it, and then painting from the photographs individually or collaged together. The books are often piled, jumbled, and stacked. Through the act of painting, the arrangements become precarious, or the books larger than life – in each scenario the books are located just outside of reality.

"The text on the paintings is occasionally drawn from the original text on the books, but often is invented. These small groups of words steer the painting towards other meanings and offer hints at the content of the books. The closed (and occasionally blank) books have the potential to contain anything – primers, secrets, romances, how-to guides, theories, handbooks for improvement. They remain closed; impenetrable, or conversely, open to any possibility. The physical nature of the arrangement of books combined with the mutable meaning of the text places the paintings in the unsteady area between reality and invention."

However, Buschur doesn't just focus on books. Other paintings explore the assortment of ordinary objects found in drawers. She explained: "These paintings are made from photographs of the interiors of junk drawers belonging to family members and close friends. Painting the array of collected objects is an act of meditation on my relationship with the drawer owner, as I dwell on the mundane detail of their accumulated junk. However, the paintings stop short of functioning as a portrait of an individual through their amassed objects. Instead, the collections signify the material weight of modern life, the anxiety of commercialism, and the anonymity of personal effects."

An artist, educator and curator, Buschur has received an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. Her work has been shown internationally, including exhibitions with Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York City and Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Brooklyn. She's also the Director of the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and the Prescott Gallery, Lincoln, NE.


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