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The Century of Artists' Books Paperback – November 2, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The first full-length analysis of the development of artists' books as a 20th-century art form, this book explores more than 200 titles: their structure, form, and conceptualization. In this detailed examination of the works of many well-known book artists and publishers, such as William Blake, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst, Johanna Drucker discusses the poetics of the book, the book as a metaphor, and books as narrative and non-narrative sequences, as in Ernst's surreal collage books. Covering the historical, theoretical, sociological, and technical aspects of the artist's book, Drucker, a printer, writer, and scholar who has been making artist's books since 1972, presents a comprehensive study of the medium within every significant modern art movement, from early 20th-century avant-garde, dadaism, and surrealism to the present. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A folded fan, a set of blocks, words embedded in lucite: artists' books are a singular form of imaginative expression. With the insight of the artist and the discernment of the art historian, Drucker (The Alphabet Labyrinth, LJ 2/15/95) details over 200 of these works, relating them to the variety of art movements of the last century and tracing their development in form and concept. This work, one of the first full-length studies available of artists' books, provides both a critical analysis of the structures themselves and a basis for further reflection on the philosophical and conceptual roles they play. From codex to document, from performance to self-image, the world of artists' books is made available to student and teacher, collector and connoisseur. A useful work for all art collections, both public and academic.?Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Granary Books; 2nd Revised ed. edition (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887123695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887123693
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book goes over the different styles of artist books. Each chapter is an in-depth look at each style, with plenty of examples. The material is well-organized and easy to read without sacrificing academic rigor. This book has introduced me to the various approaches in making artist books. This book would be good either for the artist book aficionado, the art history student interested in artist books, or the serious book maker.
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By Dan Waber on January 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A landmark book. Does double duty as a showcase of some of the most incredible books of the century and puts forth some much needed critical groundwork. Johanna Drucker has done the world of book arts a huge service by initiating discussions about the definitions and categories that are necessary to formulate a critical language for this art.
The theory parts are not heavy-handed, but spring naturally from the way she has decided to structure the material for presentation. Not many books are a reference, an inspiration, a sweeping survey, a seed for further criticism, and a flower of criticism in their own right. This one is all that and more.
Your expectations of this book might be quite high if you've been wishing in vain for something like it. Even so, you will not be disappointed, because there is nothing else like it.
When I finished it, I flipped back through the pages once, pressed the covers gently together and whispered to the book, "Well done, Johanna, well done, indeed."
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Format: Paperback
It is rare enough for art books to be commented on, but to have the opportunity to read commentary on art book making and writing by a poet and old hat at art book typesetting, binding, etc is a great joy. A reference to cherish, and part of a necessary set of works by a fine author who is still underacknowledged for all she is bringing to contemporary book arts today.
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By A Customer on March 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is an incredible resource to artists creating bookworks or any form of artist's books. Numerous professors in Columbia College's Book & Paper Arts MFA program use excerpts for readings and they always add insight and information to the recipients. Additionally, the readings (chapters) are not so complex as to not be able to absorb the information.
It is outrageous that the [$$$] book is being sold for [$$$] here, just because it's out of print. Book artists are not bankers!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book for the art historian, critic and thinking artist. You fit in there and you'll get a lot out of this book, i'm reading the revised new edition and am very glad i found this book. I'm an artist who took a number of book arts course many years ago and am not getting back to that medium [or intermedia art] and found this discussion to be very helpful to me, not the 'how-to' at all but a deep look at the medium.
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By Dan Waber on January 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A landmark book. Does double duty as a showcase of some of the most incredible books of the century and puts forth some much needed critical groundwork. Johanna Drucker has done the world of book arts a huge service by initiating discussions about the definitions and categories that are necessary to formulate a critical language for this art.
The theory parts are not heavy-handed, but spring naturally from the way she has decided to structure the material for presentation. Not many books are a reference, an inspiration, a sweeping survey, a seed for further criticism, and a flower of criticism in their own right. This one is all that and more.
Your expectations of this book might be quite high if you've been wishing in vain for something like it. Even so, you will not be disappointed, because there is nothing else like it.
When I finished it, I flipped back through the pages once, pressed the covers gently together and whispered to the book, "Well done, Johanna, well done, indeed."
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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