Artist's book

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Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963 by Ed Ruscha. RuschaGasolineStations.jpg
Twentysix Gasoline Stations , 1963 by Ed Ruscha.

Artists' books (or book arts or book objects) are works of art that utilize the form of the book. They are often published in small editions, though they are sometimes produced as one-of-a-kind objects.



Artists' books have employed a wide range of forms, including the traditional Codex form as well as less common forms like scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box. Artists have been active in printing and book production for centuries, but the artist's book is primarily a late 20th-century form. Book forms were also created within earlier movements, such as Dada, Constructivism, Futurism, and Fluxus.

Artists' books are books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself.

Stephen Bury [1]

Artists' books are made for a variety of reasons. An artist book is generally interactive, portable, movable and easily shared. Some artists books challenge the conventional book format and become sculptural objects. Artists' books may be created in order to make art accessible to people outside of the formal contexts of galleries or museums. [2] Artists' books can be made from a variety of materials, including found objects. [3] The Mexican artist Ulises Carrión understood artists' books as autonomous forms that are not reduced only to text, as in a traditional book. [4]

Early history

Blake's hand painted frontispiece for Songs of Innocence and of Experience. This version of the frontispiece is from Copy Z currently held by the Library of Congress. Blake sie cover.jpg
Blake's hand painted frontispiece for Songs of Innocence and of Experience. This version of the frontispiece is from Copy Z currently held by the Library of Congress.

Origins of the form: William Blake

Whilst artists have been involved in the production of books in Europe since the early medieval period (such as the Book of Kells and the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry ), most writers on the subject cite the English visionary artist and poet William Blake (1757–1827) as the earliest direct antecedent [6] [7]

Books such as Songs of Innocence and of Experience were written, illustrated, printed, coloured and bound by Blake and his wife Catherine, and the merging of handwritten texts and images created intensely vivid, hermetic works without any obvious precedents. These works would set the tone for later artists' books, connecting self-publishing and self-distribution with the integration of text, image and form. All of these factors have remained key concepts in artists' books up to the present day.

Avant-garde production 1909–1937

Zang Tumb Tumb, 1914, by Marinetti ZangTumbTumb-1914.jpg
Zang Tumb Tumb, 1914, by Marinetti

As Europe plunged headlong towards World War I, various groups of avant-garde artists across the continent started to focus on pamphlets, posters, manifestos and books. This was partially as a way to gain publicity within an increasing print-dominated world, but also as a strategy to bypass traditional gallery systems, disseminate ideas and to create affordable work that might (theoretically) be seen by people who would not otherwise enter art galleries.

This move toward radicalism was exemplified by the Italian Futurists, and by Filippo Marinetti (1876–1944) in particular. The publication of the "Futurist Manifesto", 1909, on the front cover of the French daily newspaper Le Figaro was an audacious coup de théâtre that resulted in international notoriety. [8] Marinetti used the ensuing fame to tour Europe, kickstarting movements across the continent that all veered towards book-making and pamphleteering.

In London, for instance, Marinetti's visit directly precipitated Wyndham Lewis' founding of the Vorticist movement, whose literary magazine BLAST is an early example of a modernist periodical, while David Bomberg's book Russian Ballet (1919), with its interspersing of a single carefully spaced text interspersed with abstract colour lithographs, is a landmark in the history of English language artists' books. With regards to the creation of Artists' books, the most influential offshoot of futurist principles, however, occurred in Russia. Marinetti visited in 1914, proselytizing on behalf of Futurist principles of speed, danger and cacophony. [9] [10]

Russian Futurism, 1910–1917

Transrational Boog, 1914, by Olga Rozanova TransrationalBoog-Rozanova.jpg
Transrational Boog, 1914, by Olga Rozanova

Centred in Moscow, around the Gileia Group of Transrational ( zaum ) poets David and Nikolai Burliuk, Elena Guro, Vasili Kamenski and Velimir Khlebnikov, the Russian futurists created a sustained series of artists' books that challenged every assumption of orthodox book production. Whilst some of the books created by this group would be relatively straightforward typeset editions of poetry, many others played with form, structure, materials and content that still seems contemporary.

