The Art of Books


Print books are dying: Since a few years this has been a widespread statement, especially with regard to the booming e-book and digital media market. Although it is true that reading habits and bookshelves are changing, the feeling of having a book in ones hands remains irreplaceable and the medium itself highly valued.

Also in the art world, where digital art is becoming more popular, books continue to serve as a great source for artistic practice – in the most practical sense. The two following publications make this quite clear.

Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed by Laura Heyenga, Brian Dettmer, Alyson Kuhn

Art Made from Books is a collection of 27 different artists portfolios, with the focus on artistic practice. Amidst the rise of digital media, this publication depicts “paper wonders“ by artist such as Su Blackwell, Brian Dettmer or Alex Queral on nearly 200 illustrated pages. From repurposed phone books, free-form book sculptures, graphic works and books that have been stitched, carved and cut; this publication compiles and celebrates the unlimited possibilities books can be used for.

1000 Artists' Books: Exploring the Book as Art by Sandra Salmony

Also this publication is devoted to exploring the book as a medium of art. As the title states, the book presents 1000 artist books within four chapters: codex books (books with pages joined to make a spine), accordion and foldable books (books with multiple-fold pages), single sheet books (stacks of pages, scrolls) and sculptural books (books made from objects and objects made into books). A thoughtful curated collection of works that explore and widen the boundary of a book’s functionality and potential.

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