Karen Hanmer

Artists' Books & Installation


Flag Books

Chicago book and installation artist Karen Hanmer often uses Hedi Kyle’s flag book structure because it imitates the subject and theme of many of her works. The deceptively small and simple book can be manipulated into a variety of images and narratives. It can be enjoyed in a linear fashion, page by page, or it can be pulled open to reveal the entire story or image at one time. This experience is different almost every time if the book is opened and stretched out from a different page. Whether dealing with pop culture or the parade of progress on a small Minnesota farm or in the sky, the variety of possibilities of the flag book and the delightful flapping sound that accompanies it advance the viewer/reader’s experience while also endearing and connecting them to the physical art object/book. Hanmer’s flag books radiate with humor, joy, and tension.

Reviewer Chris Hund is a Chicago poet.