Key works such as Worldbackwards (1912), by Khlebnikov and Kruchenykh, Natalia Goncharova, Larionov Rogovin and Tatlin, Transrational Boog (1915) by Aliagrov and Kruchenykh & Olga Rozanova and Universal War (1916) by Kruchenykh used hand-written text, integrated with expressive lithographs and collage elements, creating small editions with dramatic differences between individual copies. Other titles experimented with materials such as wallpaper, printing methods including carbon copying and hectographs, and binding methods including the random sequencing of pages, ensuring no two books would have the same contextual meaning. [11]

Russian futurism gradually evolved into Constructivism after the Russian Revolution, centred on the key figures of Malevich and Tatlin. Attempting to create a new proletarian art for a new communist epoch, constructivist books would also have a huge impact on other European avant-gardes, with design and text-based works such as El Lissitsky's For The Voice (1922) having a direct impact on groups inspired by or directly linked to communism. Dada in Zurich and Berlin, the Bauhaus in Weimar and De Stijl in the Netherlands all printed numerous books, periodicals and theoretical tracts within the newly emerging International Modernist style. Artist's books from this era include Kurt Schwitters and Kate Steinitz's book The Scarecrow (1925), and Theo van Doesburg's periodical De Stijl .

Dada and Surrealism

Dada was initially started at the Cabaret Voltaire, by a group of exiled artists in neutral Switzerland during World War I. Originally influenced by the sound poetry of Wassily Kandinsky, and the Blaue Reiter Almanac that Kandinsky had edited with Marc, artists' books, periodicals, manifestoes and absurdist theatre were central to each of Dada's main incarnations. Berlin Dada in particular, started by Richard Huelsenbeck after leaving Zurich in 1917, would publish a number of incendiary artists' books, such as George Grosz's The Face Of The Dominant Class (1921), a series of politically motivated satirical lithographs about the German bourgeoisie.

Whilst concerned mainly with poetry and theory, Surrealism created a number of works that continued in the French tradition of the Livre d'Artiste, whilst simultaneously subverting it. Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonté (1934), collaging found images from Victorian books, is a famous example, as is Marcel Duchamp's cover for Le Surréalisme' (1947) featuring a tactile three-dimensional pink breast made of rubber. [12]

One important Russian writer/artist who created artist books was Alexei Remizov. [13] Drawing on medieval Russian literature, he creatively combined dreams, reality, and pure whimsy in his artist books.

After World War II; post-modernism and pop art

Regrouping the avant-garde

After World War II, many artists in Europe attempted to rebuild links beyond nationalist boundaries, and used the artist's book as a way of experimenting with form, disseminating ideas and forging links with like-minded groups in other countries.

In the fifties artists in Europe developed an interest in the book, under the influence of modernist theory and in the attempt to rebuild positions destroyed by the war.

Dieter Schwarz [14]

After the war, a number of leading artists and poets started to explore the functions and forms of the book 'in a serious way' [15] Concrete poets in Brazil such as Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, Cobra artists in the Netherlands and Denmark and the French Lettrists all began to systematically deconstruct the book. A fine example of the latter is Isidore Isou's Le Grand Désordre, (1960), a work that challenges the viewer to reassemble the contents of an envelope back into a semblance of narrative. Two other examples of poet-artists whose work provided models for artists' books include Marcel Broodthaers and Ian Hamilton Finlay. [16]

Yves Klein in France was similarly challenging Modernist integrity with a series of works such as Yves: Peintures (1954) and Dimanche (1960) which turned on issues of identity and duplicity. [17] Other examples from this era include Guy Debord and Asger Jorn's two collaborations, Fin de Copenhague (1957) and Mémoires' (1959), two works of Psychogeography created from found magazines of Copenhagen and Paris respectively, collaged and then printed over in unrelated colours. [18]

Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha

Often credited with defining the modern artist's book, [19] Dieter Roth (1930–98) produced a series of works which systematically deconstructed the form of the book throughout the fifties and sixties. These disrupted the codex's authority by creating books with holes in (e.g. Picture Book, 1957), allowing the viewer to see more than one page at the same time. Roth was also the first artist to re-use found books-comic books, printer's end papers and newspapers (such as Daily Mirror, 1961, [20] and AC, 1964). [21] Although originally produced in Iceland in extremely small editions, Roth's books would be produced in increasingly large runs, through numerous publishers in Europe and North America, and would ultimately be reprinted together by the German publisher Hansjörg Mayer in the 1970s, making them more widely available in the last half-century than the work of any other comparable artist.

Almost contemporaneously in the United States, Ed Ruscha (1937–present) printed his first book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations , in 1963 in an edition of 400, but had printed almost 4000 copies by the end of the decade. [22] The book is directly related to American photographic travelogues, such as Robert Frank's The Americans' (1965), but deals with a banal journey on route 66 between Ruscha's home in Los Angeles and his parents' in Oklahoma. [23] Like Roth, Ruscha created a series of homogenous books throughout the sixties, including Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, and Royal Road Test, 1967.

A Swiss artist worth mentioning is Warja Honegger-Lavater, who created artists' books contemporaneously with Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha.

Fluxus and the Multiple

Growing out of John Cage's Experimental Composition classes from 1957 to 1959 at the New School for Social Research, Fluxus was a loose collective of artists from North America and Europe that centred on George Maciunas (1931–78), who was born in Lithuania. Maciunas set up the AG Gallery in New York, 1961, with the intention of putting on events and selling books and multiples by artists he liked. The gallery closed within a year, apparently having failed to sell a single item. [24] The collective survived, and featured an ever-changing roster of like-minded artists including George Brecht, Joseph Beuys, Davi Det Hompson, Daniel Spoerri, Yoko Ono, Emmett Williams and Nam June Paik. [25] [26]

Artists' books (such as An Anthology of Chance Operations ) and multiples [27] (as well as happenings), were central to Fluxus' ethos disdaining galleries and institutions, replacing them with "art in the community", and the definition of what was and wasn't a book became increasingly elastic throughout the decade as the two forms collided. Many of the Fluxus editions share characteristics with both; George Brecht's Water Yam (1963), for instance, involves a series of scores collected in a box, whilst similar scores are collected together in a bound book in Yoko Ono's Grapefruit (1964). Another famous example is Literature Sausage by Dieter Roth, one of many artists to be affiliated to fluxus at one or other point in its history; each one was made from a pulped book mixed with onions and spices and stuffed into sausage skin. Literally a book, but utterly unreadable. Litsa Spathi and Rund Jansen of the Fluxus Heidelberg Center in the Netherlands have an online archive of fluxus publications and fluxus webslinks. [28]

Artists' books began to proliferate in the sixties and seventies in the prevailing climate of social and political activism. Inexpensive, disposable editions were one manifestation of the dematerialization of the art object and the new emphasis on process.... It was at this time too that a number of artist-controlled alternatives began to develop to provide a forum and venue for many artists denied access to the traditional gallery and museum structure. Independent art publishing was one of these alternatives, and artists' books became part of the ferment of experimental forms.

