At the heart of Guy Laramée’s artistic practice is a quest for transcendence. His paintings are unapologetically Romantic, while his carved book sculptures explore the erosion and impermanence of human culture in the context of the natural world. His sculptures ask us to value intuition over analytical knowledge, following the tradition of the mystical text, The Cloud of Unknowing. “I want to examine thinking, not only ‘what’ we think, but ‘that’ we think,” Laramée writes. “So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS.”
With a background in anthropology, Laramée has been involved with the arts for decades, from music composition to theater to video work, but lately his sculptures have taken center stage, garnering the attention of the international art world. His work has been featured in a number of books about the physical art of the book, as well as in exhibitions at the Musées de la Civilisation in Quebec, the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, WA, the Museum at the University of Richmond and the Pordenonelegge Book Festival in Pordenone, Italy, among others. His work can be found in public and private collections around the world, including The Allan Chasanoff Collection at Yale University, the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, the Messner Mountain Museum in Bolzano, Italy, the Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec, and the Special Collections at both Bowdoin College in Maine and at Michigan State University.
Watch Guy Laramée on the CBS Morning Show