Concertina Books and Drawings

“I work intuitively. It’s like emotion. It’s like life.” – Irene Christensen

The soul, path and purpose of an artist are often most vividly expressed in their most elemental works. A creator in many media, Irene Christensen has chosen a musical metaphor for a series whose substrate and process allow her to record and present her vision of the experience of life in a spontaneous, temporally-based form.

“Concertinas” are works in ink on paper distinguished by Christensen’s choice of the Leporello book as her substrate-one sheet of fine paper bound between 2 covers and folded, accordion style (called a Concertina fold after the musical instrument), to close like the uncut pages of a book. The inherent musicality of the book, as well as its portability, fuel the artist’s choices.

Christensen marks the first 2 frames of each book in keeping with a seed of inspiration that spurs the new piece. Folding them back, she works as ideas, emotions and experience continue to flow and dance onto the pages, 2 at a time. Remarkably, given their thematic and visual coherence when extended, only after the final page is filled does she view the entire book and work on it as the unified piece that, from the very beginning, was waiting to be born.

The folding also presents the artist with an intriguing option in an exhibition like this one-she can fold back certain pages and expose others, orchestrating our experience of the works. This adds an element of mystery to engage us, especially when the initial sheets are hidden. As we ponder what may lie beneath, we insert our own lives into a dialogue with Irene and her work, and her experience becomes our own.

Linda DiGusta
New York, NY

Boutique Fine Art Projects
beauartsltd@gmail.com

Installation of the Concertina books at Jefferson Market Library, New York City
Installation of the Concertina books at Jefferson Market Library, New York City

Memories and Shrines is 24 pages, 8 x 8 inches, ink.

Ms Liberty is 24 pages, 8 x 8 inches, ink.

Ms Liberty detail 1
Ms Liberty detail I
Ms Liberty detail 2
Ms Liberty detail II

Speak to Me in my Native Tongue is 24 pages, 8 x 8 inches, ink.

Speak to Me in my Native Tongue detail
Speak to Me in my Native Tongue detail

Costa Rican Dreams is 24 pages, 8 x 8 inches, ink.

Costa Rican Dreams detail
Costa Rican Dreams detail

NY Never Sleeps is 24 pages, 8 x 8 inches, ink.

New York Never Sleeps detail
New York Never Sleeps detail

Copyright © 2019 Irene Christensen, All rights reserved.