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Diane Fine

Diane Fine is a distinguished book artist, printmaker, and educator. Under her imprint Moonkosh Press the artist has produced over twenty-five limited edition books that explore the search for meaning, and speak to the need for beauty in our lives. Fine will discuss her artist’s books, and make observations about working alone versus working collaboratively. Her rich and imaginative books combine letterpress printing with a variety of print media. Employing color, pattern, symbols, and inventive structures, Fine’s books address topics such as feminism, breast cancer, ritual, nature, solitude, and memory.

Funded by the Leonora G. Bernstein Artists’ Book Endowment and sponsored by Kohler Art Library, UW–Madison Libraries.
Lecture is free and open to the public.

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Memorial Library room 126
  • 728 State Street, Madison WI 53706

A discussion with Diane Fine

Diane Fine’s career is about creation. As a printmaker and book artist, she’s spent decades creating and producing books, prints, and mixed media works on paper, which have earned her international acclaim. Fine’s works have been acquired by the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This spring, her knowledge and creative talents will be enjoyed by the Madison community as she presents “Stories: the Moonkosh Press” during the third annual Bernstein Book Arts Lecture on March 14.

The journey to Madison will hardly be Fine’s first. As an alumna, she earned her Master’s in Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before taking a position as Assistant Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh where she later received her current title, Distinguished Teaching Professor at SUNY-Plattsburgh. She teaches undergraduate courses in printmaking and book arts.

“I was very pleased when Lyn [Korenic, Director of the Kohler Art Library] contacted me. I have a great deal of respect for the artist book collection at the Kohler, which was a source of inspiration for me when I was a graduate student,” she said. “As a teaching assistant, I brought my students in Two Dimensional Design over to see a copy of Josef Alber’s Interaction of Color, where they benefitted from seeing those original silkscreens made at Yale University in 1963. Bill Bunce was committed to creating a study collection that would be experienced and handled. Lyn Korenic has carried that forward resulting in a comprehensive and accessible compilation of treasures. I am deeply honored that my work is cared for and included in such good company.”

Over the course of her career, Fine’s desire to work collaboratively has been a focal point. Fine said the capacity for collaboration is something that has always drawn her to working with books, “Like many book artists, the opportunity to combine image and text creates a fertile basis for expression.”

Her work, both collaborative and individual, is an array of visual masterpieces that holds deep and profound meaning. Art, for her, means much more than aesthetic appeal. It is a lens through which to view the impossible complexities of the human experience. Through the pieces she produces she often delves into themes such as the fragility of life, the inevitability of death, the meaning of relationships, and how people communicate with one another even as they grapple with loss. She once said in an artist’s statement that, “Artmaking is a language I believe can be heard on the other side, a conversation continued, a way to sustain us.”

Fine expressed her gratitude to Korenic for the invitation and for her passion for book arts. She also voiced appreciation for the help and collaborative efforts of Tracy Honn, former director of Silver Buckle Press. Fine said that she is looking forward to her visit to Madison, and especially to connecting with fellow artists during her presentations.

“When I give a lecture, the most important part for me is the question and answer period. I hope people will feel free to offer their questions and comments,” she said. “For me, the purpose of such a lecture is making connections, having conversations, not only saying ‘Here, look what I did.’”

In addition to the Bernstein lecture, Fine will be giving a bookbinding workshop to students in a class taught by Art Department Associate Dean Jim Escalante.

“In putting together the corollary exhibit of Fine’s books and broadsides, I have been delighted and moved by her sophisticated and expressive works,” said Korenic. “They are objects of beauty, both playful and poignant.”

An exhibition, Words & Pictures: Artist’s Books by Diane Fine, will also be on view at the Kohler Art Library March 1–June 30, 2017.

For more information, please contact the Kohler Art Library at 608-263-2256 or lyn.korenic@wisc.edu