Joan Lyons. [29]

Conceptual art

The artist's book proved central to the development of conceptual art. Lawrence Weiner, Bruce Nauman and Sol LeWitt in North America, Art & Language in the United Kingdom, Maurizio Nannucci in Italy, Jochen Gerz and Jean Le Gac in France and Jaroslaw Kozlowski in Poland all used the artist's book as a central part of their art practice. An early example, the exhibition January 5–31, 1969 organised in rented office space in New York City by Seth Siegelaub, featured nothing except a stack of artists' books, also called January 5–31, 1969 and featuring predominantly text-based work by Lawrence Weiner, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Robert Barry. Sol LeWitt's Brick Wall, (1977), for instance, simply chronicled shadows as they passed across a brick wall, Maurizio Nannucci "M/40" with 92 typesetting pages (1967) and "Definizioni/Definitions" (1970), whilst Kozlowski's Reality (1972) took a section of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, removing all of the text, leaving only the punctuation behind. Another example is the Einbetoniertes Buch, [30] 1971 (book in concrete) by Wolf Vostell.

Louise Odes Neaderland, the founder and Director of the non-profit group International Society of Copier Artists (I.S.C.A.) helped to establish electrostatic art as a legitimate art form, and to offer a means of distribution and exhibition to Xerox book Artists. Volume 1, #1 of The I.S.C.A. Quarterly was issued in April 1982 in a folio of 50 eight by eleven inch unbound prints in black and white or color Xerography. Each contributing artist's work of Xerox art was numbered in the Table of Contents and the corresponding number was stamped on the back of each artist's work. "The format changed over the years and eventually included an Annual Bookworks Edition, which contained a box of small handmade books from the I.S.C.A. contributors." After the advent of home computers and printers made it easier for artists to do what the copy machine formerly did, Volume 21, #4 in June 2003 was the final issue. "The 21 years of The I.S.C.A. Quarterlies represented a visual record of artists’ responses to timely social and political issues," as well as to personal experiences. [31] The complete I.S.C.A quarterly collection is housed and catalogued at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts at the Florida Atlantic University library. [32]

Proliferation and reintegration into the mainstream

As the form has expanded, many of the original distinctive elements of artists' books have been lost, blurred or transgressed. Artists such as Cy Twombly, Anselm Kiefer and PINK de Thierry, with her series Encyclopaedia Arcadia, [33] routinely make unique, hand crafted books in a deliberate reaction to the small mass-produced editions of previous generations; Albert Oehlen, for instance, whilst still keeping artists' books central to his practice, has created a series of works that have more in common with Victorian sketchbooks. A return to the cheap mass-produced aesthetic has been evidenced since the early 90s, with artists such as Mark Pawson and Karen Reimer making cheap mass production central to their practice.

Contemporary and post-conceptual artists also have made artist's books an important aspect of their practice, notably William Wegman, Bob Cobbing, Martin Kippenberger, Raymond Pettibon, Freddy Flores Knistoff and Suze Rotolo. Book artists in pop-up books and other three-dimensional one-of-a-kind books include Bruce Schnabel, Carol Barton, Hedi Kyle, Julie Chen, Ed Hutchins and Susan Joy Share.

Many book artists working in traditional, as well as non-traditional, forms have taught and shared their art in workshops at centers such as the Center for Book Arts [34] in New York City, and the Visual Arts Studio (VisArts), the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Statewide Outreach Program, and the no longer extant Richmond Printmaking Workshop, all in Richmond, Virginia. Other institutions devoted to the art form include San Francisco Center for the Book, Visual Studies Workshop, and Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York.

Critical reception

In the early 1970s the artist's book began to be recognized as a distinct genre, and with this recognition came the beginnings of critical appreciation of and debate on the subject. Institutions devoted to the study and teaching of the form were founded (The Center for Book Arts in New York, for example); library and art museum collections began to create new rubrics with which to classify and catalog artists' books and also actively began to expand their fledgling collections; new collections were founded (such as Franklin Furnace in New York); and numerous group exhibitions of artist's books were organized in Europe and America (notably one at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia in 1973, the catalog of which, according to Stefan Klima's Artists Books: A Critical Survey of the Literature, is the first place the term "Artist's Book" was used). Artists' books became a popular form for feminist artists beginning in the 1970s. The Women's Studio Workshop (NY) and the Women's Graphic Center at the Woman's Building (LA), founded by graphic designer, Sheila de Bretteville were centers where women artists could work and explore feminist themes. [35] Bookstores specializing in artists' books were founded, usually by artists, including Ecart in 1968 (Geneva), Other Books and So in 1975 (Amsterdam), Art Metropole in 1974 (Toronto) and Printed Matter in New York (1976). All of these also had publishing programmes over the years, and the latter two are still active today.

