September 7 — October 5, 2013
Al Souza has always had an affinity for books, not just for the written or pictorial information that they contain, but also for the book as a visceral object. This affinity for the object and his ongoing exploration of the repetition of everyday objects into two-dimensional works (puzzles, movie posters, dryer lint) has led to the “bookworks” series Souza will present in his most recent exhibition at Conduit Gallery. In the “bookworks” pieces, Souza combines the edges of 19th century book pages with their gilding, marbling, or spines and contains them in glass fronted wooden boxes. With the advent of digitizing, many of the books Souza uses have been de-accessioned from libraries and the purposeful presentation of the “bookworks” gives the viewer an opportunity to acknowledge a mating of two different containers of information - the book and the box.
In addition to the “bookworks” series, Souza will also exhibit his Gaman series of assemblages created in response to the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan. Derived from the Japanese word for "reverence for perseverance", the Gaman series of works combines broken toys, computer parts and other random castoff fragments along with stones, pieces of wood, and dollops of paint.
A native of Massachusetts, Al Souza taught art at the University of Houston from 1992 until 2012. In 2013 Souza re-located from his longtime Texas home to Wendell, MA and continues to create new work and exhibit widely throughout the United States. Recent exhibitions include Pavel Zubok Gallery, NY, NY (2013); The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MS (2012); Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK (2011); UNESCO, Paris, France (2011); El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2009); and The Grace Museum, Abilene, TX (2008). The work of Al Souza is represented in several major public collections such as; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, NY; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Biblioteche Nationale, Paris, France; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa
Barbara, CA; Yale University of Art, New Haven, CT; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, CT; Museum of Modern Art, Belgrade, Yugoslavia and Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX.