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Re: Book Art Criticism: blank books

Joyce Jenkins said:

>Whether they are "art" is not a question that interests me.

>they did not have a separate thing called "art"

Very much to the point. "Is it art?" is not a serious question. "Is it
good?" may be a better question. Art is one of those abused words that
means something different to everyone. "Criteria for selection or
evaluation" may be closer to it, whatever "it" is. "It" may be a tool.

>Richard's book was not really "blank"--or perhaps I should say
>it was only temporarily blank.

Everything is temporary. But even if a blank book is not a commission
for a text, it can have content. Many years ago I did a series of blank
books with titles (that I would like to read a book written about). Sort
of a challenge to whomever to write a book on that subject. As I recall,
one was "The Ethics of Visual Art and The Conversion of Petroleum to
Neutron Bombs" (Mid- 70's).

Most of the blank books you see on my website are exercises done for the
joy of bookbinding, because no text was suitable for my design. These
books iconify vintage handmade papers. I don't know if a blank book of
1947 Whatman paper is truly blank. It is full of beautiful paper. If
nobody ever writes or draws in it, perhaps that is a testament to the
integrity of the "blank" paper as a work of art. If no artist or writer
feels their mark will improve the blank page, that does mean something.


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