In the 1980s this consolidation of the field intensified, with an increasing number of practitioners, greater commercialization, and also the appearance of a number of critical publications devoted to the form. In 1983, for example, Cathy Courtney began a regular column for the London-based Art Monthly (Courtney contributed articles for 17 years, and this feature continues today with different contributors). The Library of Congress adopted the term artists books in 1980 in its list of established subjects, and maintains an active collection in its Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

In the 1980s and 1990s, BA, MA and MFA programs in Book Art were founded, some notable examples of which are the MFA at Mills College in California, the MFA at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the MA at Camberwell College of Arts in London, and the BA at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Journal of Artists' Books (JAB) was founded in 1994 to "raise the level of critical inquiry about artists' books."

In 1994, a National Book Art Exhibition, [36] Art ex libris, [37] [38] was held at Artspace Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts awarded a technical assistance grant for videotaping the exhibition. [39] (aka David E. Thompson). [40]

In 1995, excerpts from Art ex Libris: The National Book Art Invitational at Artspace video documentary were shown in the Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium at the 4th Biannual Book Arts Fair sponsored by Pyramid Atlantic Art Center at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In 1996, the Art ex Libris documentary was included in an auction at Swann Galleries to benefit the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Many of the books exhibited in Art ex Libris at Artspace Gallery and Art ex Machina at 1708 Gallery are now in the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry in Miami, Florida.

In recent decades the artist's book has been developed, by way of the artists' record album concept pioneered by Laurie Anderson into new media forms including the artist's CD-ROM and the artist's DVD-ROM. Beginning in 2007, the Codex Foundation began its Book Fair and Symposium, [41] a biennial 4-day event in the San Francisco Bay Area attended by collectors and producers of artist books as well as laypeople and academics interested in the medium.

Critical issues and debate

A number of issues around the artist's book have been vigorously debated. Some of the major themes under examination have been:

  1. Definition of the artist's book: distinguishing between the terms "artist's book", "book art", "bookworks", "livre d'artiste", fine press books, etc.
  2. Where the artist's book "should" be situated in relation to Craft and Fine Art traditions.
  3. Where to put the apostrophe.
  4. When is a magazine a book? Some examples of "artists' books" provided on this page (such as Theo van Doesburg's De Stijl) are magazines and not books at all.

See also

Related Research Articles

Fluxus International network of artists, composers and designers

Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists, composers, designers and poets during the 1960s and 1970s who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product. Fluxus is known for experimental contributions to different artistic media and disciplines and for generating new art forms. These art forms include intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins; conceptual art, first developed by Henry Flynt, an artist contentiously associated with Fluxus; and video art, first pioneered by Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell. Dutch gallerist and art critic Harry Ruhé describes Fluxus as "the most radical and experimental art movement of the sixties."

Futurism Artistic and social movement

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized dynamism, speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Its key figures were the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Fortunato Depero, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. It glorified modernity and aimed to liberate Italy from the weight of its past. Important Futurist works included Marinetti's Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni's sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Balla's painting Abstract Speed + Sound, and Russolo's The Art of Noises.

Rayonism Russian art movement

Rayonism was a style of abstract art that developed in Russia in 1910-1914. Founded and named by Russian Cubo-Futurists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, it was one of Russia's first abstract art movements.

Edward Joseph Ruscha IV is an American artist associated with the pop art movement. He has worked in the media of painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, and film. Ruscha lives and works in Culver City, California.

