Object Focus: The Book

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Object Focus: The Book Guidebook

An introduction to Object Focus: The Book, an exhibition exploring how the book developed during the 20th century into a unique form that defies expectations of how a book should behave. Complete text is available for download below.

Download Object Focus: The Book Guidebook (PDF)

To bind your downloaded guidebook, please consider visiting local independent resources such as Publication Studio, Independent Resource Publishing Center, Container Corps or Em Space Book Arts Center in Portland, Oregon.

Object Focus: The Book Guidebook

Introduction In its most common form, a book is understood to be an object made of printed or written papers gathered together, glued or sewn along one side, and bound between two covers. Today, such electronic devices as the Kindle™ or nook™ are expanding public ideas of what a book can be while making information and ideas readily available in digital formats. While text-based works easily make this technological transition, the book as a vital cultural object continues to be the focus of artists, craftspeople and designers from around the world.

Object Focus: The Book explores how the book developed during the 20th century into a unique form that defies expectations of how a book should behave. “The book is a unique medium in that it only performs its function if the viewer interacts with it, and turns its pages,” explains scholar Barbara Cinelli. “The artist’s book is above all a physical object with which we interact with the physical world.”1 Object Focus offers a broad survey of what is often categorized as the “artist’s book,” introducing makers of books in addition to publishers, teachers, residencies and places where artists’ books continue to flourish as examples of contemporary culture.

Through selections from Reed College’s Special Collections, Object Focus includes examples of fine craft letterpress works to one-of-a-kind or limited-edition art objects and politically-based zines to commercially printed publications. Individually, each object serves as an example of how a book delivers a material and conceptual experience. Collectively, the exhibition as a whole employs a teaching collection as a tool for public exploration of the book as a form, a site, and an interactive object at precisely the moment when emergent technology challenges the materiality of the book in popular culture.

Organized geographically and thematically, the exhibition is accompanied by this guidebook (available for download) with essays by the co-curators and student interns from various institutions. Pages of selected works will be turned during the exhibition to offer greater access to the contents of each book. A study table offers hands-on exploration of additional artists’ books, access to a website produced by Reed College, and information on places in Portland where visitors can learn to make, study or experience artists’ books for themselves.

Index of Artists

An alphabetic listing of artists in Object Focus: The Book

Index of Artists


Abramov, Andrey
Acconci, Vito
Adams, Dennis
Ahearn, John
Ai Weiwei
Aksyonov-Meyerson, Michail
Aksyonov, Vasily
Anderson, Holly
Andre, Carl
Anthony, William
Antin, David
Artschwager, Richard
Ashford, Doug
Ataman, Kutlug
Atkins, Robert
Azaceta, Luis Cruz


Baensch, Thorsten
Baj, Enrico
Bakhchanyan, Vagrich
Baldessari, John
Balken, Beck
Balken, Debra
Battan, John
Batterton, Wall
Becher, Bernd and Hilla
Bender, Gretchen
Bereal, Ed
Berghash, Mark
Bergtold, Paul
Bertlmann, Renate
Bidlo, Mike
Blane, Mark
Boeri, Stefano
Bogin, Michail
Bohnenkamp, Leslie
Bojko, Szymon
Bourgeois, Louise
Boyden, Ian
Braden, Su
Brecht, George
Brodsky, Joseph
Bruggeman, Inge
Bryant, William
Buczak, Brian
Byars, James Lee


Cage, John
Calas, Nicolas
Calhoun School NYC, The
Cendrars, Blaise
Chen, Julie
Chiaromonte, John
Clarke, Libby
Clemente, Francesco
Clemmons, Walter
Cleveland, Buster
Close, Chuck
Cole, Norma
Collective Action Group
Collective Farm
Conner, Bruce
Cook, Elizabeth
Copley, William
Corner, Philip
Costakis, George
Creeley, Robert
Crown, Curtis
Curtis, Edward S.


Delaunay, Sonia
Dickau, Mike
Dobbins, Ray
Dodson, Betty
Donaghy, Michael
Doria, Charles
Doyle, Sam
Duchamp, Marcel
Dupuy, Augustin
Dupuy, Jean
Durland, Steven


Eckmeyer, Martin Raul


Fabricius, Danielle
Fader, Anna
Ferguson, Russell
Ferri, Ronoldo
Filliou, Robert
Finster, Howard
Fitzgerald, Edward
Fort, Francine
Frampton, Hollis
Frank, Peter
Friedman, Ken
Furnival, John


Gallo, Philip
Gerlovina, Rimma
Gerlovin, Valeriy
Gibson, Jeremy
Gilbert & George
Giorno, John
Glezer, Alexander
Glier, Mike
Golub, Leon
Gonzalez-Torres, Felix
Group Material
Guerrilla Art Action Group
Gustin, Philip


Halbert, Gregoire
Hamady, Walter
Hambleton, Richard
Hamill, Sam
Hamilton, Richard 27
Hannah, Duncan
Hansen, Al
Harvard Design School Project on the City
Hayman, R.I.P.
Held Jr., John
Hendricks, Eleonore
Hendricks, Geoffrey
Herscovitz, Marcia
Higgins, Dick
Higgins III, E.F.
Holzer, Jenny
Horn, Roni
Hsieh Tehching


Irving, John
Ivry, Judith


Jacob, John
Jacobs, Diane
Jacques, Michel
Jacquet, Alain
Jenney, Neil
Johns, Jasper
Johnson, Ray


