The Century of Artists’ Books by Johanna Drucker
Published by Granary Books (2004)
The Century of Artists’ Books is the first full-length study of the development of artists’ books as a twentieth century artform. This work situates artists’ books within the context of mainstream developments in the visuals arts from Russian Futurism and Surrealism to Fluxus, Conceptual Art, to Postmodernism. Designed to raise critical and theoretical issues as well as provide a historical overview, Drucker explores more than two hundred individual books in relation to their structure, form, and conceptualisation. Topics include the discussion of the poetics of the books, the book as metaphor, the conceptual space of the book, and books as narrative and non-narrative sequences. Each chapter uses these specific issues to examine the works of well-known book artists and publishers. The book provides a foundation for future work in the history and critical interpretation of artists’ books, as well as offering a structure for teaching artists’ books to practitioners, collectors, and curators.
This is the second edition, illustrated, with a new preface by the author and an introduction by The New York Times senior art critic Holland Cotter, with book design by Brad Freeman, new cover design by Emily McVarish.