<i>Zang Tumb Tumb</i> 1914 poem by F. T. Marinetti

Zang Tumb Tumb is a sound poem and concrete poem written by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, an Italian futurist. It appeared in excerpts in journals between 1912 and 1914, when it was published as an artist's book in Milan. It is an account of the Battle of Adrianople, which he witnessed as a reporter for L'Intransigeant. The poem uses Parole in libertà and other poetic impressions of the events of the battle, including the sounds of gunfire and explosions. The work is now seen as a seminal work of modernist art, and an enormous influence on the emerging culture of European avant-garde print.

"[The] masterpiece of Words-in-freedom and of Marinetti’s literary career was the novel Zang Tumb Tuuum... the story of the siege by the Bulgarians of Turkish Adrianople in the Balkan War, which Marinetti had witnessed as a war reporter. The dynamic rhythms and onomatopoetic possibilities that the new form offered were made even more effective through the revolutionary use of different typefaces, forms and graphic arrangements and sizes that became a distinctive part of Futurism. In Zang Tumb Tuuum; they are used to express an extraordinary range of different moods and speeds, quite apart from the noise and chaos of battle.... Audiences in London, Berlin and Rome alike were bowled over by the tongue-twisting vitality with which Marinetti declaimed Zang Tumb Tuuum. As an extended sound poem it stands as one of the monuments of experimental literature, its telegraphic barrage of nouns, colours, exclamations and directions pouring out in the screeching of trains, the rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire, and the clatter of telegraphic messages" Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzola


Cubo-Futurism was an art movement that arose in early 20th century Russia, defined by its amalgamation of the artistic elements found in Italian Futurism and French Analytical Cubism. Cubo-Futurism was the main school of painting and sculpture practiced by the Russian Futurists. In 1913, the term ‘Cubo-Futurism’ first came to describe works from members of the poetry group ‘Hylaeans,’ as they moved away from poetic Symbolism towards Futurism and zaum, the experimental “visual and sound poetry of Kruchenykh and Khlebninkov”. Later in the same year the concept and style of ‘Cubo-Futurism’ became synonymous with the works of artists within Russian post-revolutionary avant-garde circles as they interrogated non-representational art through the fragmentation and displacement of traditional forms, lines, viewpoints, colours, and textures within their pieces. The impact of Cubo-Futurism was then felt within performance art societies, with Cubo-Futurist painters and poets collaborating on theatre, cinema, and ballet pieces that aimed to break theatre conventions through the use of nonsensical zaum poetry, emphasis on improvisation, and the encouragement of audience participation.

Dieter Roth

Dieter Roth was a Swiss artist best known for his artist's books, editioned prints, sculptures, and works made of found materials, including rotting food stuffs. He was also known as Dieter Rot and Diter Rot.

<i>Water Yam</i> (artists book)

Water Yam is an artist's book by the American artist George Brecht. Originally published in Germany, June 1963 in a box designed by George Maciunas and typeset by Tomas Schmit, it has been re-published in various countries several times since. It is now considered one of the most influential artworks released by Fluxus, the internationalist avant-garde art movement active predominantly in the 1960s and '70s. The box, sometimes referred to as a Fluxbox or Fluxkit, contains a large number of small printed cards, containing instructions known as event-scores, or fluxscores. Typically open-ended, these scores, whether performed in public, private or left to the imagination, leave a lot of space for chance and indeterminancy, forcing a large degree of interpretation upon the performers and audience.

In some cases [event-scores] would arise out of the creation of the object, while in others the object was discovered and Brecht subsequently wrote a score for it, thus highlighting the relationship between language and perception. Or, in the words of the artist, "ensuring that the details of everyday life, the random constellations of objects that surround us, stop going unnoticed." The event-score was as much a critique of conventional artistic representation as it was a gesture of firm resistance against individual alienation.

