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Add to basket. Be the first to write a review About this product. All listings for this product Buy it now Buy it now. Any condition Any condition. Garrett Stewart is the James O. Freedman Professor of Letters at the University of Iowa. He was elected in to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Currently in preparation. It is a medium of expression that allows for, in fact calls for, the combination of several modes of creation.
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Even artists, who are supposedly "free spirits," need a way to grant themselves permission to explore ideas outside of their normal modes of thought. Artists' books take on this role.
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The self-production of the book and the desire to subvert the establishment stem from a wave of creation during the 's in the U. This antiestablishment impulse is, of course, omnipresent throughout the history of art, but this sentiment is defined as crucial to the current understanding of the term in the literature I have read.
The "democratic" impulse in the artist's book movement was intended as a means "to provide a critique and an alternative to the system whereby a work of art is unique, revered, inaccessible to any but an elite, and bought and sold as investments and as highly prestigious objects of private property.
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Breakthroughs in technology at this time — primarily photocopying and offset printing — made the production of the book economically easy for artists to do themselves. The idea behind the work and the production of multiple copies are both removed from established channels.
That is how the literature I have read presented the development of and reason behind artists' books. The point of certain creations is their uniqueness as the vision of an individual. However, it would be ideal if that vision could be easily shared with a large audience.
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I also have no problem with art being highly valued, as that communicates the worth of pursuing and presenting a personal voice or vision. I think contemporary artists' books seek a balance between these two views of the art world.
Now an artist's book is acceptable as either a unique item or a number of copies, an edition. Although the number is usually limited to retain the value of the work.