Contemporary Tendencies 1970-2000

The last thirty years have seen continuous energy in the production of artists’ books in the United States. The period also witnessed the re-emergence of a new generation of European artists, writers and publishers devoted to originality in artists’ books that have maintained a creative parity with American publications. In fact there has been a tremendous cross-fertilisation with American and European artists and writers collaborating on projects. Examples within this exhibition include Jasper Johns and Robert Ryman with Samuel Beckett, Robert Motherwell with Rafael Alberti, Robert Rauschenberg with Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Howard Hodgkin with Susan Sontag. Despite the advances and popularity of the computer, the artists’ book as a seemingly traditional, tactile, time/space experience joining image and text together on paper or other surfaces continues to be a viable art form. It has never been more popular among creative artists. Rather than fearing and avoiding technology, the future makers of artists’ books show promise in utilising new applications in unimaginable ways.

Air by André du Bouchet

Book with 31 illustrations total: 15 etchings (some with aquatint) and lithographs on Auvergne à la main du Moulin Richard de Bas paper.

The North by Samuel Beckett

Book with 3 etchings on paper made by J. Barcham Green, Maidstone; loose in paper folder with enclosing flap, title embossed on front.

A Day Book by Robert Creeley

Book with 14 illustrations total: 9 screenprints (1 on canvas, 1 on acetate, others on various types and colors of paper), 4 etchings.

Souvenirs et portraits d'artistes (Reminiscences and Portraits of Artists) by Fernand Mourlot

Book with 25 lithographes on Arches wove paper by multiple artists; loose in Arches wove wrappers with lettering on the front cover.

The Contemporary Gallery

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