Banning Books: Understanding without Reading
An Exhibition by Matthew Peter Nagowski

Opening Reception Friday, September 6th, 5-9pm

on view september 6 – september 28

 The Western New York Book Arts Center presents an exhibition by WNY artist Matthew Peter Nagowski, on view September 6 – September 28, 2019. An opening reception to celebrate the exhibition will be held Friday, September 8th from 5-9pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Banning Books: Understanding without Reading is an exhibition presenting frequently banned or challenged books through textual analysis and data abstractions of their content. Using the computer programming language Processing, Nagowski analyzes and visualizes selected content from these books in a way that allows the viewer to understand key ideas without reading the text. Narrative elements fall away to abstracted thematic forms.

For the curatorial statement of the exhibition, Nagowski invited local poet Noah Falck to pen a prose poem reflecting on the work. Falck will give a reading of his poem at 7PM on the night of the opening.

“Books bring us to universes that are not our own. Reading offers a uniquely immersive experience to expand our human understandings, facilitating a dialogue on enduring topics of the human condition. Like a journey to a foreign land, readers return from their adventure forever changed,” Nagowski says.

This exhibition is in celebration of Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019), an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. Website

Matthew Peter Nagowski is a Buffalo-based artist and data scientist. Employing his background in statistics, programming, and data visualization, his art mediates the boundaries between empirical understanding and aesthetic- emotional reactions. His work has been included in The Public and has been shown at such galleries as Artspace Buffalo, Big Orbit Gallery, Cornell in Buffalo, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Nagowski will also host an Artist Lecture and Processing Code Demonstration on September 28, $5 or FREE for Book Arts Members.

And in our lower-level Studio Gallery…

An Exhibition by Katy Sloan  |  Opening Reception Friday, September 6th, 5-9pm