Arts & Culture

UK Art Museum to host book launch

Book cover of John Yau's Collaborations.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 4, 2024) — A book launch to celebrate Disguise the Limit: John Yau's Collaborations, will be held 5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, April 11 at the University of Kentucky Art Museum.

The publication documents the five decades of diverse collaborations currently on view at the UK Art Museum. Acclaimed poet-critic John Yau will sign copies of the book and will present a short program that places the exhibition and publication in context. 

This 148-page softcover book, in full color, includes essays by Stuart Horodner, Barry Schwabsky and Sharon Mesmer; a timeline by Yau; and numerous images of the paintings, drawings, prints and unique publications that Yau has created with an international and intergenerational group of artists.

"This book launch is a special moment to celebrate Yau and his generous cultivation of collaboration with artists. Exhibitions have limited runs, but books can be savored and shared for decades to come. We are so proud and happy to have produced this publication which advances our mission to provide meaningful art experiences on the UK campus and beyond," said Stuart Horodner, museum director and curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition and publication are made possible by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, with additional support from the Albisetti Exhibition Fund.

The book launch event is supported by a grant from the Gaines Center for the Humanities. 

This exhibition is the first examination of the various collaborative works that Yau has created with a range of visual artists during the past five decades. These include paintings, mixed media works on paper, print portfolios, artist books, and letterpress broadsides.

Yau's poetry is infused with humor and intelligence, and he uses a variety of forms to examine aspects of his Chinese American identity, visual art and film, detective novels, and popular culture. His reviews and essays are celebrated for providing fresh insights into canonical artists and for helping to situate diverse practitioners into historical contexts and traditions.

The result of friendships and shared sensibilities, Yau's collaborations reveal his embrace of both representation and abstraction as foils for language generation. Offering nimble turns of phrase, Zen koans, road sign warnings, and fragmented and completed poems, he has been a curious and generous partner in producing these unique works with established and emerging artists

The exhibition and publication are made possible by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, with additional support from the Albisetti Exhibition Fund. 

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