Getty artists and their books

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getty artists and their books

The Power of Artists’ Books to Bind Together Radical Ideas

I am certain our visitors will find these extraordinary examples evocative and compelling. Artists' books occupy a creative space between traditional books and contemporary works of art, often questioning what a book can be. This highly visual and experiential exhibition focuses on artists' books that can be unpacked, unfolded, or read in alternative ways. Some are made to be shown on the wall or displayed as sculptures or installations. The exhibition highlights the myriad incarnations and innovative roles for books in contemporary culture. This exhibition and the related catalogue is born of that research.
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Published 09.01.2019

The Art of the Handmade Book

Book this Art: The Getty Research Institute's Exhibition of Artists' Books

Generally produced in limited editions, sometimes as small as one, they are similar to prints in that artists can use them to work out ideas, or produce variations on a theme, but, like any other book, they entice you to touch and interact with them. Even if they are protected behind glass, the action of picking them up and turning the pages is implied. Are they aesthetic objects, meant to be collected, curated, and exhibited, or tactile assemblages of words and images, intended to be handled, shared, and pored over? Some unfurl with an accordion fold, while others hang on the wall like a suite of prints. Other than that fact, the show lacks a sense of coherence, opting instead for a heterogeneous sampling as opposed to a narrowly focused thesis. A plexiglas cover bends back on itself in an acrobatic curve.

Artists' books occupy a creative space between traditional books and contemporary works of art, challenging what a book can be. This highly visual and experiential presentation of some of the most lively and surprising works from the Research Institute's extensive collections focuses on artists' books that can be unpacked, unfolded, unfurled, or disassembled. They are made to be displayed on the wall or deployed as sculptures or installations. The exhibition seeks to provoke new inquiry into the nature of art and to highlight the essential role that books play in contemporary culture. Editions English. Paul Getty Museum.

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Zoe Goldman June 26, 19 min read. What is a book? Does it need to have paper pages? Does it have to be read from the first page to the last? How big is too big? They can expand and challenge how we think about the book form.

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