For Maria Porges, a complicated, lifelong relationship with the printed word lies behind her exploration of books as both physical material and subject matter. Her primary source is the library left behind by her grandmother Mary Low. A citizen of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and an Anglophile, she read many English classics, translated indifferently into German and printed in ‘blackletter,’ a Gothic typeface now illegible to virtually all readers. Hence, most of these unwanted volumes are destined for landfill. Yet, it is here where Porges finds new life for each book. Art functions as reclamation of their

value and, at the same time, serves as an uncomfortable recognition of the decreasing role of books in a digital media world.

Porges incorporates illustrations from these books, as well as parts of pages, dust covers, and other miscellaneous printed material, onto the painted surfaces of many works. It is a labor of love in many different ways.

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