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Re: Definition of the Artists Book (YES, again)
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Definition of the Artists Book (YES, again)
- From: Michael Morin <ba202@FREENET.BUFFALO.EDU>
- Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 12:03:46 -0800
- Message-Id: <199803060619.WAA19130@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
At 09:08 AM 3/5/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Someone that makes a book that is perceived as art must be an artist as
>well as an excellent bookbinder. Book as an art must combine two equaly
>important elements: an intellectual and artistc message when comes to
>the design of a cover,and sound structure. In other words the expression
>and form must melt together.
>In artist's book, the symbol or an image of a book serves only as an
>excuse for expressing some other idea. In an artist's book the
>EXPRESSION is a primary concern.
How can you know that?
>Artist's book? Piece where bookish shapes,objects or book symbols serve
>as a form of artistic expression.
I don't wish to offend, but I think this is plain silly. An Artists' Book
dosen't have to be made by an expert binder to qualify as an artists' book
any more that a painting needs to be well crafted to be a work of art.
Craftspersonship is a useful tool or perhaps a goal, but nothing by itself.
Don't I love good, well crafted bindings and well made paintings? You bet
I do. But Hamlet would still be Hamlet, even if it was written with a nail
on a pine board. Gabor Peterdi (sp?) the print professor and Rembrant
scholar at Yale once spoke on a panel I went to see about whether prints
are equal partners to paintings in terms of ART, The Big A! He responded
that all one needs to decide is whether or not something like a Rembrant
etching is a great work of art or not. How it compares with a painting of
the same subject by the same artist is not important. Each must hold up as
a great work on their own.
The achivement afforded any artist's work may be greatly enhanced by sound
design, structure and craft. However, if we rejected all of Frank's Lloyd
Wright work that suffered from a poorly crafted or badly designed roof
system, we would have to reject Wright as an great artist. His work is
great in spite of those failings, not because they don't leak when it
rains. I can see a Wright house from my studio window. I can also see all
the roofers trucks every spring parked out front. It's still a great work
of art and a roofer's nightmare! One has nothing to do with the other,
unless of course, you're the owner!
Celtic Press Buffalo NY