Czech-American artist Katerina Kyselica creates books as destinations for playful encounters and poetic transpositions. Constructed using traditional media – collage, drawing and printmaking, these intimate objects reveal narratives that pose questions about identity and belonging.
Katerina’s books manifest a sense of freedom. Not bound, and ‘housed’ in boxes, her stories hold together until they are released. One is encouraged to discover them – through a thorough exploration (taking them apart) and interaction (re-constructing them to one’s own liking). As loose sheets, the pages seek rearrangement to reveal a new text (poem) and composition (Field Notes, 2018), to be read from all sides (as in Halo, 2018, News About Nothing, 2015, Home Trilogy, 2016), individually and as a whole (Poppy, 2020), or to be displayed as one pleases (For You, For Me, For You and Me, 2020).
Her process of creating is akin to searching for a form or an image as opposed to producing something preconceived. Hence her use of old books, scrap paper, words or letters cut out of newspapers, which may serve as an impulse and inform narrative of her books. “I invite the viewer to discover the joy that I experience during the book-making. I create this visual and spatial framework, a playground for the viewer to look, touch, read and engage. Books are meant to be explored from all angles, they exist to be touched, unlike other media. There is no such medium as book art that offers us this expansive space for creativity,” said the artist.
Katerina Kyselica is a visual artist and designer. She received a BFA from VCU School of the Arts in Virginia, USA, and a Master’s Degree from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Her prints, artist’s books and works on paper, represented in private collections, have been exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, Paris, and Prague. She has curated a number of exhibitions of contemporary prints and artist’s books from Central Europe, including the Celebrating Print Exhibition (2013–2015) and Forgetting Remembering (2018), both in New York City. Kyselica was a managing editor of the Celebrating Print Magazine (2015-2018), presenting art, print and printmaking from Central and Eastern Europe.
Home, Trilogy (three accordion books, each 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches)
For Me, For You, For Me and You (three boxes, each 8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches, with cardboard compositions as pages)
Twittering Machine Series: Halo, Field Notes (drawing and collaged or stamped text on a sheet of paper, each 36 x 25 inches, folded into 10 x 6 1/2 inches)
News About Nothing (scroll, 74 x 9 inches)
Field Notes (5 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches closed, with 14 drawings as pages)
Poppy (box 7 x 4 3/4 inches, with 10 drawings as pages)