by Christopher Russell
Essays by Kevin Killian and Holly Myers
Hardbound, full color
Dimensions: 8.75” x 11.5” x 0.5” 104 pages
“Russell weaves his writing into pictures... He chops his text into geometric shapes, casts it in rainbow colors and visually assaultive fonts, and scratches it onto photographs. In the work contained here, in Pattern Book, he laces text into art nouveau wallpaper, dissolving his stories into a swooning screen of domestic pattern. At every turn, it seems, Russell throws some wrench into the cogs of literary consumption, slowing the reader down, jostling expectations, demanding attention—challenging the reader, in other words, to really want to be reading.”—Holly Myers
Pattern Book by Christopher Russell collects a number of images and texts, images woven through text, and texts woven together through images. Kevin Killian, author of Impossible Princess (City Lights 2009), says, "I was born wanting a Christopher Russell to join me in this confusing world.... I wanted a boy with confused gaze, mortified as I am by the harsh and ugly crumples of life, but one who, with bold decisive strokes, could hack a pathway out if it. ... Russell’s method, in which he dethrones language’s hegemony over rival visual formations by distorting and exaggerating its recognizable, even homey, patterns borrows roots from many traditions. Medieval monks are said to have curried favor with abbots by carving Bible verses into the head of a pin. ... When language, or the image, is enervated, the work of art has room for other connotations to manifest. ... And in these beautiful pages we will see, and we will not see, things it will take us a hundred years to understand."
Russell received his BFA from California College of the Arts and Crafts in 1998 and his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2004. From 2001 to 2005 Russell edited, designed, produced, and distributed the “destroy–to–enjoy” literary art zine Bedwetter. He was the subject of a 2009 Hammer Museum Projects solo exhibition and is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. He has also exhibited his work at Acuna Hansen, Samuel Freeman, Circus Gallery—all in Los Angeles; White Columns, New York; Van Harrison Gallery (Gallery 1R), Chicago; and other venues. His novel Sniper, edited by Amy Gestler, was published in 2011. Budget Decadence, a novella, was published by 2nd Cannons Publications and Landscape, a monograph on his work, was published by Kolapsomal Press. Russell edited and wrote an essay for the catalog that accompanied his curatorial debut, Against the Grain at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in 2008. Additionally, he has written more than two dozen articles and reviews about art in Los Angeles. Russell’s work is in various public collections, including the Hammer Museum/Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, J.P. Getty Museum Research Institute; New York University; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.