About the exhibit


Alice Shaw
Alisa Golden
Betsy Davids
Bettina Pauly
Casey Gardner
Charles Hobson
Julie Chen
Karen Sjoholm
Kat Howard
Lucia Dill
Lucy Childs
Macy Chadwick
Mandie Rider
Michael Henninger
Nance O'Banion
Reiko Fujii
Thomas Rockwell


Charles Hobson

San Francisco, California


Diderot Decaptioned

boards, Stonehenge and Coronado papers, thread

13 x 9½ x 1¼

© 2013

edition size: tbd

$ 1100

Diderot Decaptioned is a series of ten vovelles contained in a box covered with the image of the spines of the Diderot Encyclopédie published in Paris beginning in 1750. It became famous and controversial because many of its articles reflected the attitudes of contributors such as Voltaire and Rousseau. A vovelle is a paper disk attached behind a cover page so that the disk can be rotated to reveal alternative information on the cover page. Each vovelle shows a high resolution digital print of an engraving from the Encyclopédie chosen because of its puzzling and curious quality to our 21st century eyes. The disk of the vovelle can be rotated to show five different captions for the image including the original 18th century French along with four other captions which use humor and contemporary culture to offer an alternative to the original meaning. Each vovelle has pinholes in the upper corner, to pin up allowing an audience to rotate them.

Ideation Cards:

technique: digital

layout: across the fold or gutter

paper: handmade

text: collaborate with a writer or poet

image: collaborate with another artist

color: black and white

structure: unbound

adjectives: dissonant, nonsequential, decorative, opposing or contrasting, mysterious or coded


Charles Hobson uses monotypes and printmaking variations for images for books and works on paper. He has been a member of the faculty of SFAI since 1990. His work is in the National Gallery, the New York Public Library, the Whitney Museum, among others. Usually following literary or historical themes, he has covered topics as diverse as famous couples who met in Paris (Parisian Encounters) and Mark Twain’s imaginary diaries of Adam and Eve. Stanford University acquired his archive in 2008.

to purchase any of the work in the exhibition, contact Alicia

click here to purchase print catalog