The Collaborative Artist’s Book offers a rare glimpse into collaborations between poets and painters from 1945 to the present, and highlights how the artist’s book became a critical form for experimental American artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Alexandra Gold provides a broad overview of the artist’s book form and the many ongoing debates and challenges, from the disciplinary to the institutional, that these forms continue to pose.
Gold presents five case studies and details not only how each individual collaboration came to be but how all five together engage and challenge conventional ideals about art, subjectivity, poetry, and interpersonal relations, as well as complex social questions related to gender and race. Taking several of these books out of special collections libraries and museum archives and making them available to a broad readership, Gold brings to light a whole genre that has been largely forgotten or neglected.
“Troubling the boundaries of their own artforms, the poets and artists who created the artists’ books brought to life in this study used the form of the book itself to create new modes of relationality and expression. Written with intelligence and an artistry of its own, The Collaborative Artist’s Book tells an exciting story about collaboration and experiment across media, and is sure to be of interest to students of experimental poetry and the avant-garde.”—Brian Glavey, author, The Wallflower Avant-Garde: Modernism, Sexuality, and Queer Ekphrasis
“The Collaborative Artist’s Book reveals the ways in which collaborative artists’ books—peripheral but enduringly engaging experimental forms—shape late twentieth and early twenty-first century American lyric subjectivities. This is a book about friendship, collaboration, multidimensionality, and creative unruliness, as delightful in style as it is in subject matter.”—Rona Cran, author, Collage in Twentieth-Century Art, Literature, and Culture: Joseph Cornell, William Burroughs, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan
“Gold demonstrates the relevance of artists’ books in the present time, as complement, substitute, or remedy for virtual realities. Scrupulous in her scholarship and careful in her arguments, Gold advocates boldly for the pleasure of artists’ books, especially those containing poetry.”—Stephen Fredman, author, American Poetry as Transactional Art