A collaborative art work created by Eugenia Butler
Curated by Corazon del Sol
Eugenia P. Butler (1947-2008) was a Los Angeles-based artist who played a formative but often overlooked role in the inception of American Conceptual art. Book of Lies is a collaborative project with works by seventy-six contributing artists. It is curated by Butler’s daughter, Corazon del Sol.
Begun in 1991 and continued until Butler’s death, the project is an examination of how we use “the lie to explore our relationship with the truth.” Butler held three artist dinners, where she asked her guests to consider the questions “What is the lie with which I am most complicit?” and “What is the truth that most feeds my life?” A wide range of artists and poets responded in unique and provocative ways, and a three-volume set of works was created.
Each contributing artist hand-made eighty versions of their artwork, which were then compiled into limited-edition artists’ books. The exhibition showcases these works as framed articles, but their significance is bound to their essentially interactive and tactile nature. The pieces themselves resonate with the time, love, and laborious processes that played a critical role in their creation. The project as a whole serves as a testament to Butler’s vision of “recalibrating” oneself to distinguish the truth within from the lies that surround us.
Each volume is a work of art unto itself that developed from the process of creating it, from the individual works themselves and from the relationships between the parts and the whole. At a certain point a bigger vision broke through – something beyond previous understandings – surpassing the initial ideas to become a singular artwork consisting of discrete and powerful works of art. Its subject matter is truth, lies, and the intimate power of a true work of art. — Eugenia P. Butler
Conceived as a global conversation about truth and lies, Book of Lies is a work of art made of other works of art that invites viewers into the intimate worlds of its creators, while considering universal questions of identity, reality, and existence. As Butler wrote, Enter with a mind as open as you can make it. My own has certainly become more sensitized to the numbness and depths of feeling that irradiate that unstable field of reality we call the truth.
VIEW Prospectus (PDF)
NUMBER OF WORKS:
Sizes range from 10 x 13 inches to 35 x 45 inches
Approximately 250 linear feet (76 linear meters)
Kim Ables, Lisa Adams, Robert Aitchison, Lita Albuqurque, Lynn Aldrich, Edgar Arceneaux, Eve Aschheim, Rod Baer, Biljana Bakaluca, Rita Barnes, Deanne Belinoff, Mirella Bentivoglio, Eugenia P. Butler. Theresa Chong, James Cobb, Ed Colver, Geoganne Deen, Steve DeGroodt, Corazon del Sol, Chiara Diamantini, Bronislava Dubner, Sally Elesby, Garth Erasmus, Sam Erenberg, George Evans, Meghan Ferrill, Lidia Fiabane, Janet Fitch, Xavier Fumat, Jill Giegerich, Allan Graham (a.k.a. Toadhouse), Gloria Graham, Elizabeth Grier, Marvin Harden, Marcel Hardung, Richard Haxton, Mary Beth Heffernan, Kady Hoffman, Diana Jacobs, Milt Jewell, Joan Jonas, Kim Jones, Seth Kaufman, Stephan Koehler, Rita Kondrup, Adophe Lechtenberg, Penelope Lee, Julia Lohmann, Tom Marioni, Kim McCarty, Michael McMillen, Jim Melchert, Gisella Meo, Gertrude Moser-Wagner, John David O’Brien, Minoru Ohira, John Outterbridge, Beverly Piersol, Maria Porges, Mary Rakow, Peter Reading, Ann Reiniger, Lala Rukh, Rhonda Saboff, Barry Sanders, Melissa Smedley, Eve Sonneman, Arthur Sze, Ilkka Juhani Takalo-Eskola, Matthew Thomas, Jenny Watson, Benji Whalen, Bruce Whiteman, William Wiley, Madam X, Maria Jose Zamora, and Daisy Zamora.
SELECTED REVIEWS AND NEWS
LAND, background for Los Angeles' "Pacific Standard Time," January 2012
LA Weekly, Peter Frank, March 14, 2007
Los Angeles Times, Leah Ollman, February 9, 2007
(October 25 – December 4, 2016)
(October 23 – November 20, 2014)
(April 7 – May 31, 2014)
Eugenia Butler and Corazon del Sol, Where does the lie begin? 2004