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15 FEBRUARY 2015

Smithsonian Libraries Artists' Books Collection Online

"Artists' books are works of art, like paintings or sculptures, but in book form. While book illustration has a much longer history, the book as art object is a product of the 20th century. Some of the early examples were created by Futurists and Dadaists in their politically–motivated pamphlets and magazines, by Fluxus artists in their happenings, and by conceptual artists' in their work to dematerialize the art object. Artists' books can also be unique creations undertaken with extreme care and attention to detail. Some are experimental and done by artists better known as painters or sculptors, as a way to extend their artistic practice. Many artists use the book format to create narratives to deal with difficult issues, with ideas that cannot be conveyed as clearly on a canvas or other medium. Some artist–made books illustrate the words of others, integrating art and literature. And some artists' books do not have words at all. As a work created by an artist, the nature, appearance and purpose, of an artist's book can be fundamentally different from what one might find on the shelves of the library.

Artists' books exist at the intersections of printmaking, photography, poetry, experimental narrative, visual arts, graphic design, and publishing. They have made a place for themselves in the collections of museums, libraries, and private collectors. They have caught the interest of art historians and critics writing about art, and there are numerous studio programs in art schools dedicated to the art of the book, ushering in new generations of artists making books."




20th century • art and literature • art object • artist-made books • artists books • artists making books • Barbara Krugerbook formbook formatbook publishing • cataloguer • cataloguing challenge • Claire Van Vliet • Cooper Hewitt Library • cross-institution collaboration • culture onlineDada • defy easy classification • Dibner Library • diorama • Ed Ruscha • experimental books • FluxusFuturism (art movement) • Georges Adeagbo • graphic designhappenings • Hirshhorn Museum • Ida Applebroog • illustrating the words of others • Joe Freedman • Julie Chen • Kara Walker • Laura Davidson • library catalogue • Luan Nel • museum collectionsnational cultural heritage online • National Museum of African Art • National Portrait Gallery Library • online resource • pamphlets • paper engineering • photographypoetry • politically motivated • pop-up booksprintmaking • Smithsonian American Art Museum • Smithsonian Design Library • Smithsonian LibrariesSol LeWitt • the art of the book • Thomas Parker Williams • unusual physical features • Virginia Flynn • visual arts • Warren M Robbins Library • William Kentridgeworks of artYoko Ono


Simon Perkins
28 APRIL 2010

An assemblage of connecting parts that defies traditional climactic and dissipative character

"The complexities already evident in L'anti–oedipe are compounded by Deleuze and Guattari's deliberate refusal to propose a central narrative or theme for the book [A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia]. They refer to the sections in Mille plateaux as 'plateaus', a term they derived from the anthropological work of Gregory Bateson. Bateson had used the term to describe the libidinal economy he found in Bali, which differed from that in the West, with its emphasis on climax. Deleuze and Guattari intended that the sections of their book should not reproduce the climactic and dissipative character of Western discourse, as manifested in the traditional book format with its culminations and terminations. They hoped rather that each plateau would operate as part of an assemblage of connecting parts to be approached by the reader in whichever order they chose. As this might suggest Mille plateaux is a complex and difficult book, though, at the same time, extraordinarily compelling."

(Charlie Gere)

Gere, Charlie. 2002 'Digital Culture' Reaktion Books. ISBN 1861891431 1861891431 (pbk.)



anthropologyassemblage • Bali • bookbook formatCharlie Gere • climactic • climax • connecting parts • constellationscontingencycritical theorydiscoursediscursive field • dissipative • Félix GuattariGilles DeleuzeGregory BatesonIndonesia • L'anti-oedipe • libidinalnarrativeordering • plateau • plateaus • postmodernismstructurethemetraditionWestern


Simon Perkins
10 OCTOBER 2006

The Remarkable Animals flip-book

The Remarkable Animals "flip book introduces the reader to ten animals. An interesting description of each animal is given in a three–part segment. These ten remarkable creatures can become up to one thousand bizarre beasts with astonishing new identities. With the flip of a page, the name, description, and illustration entirely change. A weevil can turn into a wunkfitor complete with an explanation of its characteristics. This book provides entertainment as well as factual information. The illustrations depict brilliantly each animal, and their bold, bright colors are eye–catching and appealing. Get ready to find out all about the Rhossullar."

(Annette Van Wagenen)

Tony Meeuwissen (2001). "Remarkable Animals", Frances Lincoln Children's Books.



anatomiesbook designbook formbook formatexquisite corpseflip bookillustrated bookinteractive booksinteractive toyorganism • Remarkable Animals • Tony Meeuwissen

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