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Rebecca Riley - Ex Libris Mundi - Art Wall on Third Exhibition Series

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January 8 through April 3, 2013

Program Locations:

Mid-Manhattan Library

The Art Collection, 3rd Floor

Rebecca Riley, Ex Libris Mundi, installation view (partial). Flasche and maps on paper, 60 x 108 inches, 2012.Rebecca Riley, Ex Libris Mundi, installation view (partial). Flasche and maps on paper, 60 x 108 inches, 2012.

The Art and Picture Collections present Ex Libris Mundi a site-specific exhibition of a series of colorful and dynamic collaged maps made by artist Rebecca Riley. The pieces are vividly painted with mosaic patterns and defined by the lines of the roads and rivers of the maps. The installation specifically uses maps of the cities where important contemporary and historical libraries have existed. The maps are united by collages of water maps symbolizing the flow of knowledge in time and space. A legend engages the viewer to contemplate renowned existing and extinguished libraries around the world.

 Hungary, Cathedral Library. Flasche and maps on paper, 13x22 inches, 2012.Rebecca Riley, Ex Libris Mundi: Hungary, Cathedral Library. Flasche and maps on paper, 13x22 inches, 2012.

Artist and Professor Stephanie Hightower, joins Riley for An Artist Dialogue series event on Saturday February 9 at 3:00 p.m. at Mid-Manhattan Library on the 6th Floor.

Art Wall on Third exhibit series is curated by Arezoo Moseni.

Artist Statement

Libraries promote a united world through the open flow of information – past and present. My site-specific installation Ex Libris Mundi – “From the Books of the World” consists of a series of vibrantly painted, collaged maps of cities and countries where important contemporary libraries are and where significant historical libraries have been. Alexandria, Egypt, for its ancient library – destroyed by fire in 48 B.C;  Ephesus (now Selcuk), Turkey, where the Library of Celsus once was – destroyed by fire in the Third Century; The New York Public Library and Library of Congress in the United States, the British Library in London, and the Tianyi Chamber in China are among the libraries represented.

 Poland, Krakow, the Jagiellonian Library. Flasche and map on paper, 10 x9 inches, 2012.Rebecca Riley, Ex Libris Mundi: Poland, Krakow, the Jagiellonian Library. Flasche and map on paper, 10 x9 inches, 2012.

Using vivid colors, I paint patterns defined by the lines of the roads and rivers in the map. I base these patterns on the idea of a cell in mitosis, to emphasize that our world, and the knowledge in it is living and growing. False-color imaging- used in both satellite photos and in microscopy – inspires my choice of colors because of its use of highly contrasting color to define patterns and specific places more clearly. I unite these maps with invented waterways, thus creating the cartography of a whole new world. A legend on the bottom corner engages the viewer to contemplate renowned libraries around the globe – the existing and the extinguished.

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