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April 5, 2003

UCSD Libraries Exhibit To Honor Book Artist Ian Tyson's 70th Birthday

By Shannon Casey

British book artist Ian Tyson’s remarkable life in letters will be celebrated through a birthday exhibition of his works opening April 5 in the University of California, San Diego’s Geisel Library.

The exhibition, “Ian Tyson – To Date: A Retrospective in Honor of the Artist’s 70th Birthday,” explores the development and range of Tyson’s work from the 1960s to the present day, and is drawn from UCSD’s extensive holdings of his art, published works, and archives. The exhibit further examines the variety of roles in which he has contributed to the development of book arts throughout the past four decades, including: solo artist and author, interpreter and collaborator, and publisher. The 55-work exhibit, which will be on display April 5 - May 15 at UCSD’s Mandeville Special Collections Library, includes Tyson’s early works, collaborative works with Circle Press, Tetrad Press, and UCSD professor and poet Jerome Rothenberg, as well as the “Surimono” series.

Over the course of his career, Tyson has demonstrated ability in the many aspects of book arts, including textuality, typography, graphic art and book structure. He has been a creator and an interpreter of texts, a graphic artist and a designer.

Tyson’s earliest works came to UCSD in the 1970s through the Archive for New Poetry. He was an early collaborator, as illustrator and/or as publisher, with some of the poets whose works were exhaustively collected by the university, such as Larry Eigner, Jackson Mac Low, Jerome Rothenberg and Wai-lim Yip. As the relationship between the word and its visual presentation gained importance with UCSD’s academic programs, the university began a collection of Tyson’s works. Today, the university draws upon its holdings of Tyson’s work for classes, reference and exhibition.

Media Contact: Dolores Davies, (858) 534-5994


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