Literature, language, and philosophy are at the core of Buzz Spector’s work. He is a contemporary Conceptual artist who explores the aesthetic possibilities of language, paper, and books. Buzz Spector: Alterations spans the artist’s career from the 1970s to the present and includes drawings, altered books, postcard assemblages, collages, and more.
A master at tearing paper, Spector brings a constructive energy to that otherwise destructive act. Sometimes he alters found books by methodically tearing their pages. At other times, he creates his own blocks of printed texts or images that he also transforms by tearing. Through this refashioning of existing printed materials, he poses questions about authorship, the history of art, and the written word. His works are at once deeply literate and slyly humorous.
Spector is internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of contemporary art. He taught painting, sculpture, and two-dimensional design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis for a decade before retiring in 2019. This is the first presentation of the artist’s work at a St. Louis museum.
Buzz Spector: Alterations is curated by Gretchen L. Wagner, the former Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; and Elizabeth Wyckoff, curator of prints, drawings, and photographs; with Andrea Ferber, research assistant for prints, drawings, and photographs.