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An artists book is a book made by an artist, and is meant as an artwork. The best descriptions seem to be a report of the performance of looking through one, like reports of a trip to another place. Following the four essays on works by Jacks, Maddock, Burn and Parr, sixteen striking and individual books by other artists are described.
Artists’ books are works of art created in book form, or rather forms as there are a myriad of approaches such as pages in a box, scrolls, fold outs and even a Rolodex. They can be one-offs or produced in small editions. This primarily 20th-century practice drew greater interest in the 1960s from artists seeking alternative means to express their concepts and ideas.
Australian Artists Books features twenty books. It discusses approaches to artists’ books by Ian Burn, Robert Jacks, Bea Maddock, and Mike Parr, features an in-depth analysis of works by an additional sixteen artists, and includes an illustrated checklist.
Writer Alex Selenitsch discusses how the books function as narrative rituals and the multiple views offered by these wonderful objects which literally unfold in time, are delightfully tactile, and use diverse techniques.
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