What Are Artist Books

Artists books are really popular amongst the art lovers due to their various forms and unique sort of presentation. They mostly contain creations of the contemporary art. Often published in small editions, these are specially mentioned as unique and one-of-a-kind. An artist book has evolved to its current form from the stages like scrolls, concertinas and fold-outs. Along with bound printed sheets, they are compiled in a box with loose printed sheets.
What are artists books?
There is no single definition that can explain what an artist book is. As Stephen Bury defined, they are books or book-like things with high-degree of control by the artist. These books intend as the artists work of art. History of these priceless books goes back in early medieval Europe. However, William Blake is considered as the earliest antecedent of the artist books. Blake along with his wife created, colored, illustrated and wrote various books, including Songs of Innocence and of Experience. These books are closely related with the artist and they are often self-created, self-designed and self-printed by the artists. Many books were published during the World War I.
History and glory of the artists books
The livre d’artiste or livre de peintre that originated in France in early 20th century are considered as the original precursor of these books. One thing that differentiates this book from the rest of their contemporaries is the fact that they contain pages directly printed from the source. These sources were originally created by the artists. Books created by American artist Ed Ruscha and Swiss-German artist Dieter Roth in 50s and 60s are said to the keystones of the contemporary books of art.
Books of art became highly popular after 1960 and they still continue to be in high demand. The art of creating spread across the globe during this era. A lot more artists ventured into creating art books during 80s and 90s with advanced techniques and a lot more detailing. Today they are creates using modern technology, computers and high-tech software. Artist books are gaining popularity in the developing countries like India.
India has been an ancient worshipper or art and crafts. Earliest traces of artists books can be traced in India in the form of ancient manuscripts. Today, they are recognized as a distinct genre of contemporary art in India. They are critically acclaimed and demanded by classes and royal families. Museums of contemporary art, art houses and libraries are the perfect places to find collections of contextual books created by renowned artists from across the globe.
You can also find online. Its the easiest way to access the books of various artists from Indian and world platform. Several online art houses have published their collection of art books online. You need to be careful while selecting these materials since they are fragile and intellectual property of utmost importance.

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