Not until the
mid-1960s and through the 1970s did the collaborative tradition of making
books expand to define books by artists as unique works of art. Today,
colleges, universities and art schools offer an array of book-arts programs.
The artist’s book has continued to gain prominence in the fine art world
largely due to its ability to encompass virtually any other art form,
providing the opportunity to create added meaning in an intimate structure.
Most books, in the
traditional sense, have an illustrator, art director, writer, editor,
typographer, printer and binder involved in their production. With an
artist’s book, the artist often fills each of those roles. Today, the artist
has many more technological elements at his or her disposal, allowing them
to be more experimental in their choices of structure and medium.
On first glance, each
of the artists participating in ArtSpace’s exhibit, Undercover,
faithfully adheres to maintaining the anatomy of a book: text block,
binding, and cover are clearly evident. What makes a book more than merely a
collection of words and images is the relationship between form and content.
What entices and engages is the way structure and text combine to create an
experience that becomes greater than the individual parts.
This exhibit is a
diverse sampling. The six participating artists are an extremely versatile,
dedicated and talented group who continually push themselves and their craft
to new levels.
Yes, a book can be an
object that sits on a shelf. It can also embody what this exhibition
highlights–in the hand of an artist, a book is an intimate vehicle for
expression through words, text, time, space, sound, past, present and
Associate Professor of