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Re: Definition of the Artists Book (YES, again)



The intended audience here are Art History and Museum Studies students in
a class about illustration. There is a section on artist's books and this
is where the discussion started. People wanted to know what was the
difference between a traditional fine binding, an artist's book, and a
livre d'artiste. The first and last are easier. It's the one in the
middle. I don't even want to get into the subject of art vs. craft though
many "fine bindings" are lacking in "art" but superlative craft and many
"artists books" superlative in art but a failure in the craft aspect.
That's something for another dreary, gray day.

I agree about the examples part thought. It is important to be able to
show what is meant> However, I feel one also has to explain it, or at
least try to.

For me, the "bookness" aspect is very important. As Richard Miller wrote,
"if it looks like a book..." Yes I consider scrolls books. I would have a
very hard time considering a round object with a spiral all-around a book
however. Maybe book derived art, or a bso, but no, not a book. I think
that there needs to be some form of content (text, illus) but then there
are many beautiful _blank_ books which display all the other properties of
bookness AND art, yet the content is lacking. I think its important not to
pigeonhole oursleves into fixed definitions, but at the same time it
annoys me to no end to have students in a bookmaking class be told that
anything can be a book. Not everything is. That doesn't make it non-art,
just not a book.

Peter




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peter Verheyen, Conservation Librarian
315.443.9937 <wk> 315.443.9510 <fax>
mailto:pdverhey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey


On Thu, 5 Mar 1998, Susan King wrote:

> -------------------- Begin Original Message --------------------
>
> Message text written by "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!"
>
> "Perhaps for teaching purposes, it is best to show various examples that
> fulfill the many definitions that you will no doubt receive from this
> query."
>
>
> -------------------- End Original Message --------------------
>
> I have to agree with Janice Braun on this issue. I find the attempt to =
>
> define the genre limits the possibilities, especially for art students. =
>
> How much better to show a variety of books to start a conversation about =
>
> the issue, rather than presenting a definition or several definitions. =
>
> Showing what artist's books HAVE been sparks the imagination, especially =
>
> for art students who deal in realm of the visual. =
>
>
> Susan King
> Paradise Press
>


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