Peter Koch: The Book as a Work of Art features select masterworks created by printer Peter Koch between 1974 and 2022, presented together for the first time in Montana by Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. Described as one of his generation’s most distinguished and celebrated printers and typographic designers by the Grolier Club, the US’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts, this exhibition draws attention to the trajectory of Koch’s history as an artist by addressing the importance of fine press and high concept/high craft artists’ books within the field of fine arts.

Exhibition curator Nicole Maria Evans asserts that Koch’s radical zeal for the pursuit of historical, artistic, and technical expertise made way for him to enter a world of printing giants and specialized knowledge. His career began in Missoula, Montana, when he started Black Stone Press in 1974 with a single platen press. He relocated to San Francisco in 1978 and has since acquired a global name and several more presses. In 2005, he formed the famed CODEX Foundation with his wife, paper conservator Susan K. Filter. 

Programming for Peter Koch: The Book as a Work of Art includes an Expert Lecture Series with Peter Koch, Susan K. Filter, Roberto Trujillo, Russell Maret, and Dr. Aaron Parrett; a Curator’s Lecture with Nicole Maria Evans; and a Community Book Making Workshop with Eliza Weber, Director of Education.

Works on view are contributed by Peter Koch; Archive and Special Collections at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana, Missoula; and the Holter Museum of Art. This exhibition is influenced in part by Stanford Libraries Department of Special Collections’ Peter Koch Printer: A Forty Year Retrospective (2017). 

Peter Koch: The Book as a Work of Art is on view now through October 5, 2022, at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, Montana. You can find the catalogue online or call to inquire at (406) 727-8255.

For more information, visit the-square.org.

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