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March 7th, 2007

JAB 21 Cover

JAB: The Journal of Artists’ Books (ISSN 1085-1461)
is back in print with JAB21!

JAB Subscription Form (pdf 32kb)

JAB21 contains the following articles:

To Figure Out What Is Happening:
An Interview With Johanna Drucker

­Tate Shaw

Editioning One-of-a-Kind Multiples:
Notes Toward An Understanding of Anselm Kiefer’s Books

­Elisabeth Long

Viewing and Reading Artist Books
­Ward Tietz

Small Pond
­Clifton Meador

Interview with Marshall Weber
­Tony White

Plus reviews of books by Emily Larned, Tate Shaw, and Luke Strosnider

More info


Our Fearless Leader

JAB in print again!

March 1st, 2007

Here’s a nice article on the new print edition JAB in Time Out Chicago:

Spine arts – Books – Time Out Chicago

The “we” in that last sentence stands for Freeman and JAB (Journal of Artists’ Books) magazine, his broadsheet critique of artists’ books. Freeman arrived at Columbia College in May 2006 to work as the studio coordinator for the school’s Center for Book & Paper Arts and to rejuvenate the magazine he’d started in 1994.

JAB launch party tonight in conjunction with the opening of

Pass It On: Connecting Contemporary Do-It-Yourself Culture is an exhibition exploring the many ways in which the rich and diverse influence of DIY culture cross-pollinates to extend boundaries over a range of spheres: social/political/economic/and cultural. Curated by AnneDorothee Boehme, Lindsay Bosch and Kevin Henry.

March 1 – April 14, 2007
Opening Reception: March 1st, 5-8 pm

A+D Gallery
Columbia College Chicago
619 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL 60605

For more information on the Center for Book and Paper Arts
Columbia College Chicago
Center for Book and Paper Arts

1104 S. Wabash, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Want to subscribe to the new JAB?

Book in Hand

February 21st, 2007

Book in Hand opened last weekend at the ALL Gallery in New Haven, CT. I stood back at the opening and watched all the people absorbed in reading each and every book in the show – holding them, turning the pages, talking about them with the person standing next to them – it made all the work that went into the show seem worth the effort.

~ Pattie Belle Hastings

People handling books

Book in Hand Exhibit

Book in Hand Exhibit

Book in Hand Exhibit

Book in Hand Exhibit

Book in Hand Exhibit

February 17 – March 18, 2007
Artists’ Reception: Saturday, February 17, 5-7 PM
Performative Multimedia Lecture by Pattie Belle Hastings:
Sunday, February 25, 4-5 PM

Images of a selection of books in the exhibit.

Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL Gallery)
Erector Square Building 2
319 Peck Street
New Haven, CT 06513

Gallery hours:
Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm
(+3rd Fridays, February 16 and March 16, 4-7 PM)

Ideas of Print

February 3rd, 2007

A forty-year retrospective of work by Joan Lyons is currently on display at Rochester Contemporary gallery in Rochester, NY through February 24. The exhibition is a part of RoCo’s “Maker/Mentor” series whereby influential artists exhibit alongside those they have guided, supported, and influenced. In the case of Lyons, the list of those mentored is long. She is founder of the VSW Press, publisher of over 450 titles including hundreds of artists’ books as well as critical texts such as Artists’Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook (1985), edited by Lyons and groundbreaking for the field. Many VSW Press titles were included as a small reading room in the exhibition and the volumes certainly contribute to one’s awareness of the prolificacy of Lyons as a printer, publisher, and imagemaker. To my mind, Lyons’s work is concerned with ideas of print. No matter the medium she is working with, be it photograph, book, paper, or quilt, she investigates marks made by impression.

Through her study of print, Lyons has consistently redefined surface. On display are alternative-process, photographic prints dominated by portraits of many artists’ feet on paper, which shows signs of buckling and creasing. Hands and legs figure-in with lighter tones of the sun print’s signature brown palette to play with surface depth and express how our bodies relate to space. Other impressions, though less direct, include
Lyons’s face and torso pressed against the glass of early Xerographic devices.