Kaprow, Allan
Kawara, On
Kean, P. Michael
Kentridge, William
Ketelhodt, Ines von
Khudyakov, Henry
Klintberg, Bengt af
Knowles, Alison
Koening, Kaspar
Komogor, Leonid
Koolhaas, Rem
Kostelanetz, Richard
Kostiuk, Damian
Kostiuk, Michael
Kosuth, Joseph
Krasin, Victor
Krasnaovsky, Timofey
Kruger, Barbara
Kuehn, Katherine
Kunc, Karen
Kuryluk, Ewa
Kwinterm, Sanford


La Monte Young
Landfield, Ronnie
Lange, Clemens-Tobias
Lawon, Thomas
Lee, Jim
Levine, Sherri
Levy, Julien
LeWitt, Sol
Lichtenstein, Roy
Lipski, Donald
Lissitzky, El
Lommasson, Jim
Loney, Alan
Long, Richard
Lorenz, Angela
Lozano, Lee


Maciunas, George
MacLise, Angus
Mac Low, Jackson
Macrae-Gibson, Rory Angus
Madame X
Makarevich, Igor
Makarevich + Yelagina & Co.
Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich
Malutzki, Peter
Mangold, Sylvia Plimack
Maria, Walter de
Marioni, Tom
McVarish, Emily
Mednick, Sol
Melamid, Komar
Miller, Roger
Millman, Toby
Morgan, Robert C.
Morrison, Toni
Morrow, Charlie
Mussman, Toby


Nauman, Bruce
Neizvestny, Ernst
Neri, Gilbert
Nussberg, Lev
Nutbeem, Adrian


Obrist, Hans Ulrich
Olbrich, Bernd
Oldenburg, Claes
Ono, Yoko
Oppenheim, Meret
Orlando, Valentin
Ostrow, Saul
Otterness, Tom
Ox, Jack


Pally, Marcia
Penrose, Roland
Petlin, Irving
Petrov, Mischa
Pettet, Simon
Pfreim, Bernard
Picard, Lil
Piper, Adrian
Pittore, Carlo
Plunkett, Edward M.
Pressley, Daniel


Radzievsky, Yury
Railing, Patricia
Ramos, Mel
Rauschenberg, Robert
Ray, Man
Reavey, George
Reavey, Jean
Reese, Ralph Henry
Reisbord, Coriander
Reitkopf, Nancy
Renwick, Vanessa
Riley, Terry
Ringold, Faith
Rivera, James
Robbins, Dave
Roberto, Anthony
Rohm, Robert
Rollins, Tim + K.O.S.
Rotella, Domenico
Roth, Dieter
Rothenberg, Jerome
Ruscha, Ed
Russolo, Luigi
Rypson, Piotr


Saito, Takako
Samuels, Diane
Savitsky, Jack
Scalapino, Leslie
Schäpers, Veronika
Schneemann, Carolee
Schulz, Tomasz
Schwedler, William
Serrano, Andreas
Shevchenko, Arkady
Shostakovich, Maxim
Smith, Kiki
Spector, Buzz
Spero, Nancy
Spiegelman, Lon
Stanley, Robert


Tazi, Nadia
Tetenbaum, Barbara
Tiravanija, Rirkrit
Toadstools, The
Trouille, Clovis
Truck, Ben
Truck, Fred
Tuttle, Richard
Tuynman, Carol
Tyson, Ian


Ur, Anatol


Vanderzee, James
Venet, Bernar
Venturi, Robert
Volkov, Solomon
Vostell, Wolf


Wakoski, Diane
Walker, Kara E.
Wang Chao
Watts, Robert
Webster, Meg
Weiner, Hannah
Weiner, Lawrence
Westermann, H.C.
Williams, Emmett
Winifred, Princess
Wong, Martin


Xu Bing


Young, La Monte


Zazeela, Marian
Zelevansky, Nora
Zelevansky, Paul

Craft Conversation | Object Focus: The Book

Co-curators Geraldine Ondrizek and Namita Gupta Wiggers are joined by collaborator Barbara Tetenbaum for a discussion about Object Focus: The Book.

November 18, 2010 – February 26, 2011

Curated by: Geraldine Ondrizek, Reed College and Namita Gupta Wiggers, Museum of Contemporary Craft; in collaboration with Barbara Tetenbaum, Oregon College of Art and Craft

The artist’s book is an object that extends work beyond the boundaries of a gallery setting. Through selections from the significant 20th century modern and contemporary artists’ books in Reed College’s Special Collections, this exhibition explores the book as an object which defies the boundaries between art, craft and design, and moves along a spectrum from a recognizable to a deconstructed form.

Object Focus: The Book was curated by Geraldine Ondrizek, Professor of Art, Reed College and Namita Gupta Wiggers, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft in collaboration with Barbara Tetenbaum, Head of Book Arts, Oregon College of Art and Craft. Reed College’s Artists’ Books Collection has been made possible by a generous grant from John and Betty Gray and Sue and Ed Cooley to support the Art Department, Reed College.

A guidebook to Object Focus: The Book is available for download below. To bind your downloaded guidebook, please consider visiting local independent resources such as Publication Studio, Independent Resource Publishing Center, Container Corps or Em Space Book Arts Center in Portland, Oregon.

Download Object Focus: The Book Guidebook (PDF)


PNCA+FIVE Ford Institute for Visual Education

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation · Sue Horn-Caskey & Rick Caskey · The Collins Foundation · Maribeth Collins · Truman & Kristin Collins · John Gray Charitable Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation · The Ford Family Foundation · Meyer Memorial Trust · MJ Murdock Charitable Trust · National Endowment for the Arts · PGE Foundation · Regional Arts & Culture Council · Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation · The Standard · Mary Hoyt Stevenson Foundation · Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust · Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt · The Western States Art Federation · Whiteman Foundation · Ziba

With special thanks to: NWC Nick Weitzer Contracting and Willamette Week.