The list author says: "*updated 9-24 A Short History...* *updated 8-20 venenum*
I'm just trying to compile my favorite mass produced contemporary artists books, but it's very hard because most are not on Amazon. The vast majority of artists books have edition sizes so small that they'd sell out before even hitting the pre-publication sector of Amazon, so most will, unfortunately, not be here - and the ones that are probably won't have icons.
What I've come up with is an evolving selection of books loosely based on the artist book philosophy. They are available in one way or another, many are from major publishers - and all have been made, produced, or generated by the artist themselves.
Enjoy... the books here are a great library themselves.
((Please feel free to email me at dan(AT)minordemons.com with any questions or suggestions... put re:AMAZON-LIST or something in the subject so I recognize it (get SO much spam... probably more for putting it down here!"))"
"This book is AWESOME. Hard to explain here because I don't want to ruin the surprise... but if you want to take a voyage through the history of photography over the course of 50 images ... 50 very clever images ... well, it's only 23 bucks. What do you have to lose? You'll love it!"
"One of the true gems to come out of the skater-photography culture. A lot of people have had a lot to say about Ed Templeton, and I'm sure a lot of it has pissed him off. But his talent is undeniable, and when it comes together with his access to youth, sometimes you get a great focused book like this - the only baby of BECHER and LARRY CLARK. I think it's worth $800-1,200."
"A book I am dying to own. The ultimate (so far) piece of material on this fascinating man. it's almost 800 pages, built like a tank, and actually coneys a bit of the obsessive, meticulous, never-ending work that Darger spent his life secretly making in that attic. Amazing."
"A GORGEOUS box set of three mocafico books custom to the set: the most amazingly photographed SPIDERS, SNAKES, and JELLYFISH that you will ever see. Signed and Numbered and sold out for $800 at the publisher, this is an amazing piece."
"One of the several great Sophie Calle artists books. Republished this year in another reduced format -- try and buy the original if you can. Larger is better when you're inside Calle's head. A fun and heartbreaking look into it!"
"One of my favorite books ever. Edition of 500 s/n elegant large stamped hardcover book with super-glossy photos of the entire Miss World group. In a slipcase. Published for $400 I think but worth 3x that."
"This isn't a classic like Tulsa or Teenage Lust, and it's not a misfire like (well, the rest)... it's ... something else. For me Clark has always felt like a documentarian with special access.. but 1992 feels like... a participant."
"INCREDIBLE concept, incredible book, incredible design. Perfect. A survey of the world's theaters lit by the light from a 2 hour film played on their screens (very small aperture!). Book is bound in glow-in-the-dark paper!"
"Part 1 of the Starn brothers double feature home run. An INCREDIBLE production - each book has a handmade unique inkjet cover and the insides boast more features than can fit inside this window. Retailed for $50 but the $1,250 average now is actually appropriate."
"INCREDIBLE BOOK. In my opinion the BEST exhibition catalogue that's ever been made. This book has 3 dimensional relief on both sides - the Lichstenstein DOTS are raised - holds his incredible Mirror Paintings with sheets of very heavy metallicized paper. A+++"
"The first edition of Hirst's 'I want to spend the rest of my life...' is still a major classic and easily worth its 4 figure asking price. Buy the small 66 dollar reprint to see the book, then save up for the full-size first or second printing."
"A triumph and one of the books that made me fall in love with artists books. A Warhol Factory-pop masterpiece - a carnival inside a book - pop ups, hologram cover, balloon, mobile, record attached, working accordian, etc... awesome in either version but the hardcover original is better and has the hologram!"
"There can be an entire list-mania-list for Ruscha's artists books, so I'm just putting down my favorite. This book - the original accordian fold panoramic - a survey of the entire sunset strip in 24 feet - contained inside a silver-foil slipcase. Incredible."
"GORGEOUS HUGE book - the best of Roni Horn, in my opinion. Her obsession with water comes to a perfect production here - edition of 1000 hardback table-sized books containing several offset lithographs of water with historical references. A real piece of art. worth 2x the current price."
"What can be said about this? It's an edition of 100 - 18 silver gelatin prints in a wooden portfolio box with hand-written pencil curses by Gossage. The photographs are taken near toxic-waste dumping plants. The coolest thing I own."
"A magnificent masterpiece (groan) by Gossage. Built like a $500 brick, this exceptionally produced large artists book is a must-have for any contemporary photography lover. Badger's text is smart and ties it together nicely - in my opinion there's no better look at the Wall."
"It's impossible to list all of the Visionaires that qualify in my mind as compilation-or-curated artists books, so I will include the two issues that I personally have photographs in! But seriously, this set is AMAZING and well worth a thousand dollars. It's a movie theater in a box. With a 24 karat necklace!"
"My favorite Weber book - focused and intimate: a sexy look at the star of his film 'broken noses'. So much of the A&F Bruce Weber dictates the style of his major books - but this one has the feeling of a diary, like you're invading their relationship. In my opinion more successful than Chop Suey. (but more $$)"
"I consider this an artists book - large, produced by a major publisher - a reprint.. but still one of the greatest books ever made. There aren't enough words here for me to describe my love of Hosoe and this book. (though I need someone to buy the 1st and 2nd ed of Barakai for me)"
"A strong and comprehensive sexy survey of Berlin from Hedi Slimane. It's a solid book in a card slipcase - definately worth more than the $80 list price but not $2,000. Is it an artists book? Maybe. Uh.. not sure."
"For some stupid reason this book isn't 'released' yet in the US, even though I've had my copy for months. It's great. 2 volumes in different formats in a case - a real artists book.. one quirky reference, a second a look into Demand's process."
"There are so many Ryden books to choose from -- all self-published, more or less. But out of all 4 published Quadratum portfolios, this is the newest, least expensive (for now) and BEST. Edition of 10,000 incredibly printed cards in a glowing-Japanese silk covered box. BUY NOW!!"
"My favorite Terry Richardson book (I despise the other 'artist book' called Kibosh)... this one has a series of shots of what Terry ate next to what it looked like in the toilet afterward. What's better than that?"
"It's impossible to list all of the Visionaires that qualify in my mind as compilation-or-curated artists books, so I will include the two issues that I personally have photographs in! This book is great too - don't be fooled by the GAP thing or the backpack - it's a wonderful photobook on its own."
"Awesome portfolio of prints, produced by McSweeney's. There were also a series of actual drawings (made by Dzama in rootbeer) that are distributed randomly inside sealed copies. So it's art and a lottery!"