Book of the Week: Artists Who Make Books
Words Mark Hooper
A new definitive collection examines the book as artwork and reflects on a desire to create more tangible and permanent things in a digital age…
The Hole & Corner shelves may be creaking under the weight of artist monographs, but this is one we couldn’t resist: an art book about art books. Or rather, an art book about books that are art. Still with us?
Featured in this mammoth 336-page tome is the work of 32 internationally-recognised artists for whom book production – and the book form – is part of their creative practice. As well as over 500 images of the works themselves, Artists Who Make Books includes interviews with many of those featured, such as Tauba Auerbach, Paul Chan and Walther König.
Many of the works included are rarely seen and are accompanied by fascinating essays exploring the genre. From its initial ‘needs must’ approach (Ed Ruscha, for instance, saw the book format as a cheap way to get his work in front of a public who otherwise might not come across it) to the current revival of the printed page in the face of digital overload – this is a fascinating study. (It also doubles as an effective doorstop.)
Artists Who Make Books, Edited by Andrew Roth, Philip E. Aarons, and Claire Lehmann, is published by Phaidon.