Artist Spotlight: Darcie Book

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Roller rinks always had the best candy. I remember spitting out a florescent green blob of bubblegum covered in saliva into the palm of my hand at a 5th grade birthday party. I would then stretch that glob just as far as I possibly could, until inevitably it met its threshold. Bubblegum is childhood. It is that awkward little place in between needing your parents around you to survive, and well not really needing them anymore. It’s a transition, a threshold, a boundary – a place in time where you test those transitions.  A boundary is a useful fiction that helps us to navigate society, but when tested it has the potential to change our understanding of the two areas that it divides.

Darcie Book does this with her paintings. She begins by methodically pouring latex paint onto plastic sheeting. There is a delicate balance between submitting to the fluidity of paint and attempting to control the image. She then waits for the paint to dry and peels it off the sheeting, using it like a skin. The skin’s shiny surface appears wet, and you can feel the movement of the oozing paint, frozen in time. She manipulates the skin like a stiff fabric into sculptural forms. The skin is everything – the image, the substrate, and the support of the painting. Some of her works are more sculptural, while others surrender to a traditional square frame, causing viewers to question boundaries of painting, of sculpture, of movement, of time.

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Darcie Book (Baltimore, MD) is a painter and installation artist whose work explores paint as object and architecture through the use of innovative processes centered on the unique properties of latex paint. She was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Sondheim Prize with a corresponding exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and was featured in GOOD AND PLENTY, curated by Cynthia Connelly at School 33 Art Center in 2016. Book attended the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency in April 2015, and was offered a grant to attend the Can Serrat Artist Residency in Montserrat, Spain in 2016 (acceptance of offer pending). In 2017, she was selected by the Belle Foundation for Cultural Development to receive an unsolicited Individual Grant for achievement in the arts and humanities.

Book’s work has been featured in exhibitions locally and nationally including Manifest Gallery’s FRESH PAINT Biennial (Cincinnati, OH, 2015) and the Maryland Artist Registry Juried Exhibition at Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD, 2016) as well as at The Mitchell Gallery (Annapolis, MD, 2013), Samson Gallery (Boston, MA, 2011), Current Gallery (Baltimore, MD, 2005, 2011), Metro Gallery (2012), School 33 Art Center (Baltimore, MD, 2003, 2011, 2016), The Art Barn Gallery (Santa Fe, NM, 2003) and The Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD, 2003).

 
Her exhibitions have been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, and the Baltimore City Paper. Her work has been featured on a number of esteemed blogs. Book has had three solo exhibitions in Baltimore, MD, including Borderlands at the Hamilton Gallery (2013). Her work is displayed in collections in Ireland and Nigeria as well as across the United States. Book is a founding member of A.M. Art Collective (est. 2011) and a core member of the Bmore Critique Group (est. 2016). She received her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004.

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