Lyons also turned the earth into a printing press. For a period she buried books in the ground letting time inscribe the pages with soil and moisture. Looking at the objects we see how surface comes to be conflated with environments. Turning to more abstract examples of surface and print, there is a selection of the photographic installation “Representations” that even-handedly looks at how images stand-in for men and women throughout media culture. All the while, Lyons comments on her role of imagemaker, showing us the glint of light reflecting from glossy magazines, the television screen, and the frame around the art-historical object. Lyons’s work with representation can also be seen in masterful cyanotypes from her “Gynecologist” series and book depicting distortions of the female body and reproductive organs. This work, like the rest of the retrospective exhibition, is complex, feminist, oftentimes funny, frequently polemical, and leaves a very strong impression.

~ Tate Shaw

Joan Lyons

Rochester Contemporary

View of exhibition

View of Exhibition

View of Exhibition

Conference at Center for Book and Paper Arts

January 29th, 2007

Action/Interaction: Book/Arts Conference 2007

June 8 – 10, 2007
Chicago, IL

An opportunity to raise the level of critical discourse among students and practitioners in the book arts field; to examine what we do as artists and why.

  • A program of lectures and participatory guided discussions
  • A juried exhibit surveying contemporary work from centers of book arts around the country
  • A book fair in which students, artists, publishers, and vendors can showcase and sell current work

The conference will take place in the historic Ludington Building, home to the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Art in the heart of Chicago’s South Loop. It is scheduled to coincide with the annual Printer’s Row Book Fair, the Midwest’s largest free outdoor literary event occurring in the nearby Printer’s Row neighborhood.

Join us for Open Mike Night on Saturday: an opportunity to share your work through readings, performance, and other interactive displays of book arts. Let us know if you have something you’d like to share that might require special equipment.

Frightening Fare at the Fair

November 21st, 2006

One of the more exciting aspects of a gathering such as Pyramid Atlantic’s biennial book fair is to see the synergy between projects made by artists independently. A new Visual Studies Workshop Press title, The Genetically Modified Foods Cookbook by Christine Chin, as well as Laboratory Gardening: Building Your Own Food, an Activity Book, by Amanda D’Amico, Tiny Revolutionary Press, take on the subject of genetically modified food in unique ways, not least of which is their distinctive use of the book medium. Chin’s Betty Crocker-style cookbook shows our consumable fruits and vegetables with lips, eyes, fingernails, and ears. The sickening twist is the photographs depicting Chin’s recipes are so lush and attractive, her use of digital manipulation so seamless, that we hardly perceive what is so terrifying about this food. In D’Amico’s Laboratory Gardening we get wound up in less illusory ways. From the beginning the artist/author asks the big questions—“Why does the European Union have a ban on GMO imports? Why are grassroots activist groups protesting against them? Why do the words ‘Genetically Modified’ turn us off as consumers?” The book is made up of food growing research and diagrammatic illustrations for cutting out and connecting tabs to make your own, boxed food. D’Amico’s novel approach to the “activity book,” a wonderfully complex spin on food activism, and the heat applied by Chin’s grilling question—just what is happening to us as result of this food—created a stirring discussion on the potential of one-liners in artists’ books amongst a few of us in attendance. What makes the one-liner work, what makes it powerful? In my opinion, a one-liner works best with a straight face and when temporality is involved. I need to get set up to find the joke funny, in other words. Show me a book in the shape of its punch line and I’ll show you an artist who needs lessons in timing. Had Chin or D’Amico fed us their ideas in sculptural spoon shapes, for instance, the power of reveal would be lost, entirely.

Posted by Tate Shaw

Say No To GMOs!
GM Cookbook
Pressing Matter at the University of the Arts
VSW Press

Chin GM Cookbook

Chin GM Cookbook

D'Amico Laboratory Gardening

D'Amico Laboratory Gardening

JAB #1 and JAB #2 join the Archive!

July 31st, 2006

JAB 1 Cover

We have just uploaded PDFs of JAB 1 and JAB 2 to the JAB 1-20 Archive. Enjoy!