Ruth Laxson was born in 1924 in Roanoke, Alabama, and is one of Atlanta's most beloved artists and is recognized as one of the nation's preeminent artists’ bookmakers.
Laxson's work is in the collections of major museums and artists’ book collections in the U.S. and internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, The Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Museum, London, Yale University Fine Art & Architecture Library, Getty Center Museum, CA, Sackner Collection, Miami, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the High Museum Atlanta, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, among many others.
As communication is a major theme of Laxson’s work she uses language as a working material. Automatic writing and pattern poetry are the hallmarks of Laxson’s artistic style as she merges text and image into text as image. The artist states “I hope to test the language for meaning and merge text and image in the spirit as the surrealists. But I want to take it a step farther to text as image.” Exquisite, meticulous craftsmanship and playful yet thorough exploration, are the hallmarks of Laxson’s work. In her artists’ books she combines handset type with handwritten text, drawing, etching, stitching, layering, chine colle, ink, watercolor and more in perfectly hand bound small editions. Her current drawing series, God Dolls, are continuations of Laxson’s honest, wise and witty commentary on the contemporary human experience. Each work is treated much as a page in one of her books in a larger scale, incorporating predominantly, hand drawn imagery and text in ink and gouache, with occasional additions or manipulations of the paper through cutting, pasting, folding and stitching.
The upcoming exhibition surveys a career that began upon Laxson’s entry into the Atlanta College of Art in 1958. The exhibition will survey her significant body of artists’ books and debut her latest book, Ideas of God. This will be Laxson’s 30th artists’ book, beginning in 1980 with the book Power Poem. Ideas of God, published in 2008, is an edition of 100, 38 pages, 11 x 8.5 inches, handset type on a Challenger flatbed press, with drawings, and a hardbound black cover. Also on view will be 15 new drawings in Laxson’s recent ongoing series, God Dolls, as well as selections of her sculptures, paintings, mail art, and prints. A catalog will accompany the exhibition.