When I started my blog Das Kunstbuch in 2012, I was asked what I find fascinating about artists’ books. For me, artists’ books are themselves works of art and they must be experienced. Readers immediately become immersed in the book and hence become part of the book itself as soon as they pick it up and browse through it. The aim of the blog is to provide the reader with a small introduction into the art book as a genre and to spark interest in the fascinating world of art libraries.
In selecting the books I am quite eclectic. In my blog Das Kunstbuch, I present everything that makes my bibliophile heart beat faster.
For the article in Foundations Magazine Issue 3, I have chosen artists’ books which defy categorization. Further I have a weakness for small inconspicuous books. For this reason, none of the selected books is greater than 8 inch. We start out with Ed Ruscha’s artists’ book Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963), which just won’t fit in any definite category and according to Clive Phillpot manifests a “revolutionary statement” in the history of the artists’ book. The little red publication Lexikon der Kunst (1992) by Ferdinand Schmatz and Heimo Zobernig pretends to be an encyclopedia, but contains a very subjective, ironical collection of the most important terms in the history of art by the two authors. „Is Downsbrough a (post)minimalist sculptor or a conceptual graphic artist?” Downsborough’s 100th artists’ book Link (2013), which had a circulation of 300 copies, also unfortunately won’t help us answer this question asked by Christian Besson. The artists’ book nr.1 – nr.24 by David Kühne is a play with non-colours, is a typical for Kühne’s way of creating and deconstructing meaning. The most recent publication I’ve chosen is Ulrich Nausner’s artists’ book OCR (deconstruction), in which he edits a digitalized version of an anti-novel by Oswald Wiener by reducing the font size to 1pt.
Find out more about Foundations in this vice article / interview with Editor in Chief Sebastian Gladstone and Editorial Director Marcella Zimmermann.
++ GOOD NEWS ++ Foundations is available in the following bookstores in Vienna: Buchhandlung Walther König (Museumsquartier), Salon für Kunstbuch (Mondscheingasse and 21er Haus), Kunsthalle Wien (Museumsquartier) and all three issues can be viewed at the mumok library.