Book of Lies

  April 7 - May 31, 2014

Public Programs

6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Program: Truth, Lies, and the Construction of Reality: A Conversation about Book of Lies

Los Angeles based artist and curator Corazon del Sol will discuss Book of Lies, the conceptual art project and exhibition of the same name conceived of - but ultimately left unfinished - by her mother, conceptual artist Eugenia P. Butler.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

Eugenia P. Butler was a Los Angeles-based artist who played a formative but often overlooked role in Conceptual art where she regularly challenged people to explore how they perceive their "reality." Butler's Book of Lies project began in 1991 and examined how other artists use "the lie to explore our relationship with the truth." Known for her collaborations and interactions with other artists, 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?"

Conceived of as a global conversation about truth and lies held through the medium of works of art and poetry, Butler invited artists to use the lie to explore our relationship with the truth. Book of Lies examines the lie as a human strategy using examples drawn from life situations including childhood, love, and war. Seventy-eight artists responded to these questions in unique and provocative ways, resulting in a body of work curated by Butler and Corazon del Sol titled Book of Lies.

Book of Lies is curated by Corazon del Sol and circulated by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California.

The presentation of this exhibition is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery and the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, as well as individual contributions.

Eugenia P. Butler (American, 1947 - 2008) was one of the early exponents of Conceptual art and had a prolific career that spanned over forty years as an avant-garde conceptual and performance artist. Her work included conceptual art, drawings, paintings, furniture, and sculpture. Early text-based works, such as Negative Space Hole and A Congruent Reality, were conceived of as invisible sculptures that prompted the activation of the viewer's imagination to complete the piece. Beginning in 1993 with the Kitchen Table talks and culminating in three volumes of Book of Lies, Eugenia incorporated public dialogues as part of her practice.

Butler was a participant in some of the first exhibitions of Conceptual art and Post-Minimalist art, including Electric Art at the University of California in 1969, Prospect 69 at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf and Concept Art at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1970.