Mark Beard, excerpt from Neo-Classix Comix, 1985; Drypoint with monoprinting, calligraphy, and handwriting; Gift of funds from John E. Andrus III. ©Mark Beard 1985/Courtesy of John Stevenson Gallery, NYC.
Saturday, December 2, 2006Sunday, May 20, 2007
Book Arts Gallery 369
Artist’s books emerged as an art form in the late nineteenth century, and have since become increasingly creative. The chance to interpret a favorite text with one's own vision is, for many artists, irresistible. The artist’s books exhibited here—spanning more than a century— commingle words and pictures on the same page, from Pierre Bonnard’s exquisitely daring Parallèlement to Donald Baechler’s quizzical Double Whammy.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is committed to strengthening its collection of artist’s books, now numbering more than 600 works housed in the Department of Prints and Drawings. This exhibition presents a selection of recent acquisitions. As these books demonstrate, Greek poetry can provoke an artist’s imagination as readily as a modern-day fairy tale. The artist and author may be friends—like Sonia Delaunay and Jacques Damase—or the artist may take on the dual role of author and illustrator, as Hans Arp and Mark Beard do here.
Exciting, experimental, unexpected—the artist’s book signifies above all a collaboration between publisher and printer, image and text, art and craft. The possibilities for expression ensure that all will persist in meeting on the same page for a long time to come.