<i>Twentysix Gasoline Stations</i>

Twentysix Gasoline Stations is the first artist's book by the American pop artist Ed Ruscha. Published in April 1963 on his own imprint National Excelsior Press, it is often considered to be the first modern artist's book, and has become famous as a precursor and a major influence on the emerging artist's book culture, especially in America. The book delivers exactly what its title promises, reproducing 26 photographs of gasoline stations next to captions indicating their brand and location. From the first service station, 'Bob's Service' in Los Angeles where Ruscha lived, the book follows a journey back to Oklahoma City where he had grown up and where his mother still lived. The last image is of a Fina gasoline station in Groom, Texas, which Ruscha has suggested should be seen as the beginning of the return journey, 'like a coda'.

<i>Fluxus 1</i>

Fluxus 1 is an artists' book edited and produced by the Lithuanian-American artist George Maciunas, containing works by a series of artists associated with Fluxus, the international collective of avant-garde artists primarily active in the 1960s and 1970s. Originally published in New York, 1964, the contents vary from edition to edition, but usually contain work by Ay-O, George Brecht, Alison Knowles, György Ligeti, Yoko Ono, Robert Watts and La Monte Young amongst many others.

Giovanni Lista Italian art historian and art critic (born 1943)

Giovanni Lista is an Italian art historian and art critic born in Italy on February 13, 1943, at Castiglione del Lago (Perugia) and resides in Paris. He is a specialist in the artistic cultural scene of the 1920s, particularly in Futurism.

Womens Studio Workshop

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Benedetta Cappa

Benedetta Cappa was an Italian futurist artist who has had retrospectives at the Walker Art Center and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Her work fits within the second phase of Italian Futurism.

Louise Odes Neaderland is an American photographer, printmaker, book artist and founder of the International Society of Copier Artists (I.S.C.A.) and the I.S.C.A. Quarterly, a collaborative mail, book art, and copy art publication. She was the organizer of ISCAGRAPHICS, a traveling exhibition of xerographic art.

Davi Det Hompson (1939–1996), also known as David E. Thompson, born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and raised in Warren, Ohio, was a Fluxus book artist, concrete poet, creator of mail art, sculptor and painter living and working in Richmond, Virginia. Hompson's chosen professional name was a nom d'art for David E. Thompson and a transposition of the letters of his name.

Andreas Schmidt (artist)

Andreas Schmidt is a Berlin based artist and gallerist.

Emily McVarish is an American writer, designer, book artist and associate professor at California College of the Arts. She lives and works in San Francisco and is one of only a handful of artists whose work takes the form of books. Clifton Meador says "she uses the form of the book to explore things that cannot be explored any other way".

K.S. (Kathy) Ernst is an American poet and artist best known for her work in visual poetry and three-dimensional object poems. While she has created over 500 physical works, she works extensively in digital art as well. Although born in St. Louis, she has spent most of her life in New Jersey, where her current studio is.

Joni Mabe is an American book artist. A native of Georgia, she has lived in Athens, Georgia and Cornelia, Georgia. She is the creator of the Everything Elvis Museum. Her family home is in Cornelia, Georgia, the site of the Laudermilk Boarding House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and contains both her own family memorabilia and large personal collection of Elvis Presley collectibles and artifacts. She is a Master of Fine Arts recipient from the University of Georgia.


