The Century of Artists’ Books. Johanna Drucker, introduction Holland Cotter. Granary Books. 2004.

The Century of Artists’ Books.

Granary Books, 2004. Item #GB_36
ISBN: 9781887123693

6 1/4 x 9 1/4 in., 377 pp., wrappers.

“I wrote this book... with the encouragement of Steve Clay and Brad Freeman because we saw a need for for critical work in the field of artists’ books.”
–Johanna Drucker

“[Johanna Drucker] locates the artist’s book... within every significant modern movement and draws on an extensive bibliography of scholarly references to reveal the philosophical connections among the several emerging avant-garde movements of the early 20th century... The book vastly expands our understanding... of artists’ books, and establishes a more rigorous standard of criticism and analysis for the genre.”
–Buzz Spector, Art Journal

“This will be a major reference for all thinkers of the book for a long time.”
–Judith Hoffberg, Umbrella

“This work...provides both a critical analysis of the structures themselves and a basis for further reflection on the philosophical and conceptual roles they play. From codex to document, from performance to self-image, the world of artists’ books is made available to student and teacher, collector and connoisseur.”
–Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Library, New York

With the insight of the artist and the discernment of the art historian, Drucker details over 200 artworks, relating them to a variety of art movements of the last century and tracing their development in form and concept.

First published in 1995, the book is now in its second edition, illustrated, with a new preface by the author and an introduction by The New York Times senior art critic Holland Cotter.

Book design by Brad Freeman, new cover design by Emily McVarish. Over 10,000 copies in print. As new. This title is in print widely available at indenpendent bookshops on the street and online.

ABOUT JOHANNA DRUCKER: Johanna Drucker is the inaugural Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She is internationally known for her work in the history of graphic design, typography, experimental poetry, fine art, and digital humanities. In addition, she has a reputation as a book artist, and her limited-edition works are in special collections and libraries worldwide. Her published titles include SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing (Chicago, 2009), and Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide with Emily McVarish (Pearson, 2008, 2nd edition in 2012). In 2012 she published Digital_Humanities, with Jeffrey Schnapp, Todd Presner, Peter Lunenfeld, and Anne Burdick (MIT Press) and in 2014, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard University Press). Her work was the subject of a travelling retrospective titled Druckworks: Books and projects 1972-2012, and recent titles include Stochastic Poetics (Granary and Druckwerk, 2012), Downdrift (Three Rooms Press, 2018), and The General Theory of Social Relativity (The Elephants, 2018). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received an honorary doctorate from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. Read more at

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