Jul 18th 2015

Can a book also be a work of art? Beginning with William Blake, there have been artists, writers, and designers who have approached the book not merely as a container for art or literature, but also as a work of art in its own right —whether that takes the form of an aestheticized text, a paginated sculpture, or just an ordinary-looking book conceptually repurposed. Steve Woodall of Expanded Artists’ Books and former director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College guides us through a brief history of this fascinating hybrid art form, and discusses the differences between a fine press edition, a livre d’artiste, and the wide range of artists’ books in contemporary practice. Along the way, he’ll take a look at how the age of digital publication may, paradoxically, help bring the form to higher prominence.

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