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March 3, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Photo: Vesna Kittelson, Language Dictionaries I, 2017, altered books


An exhibition of cut and mended language dictionaries transformed into paintings, collages, and sculptures, by Vesna Kittelson

March 1 – April 6, 2018
Gallery hours: MondayFriday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm


Vesna Kittelson, Language Dictionaries II, 2017, altered books

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (November 5, 2017) Traffic Zone Gallery presents Books: Altered Language Dictionary, Painting, Collage, Sculpture, an exhibition of new work by Vesna Kittelson. This exhibition is an exploration of how to discover possibilities of painting, collage, and sculpture, through an intervention upon a book. A language dictionary, this familiar, user friendly object; this comforting collection of words and cultural identities; this soft, thought provoking object; carries a quietly mysterious power of addressing politics, economics, and identities. The exhibition is a depiction of Kittelson’s compelling fascination with the material process of transforming a book into painting, and collage – by cutting and covering it with encaustic, rust, tar, gold leaf, metallic leaf, adhesive letters – thus restoring and transforming it into a sculptural object to be displayed on a plinth, while remaining a book in its appearance and meaning.

Artist Statement

For several years, I have been pondering how as an artist to draw together threads of my thinking about human conflict and violence between different human groups. I decided to address this universal philosophical question by abstracting an ancient myth – Tower of Babel – where people spoke different languages and could not understand each other, today Trump vs. Kim Yong-un. By altering and transforming language dictionaries – stores of identity – I create Babel Books and Babel Libraries. Each dictionary is an exploration of crossing the boundary between an everyday object, a book; and painting, collage, and sculpture. Displayed, they present a possibility relevant to our time – a peaceful co-existence, where no language dominates. Vesna Kittelson


Vesna Kittelson, Language Dictionaries III, 2017, altered books

Artist Biography

Vesna Krezich Kittelson was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is of Croatian descent.  She grew up in Split, Croatia where she obtained a B.A. in Law. Later she obtained a B.A. in Fine Arts and an M.A. in Design, both from the University of Minnesota. Kittelson’s work is included in the following public collections: Brooklyn Museum Artist Book Collection, Brooklyn, NY, Bush Foundation Collection, Saint Paul, MN, Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Armenia, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul, MN, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN, Smithsonian National Library, Dibner Library, Washington, DC, Tate Library, Tate Britain, London, GB, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN, Yale University Art Library, New Haven, CT.

Traffic Zone Mission Statement

Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art supports the work of mid-career professional artists with high-quality, affordable studios and the engagement of audiences with gallery exhibitions, open studio events, art classes and workshops.


March 3, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts
250 3rd Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401 United States
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