  1. Artists' Books: The Book As a Work of Art, 1963–1995, Bury, Scolar Press, 1995.
  2. "Books – Book Art – Research Guides at Virginia Commonwealth University". 2010-05-28. Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  3. Martinez, Alejandro (24 January 2021). "Ten Theses on the Artist's Book". Artishock Revista.
  4. Carrion, Ulises. "The New Art of Making Book". Kontexts. 6-7 (Amsterdam).
  5. Morris Eaves; Robert N. Essick; Joseph Viscomi (eds.). "Songs of Innocence and of Experience, copy Z, object 1 (Bentley 1, Erdman 1, Keynes 1) "General Title Page"". William Blake Archive . Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  6. Drucker, Joanna (2004). The Century of Artists' Books. Granary Books. p. 21.
  7. Miller, Gwendolyn Jan. Discovering Artists' Books. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Cached copy retrieved April 2014.
  8. For an English translation Marinetti, F. T. (1909). "The Futurist Manifesto". Archived from the original on 26 November 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  9. Although his visit didn't go particularly well, with key members of Cubo-Futurism feeling distinctly patronised by his pronouncements. See Collaborating on the paradigm of the future by Margarita Tupitsyn "?". Archived from the original on 2004-10-26.
  10. The Russian Avant-Garde Book, Rowell & Wye, MOMA, 2002, p11
  11. The Russian Avant-Garde Book, Rowell & Wye, MOMA, 2002
  12. Marcel Duchamp Studies Online, "Duchamp's Window Display for André Breton's Le Surréalisme et la Peinture (1945) by Thomas Girst". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  13. Julia Friedman, Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism: Alexei Remizov's Synthetic Art, Northwestern University Press, 2010.
  14. Lawrence Weiner : books, 1968–1989 : catalogue raisonné, Dieter Schwarz. p120
  15. The Century of Artists' Books, Drucker, Granary Books, p12
  16. The question of the relation between avant-garde poetry and artists' books is dealt with very well in the chapter entitled "Poètes ou artistes?" in Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, Esthétique du livre d’artiste, 1960–1980 (Paris: Jean Michel Place; Biliothèque nationale de France, 1997), 60–95.
  17. Yves Klein, Sidra Stich, Hayward Gallery, 1994
  18. Nolle, Christian. "The Collaboration between Guy Debord & Asger Jorn from 1957–1959". Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  19. The Century of Artists' Books, Drucker, Granary Books, p73
  20. Dieter Roth, Books + Multiples, Dobke, Hansjorg Mayer 2004
  21. "Collection of Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY". Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  22. Ekdahl, Ekdahl. Artists Books and Beyond (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  23. Hickey, Dave (January 1997). "Edward Ruscha: Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1962 – photographer". Artforum. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  24. Mr Fluxus, Williams, Noel, Thames and Hudson, 1997
  25. "Fluxus Archive". Archived from the original on 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  26. Humphrey, Jr., Thomas MacGillivray. "The Fluxus File" (PDF). BroadStrokes. II (6). Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  27. The term Multiple had first been used by Daniel Spoerri to describe his Edition MAT' mass-produced sculptures in 1959
  28. "Fluxus Heidelberg Center – Overview Publications". Archived from the original on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  29. quoted in The Century of Artists' Books, Drucker, Granary Books, p72
  30. Hubert Kretschmer. "Archive Artist Publications – KatalogSuche-Ergebnisse". Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  31. Ashley Miller; Seth Thompson. "The International Society of Copier Artists (I.S.C.A) Quarterly". Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  32. "Jaffe Center for Book Arts". Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  33. Perrée, Rob Cover to Cover – The Artist's Book in Perspective - N.A.I. Publishers, Rotterdam 2002
  34. "About". Center for Book Arts. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  35. Allen, Mike. "Artist's books open feminist themes". Arts & Extras. Roanoke Times. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  36. Connor, Sibella (March 11, 1994). "By the Book: This art goes beyond words to touch the reverent reader". Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. C1.
  37. Roberts-Pullen, Paulette (March 1994). "Pagination Imagination: Artspace explores the form and function of books". Style Weekly.
  38. Bullard, CeCe (February 17, 1994). "Getting a good read on books as fine art". Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. D24. The essence of a book is communication, but that is by no means the end of a book's possibilities. A book is sculpture. A book is a mixed-media assemblage. A book is a concept. A book may be a symbol. A book can become an icon. In "Art Ex Libris: The National Book Art Exhibition now at Artspace, more than a hundred artists explore and extend the possibilities of a book as something more than words on paper.
  39. "Davi Det Hompson". Richmond, Virginia: Style Weekly. December 17, 1996. p. 35.
  40. Art ex libris (VHS tape, 1994). []. OCLC   34056111.
  41. "The Foundation – About". Codex Foundation. Retrieved 2015-07-15.

Further reading