Gail Severn Gallery

Lisa Kokin

Artist Statement


Lisa Kokin alters books, text and memory by a complex system of destruction and preservation. There is as much meaning in what has been taken away as in what remains. Through her process of artmaking, Lisa is able to explore cultural and personal issues of conformity and gender, the ambiguities of society and the behavior of humans. Her aesthetic in these meanderings is consistently refined and appealing. The look and feel of books, papers, texts and photographs blend to form a unified structure, whole unto itself even before you begin to mine it for the rich content contained within.


Books have played a major role in Lisa's work; she returns to them between bodies of work and as bodies of work in and of themselves. In her current series of “reassembled”books, she literally reshapes the content of selected old books by making papier mache balls, organ-like objects and cubes out of the shredded pages, then sews the contents back inside and outside of the original book covers. Bits and pieces of the original text remain, although the literal meaning is lost. The covers can no longer contain their unruly "text," and form defines content.

Public Collections

Alameda County Recorder’s Office through the Alameda County Arts

   Commission, Oakland, CA

Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center through the Alameda County Arts

   Commission, San Leandro, CA

Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID

Buchenwald Memorial, Weimar-Buchenwald, Germany

di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA

Mills College, Oakland, CA

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA

Richmond Civic Center, Richmond, CA

Tiffany & Co., San Francisco, CA

University of Washington Special Collections Library, Seattle, WA

Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT


400 First Avenue North • P.O. Box 1679 Ketchum, ID 83340-1679 
208.726.5079  •


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Gail Severn Gallery