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Re: book arts journals

I think this is a great discussion for this list. I find that there is just
about no one more controversial among book artists (and for that matter,
visual poets, mail artists, and some other groups) right now than Johanna
Drucker. I too like to read her, although I have some significant
differences with her.

But I don't know that I would characterize those who write JAB
(particularly Johanna Drucker and Brad Freeman, who created the journal and
have done most of the writing) as "academics" and not as "artists who are
completely involved in their work." Johanna, yes, has a Ph.D. and teaches
art history. But she also has some 20 years as a printer/bookmaker, and has
done some pretty interesting work. I know other artists who love that work
and other artists who dismiss it entirely, but the point is -- she did it
and does it, so I think she must be considered an academic AND an artist.
And Brad Freeman, who learned to print in Florida then went through the
book arts program at Univ. of the Arts in Philadelphia, is (in my opinion)
a book artist whose area is primarily offset-printed artist's books. He has
taught a lot of bookmaking classes and offset printing classes, but I don't
think he teaches 'art history' as such, as Johanna does. So they're both


At 12:16 PM 1/14/98 -0500, you wrote:
>To all BOOKIES:
>A  quick comment concerning feelings about the publication, JAB....
>I enjoy reading it because it is written, for the most part, by academics
>who give critical comment about what is going on in the artist's book genre
>(notice the word genre...an esoteric noun used by art critics!)  Hands-on
>artists who are completely involved in their work may not be that
interested in
>what the word-mongers argue about. But they certainly  have a place.
> They  are caught up in analysis !  They are like analytical
> historians. They delve into what book artists have done, what they are now
> doing, and try to predict the trends and what is right or wrong about it
> in their humble opinions.  And that's great, too.
>(I must say that I like reading whatever Johnna Drucker might write. She
>knows the difference between an art book and an artist's book!)

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