Offramp Gallery = 1702 Lincoln Avenue = Pasadena, CA 91103 = 626.298.6931
July/August 2009 online issue of Artillery Magazine
Susan Sironi at Offramp Gallery
Sometimes it pays to detour off the main pathways of art, as I found recently at Offramp Gallery in Pasadena. There I came upon a wonderful exhibition by Susan Sironi, who specializes in "altered books." The artist takes vintage books and carefully cuts through the pages with a blade — sometimes leaving words, sometimes leaving pictures — and reinvents them as works of art. Her method is both meticulous and thoughtful, as she literally cuts through the layers and distills essences for us to see. In The Inner Shrine, a long-forgotten novel, the title appears on a strip of paper — what's left of the title page — while beneath are a multitude of tabs suspended from left and right featuring the word "I" and a verb — such as "I will," "I suppose," and "I know." In Southern Interior, a fantastical interior is created by cutting into pictures on the right-hand pages of the book.
Her tour de force is the series of five books that make up "Flower Arrangements," for which she managed to locate as many volumes of Treasury of Flower Arrangements by J. Gregory Conway from 1953. She cut into each in a different way, emphasizing different colors and shapes found on the pictorial pages, thereby making her own visually arresting arrangements and handily demonstrating how the imagination can wrest diverse visions from the same DNA.
vol 3 issue 6