Artists Books [23 March-20 April 1973 & 16 January-24 February 1974].
13 black & white illus. 77 pp. Small 8vo (175 x 126 mm.), orig. pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. [Philadelphia: 1973].
The landmark exhibition catalogue for a pioneering show of artists’ books. It was held at both Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, and the University Art Museum, Berkeley. Vanderlip, later a museum curator at the Denver Art Museum, writes in the Foreword: “This exhibition attempts to survey the many different types of books made by artists from 1960 to the present. For the purpose of this Exhibition the definition of ‘book’ is very flexible. If the artist conceived his work as a book, I have generally accepted his position.” This is followed by the essays “Slices of Silence, Parcels of Time: The Book as a Portable Sculpture” by artist Lynn Lester Hershman (b. 1941) and “Some Thoughts on Books as Art” by the poet and critic John Perreault (1937-2015).
The exhibition presented the works of Ader, Baldessari, the Bechers, A.A. Bronson, Byars, Cage, Dibbets, Downsbrough, Feldmann, Filliou, Marcia Hafif, Higgins, Hockney, Lydia Hunn, Ray Johnson, Lynda S. Kahn, Alison, Knowles, Lamelas, Ellen Lanyon, LeWitt, Cynthia Marsh, Merz, Nauman, Oldenburg, Tom Phillips, Brigid Polk, Rot, Ruscha, Saroyan, Siegelaub, Walasse Ting, Emmett Williams, etc., etc. Lenders to the exhibition included Leo Castelli Gallery, Claes Oldenburg, Lucy Lippard, Martha Jackson Gallery, Something Else Press, Sonnabend Gallery, Wittenborn & Co., etc. Thirteen books are depicted with full-page illustrations.
“Artists Books is the neat catalogue of an exhibition organized at Moore College by Dianne Perry Vanderlip. On the front cover there is a photo of another similar booklet, but the actual title of the catalogue only appears on the photographed catalogue — so what is one holding? …[There is] a detailed alphabetical list of nearly 250 books (and a few magazines). A comparison of this list with [Celant and Morris’s] suggests an overlap of less than a quarter, an indication of the diversity of material now available. John Perreault’s ‘thoughts’ include the best attempt yet to evince characteristics and suggest a definition of book art.”–C. Phillpot, “Feedback, 1973“ in Booktrek (2018), p. 32.
A fine copy of this scarce groundbreaking exhibition catalogue; lacking the addenda leaf, which is often the case.
❧ See also S. Klima, Artists Books: A Critical Survey of the Literature (1998), pp. 12-20.
A. Desjardin, The Book on Books on Artists Books (2nd ed.: 2013) 4.
Item ID: 8604