MacGuffin 12 : The Log
Standard delivery 3 to 7 days
Publication date : 2010/12/02
Weight 2565 g / Dimensions 25 x 30.8 cm / 394 pages / french
WHAT IS AN ARTIST’S BOOK? What definition should we give it? Is the illustrated book an artist’s book, and is the artist’s book necessarily “illustrated”? Is it a beautiful book, a luxury book, a book-object, a cheap book, the confrontation between a text and images, or between the images themselves? What is the purpose of these secret books, hidden in the precious reserves of libraries, museums and private collections, sometimes published so as not to be exposed to the public eye – like Louis Soutter’s deeply moving “books drawn on books”? To whom are they addressed, if they are addressed to anyone? Without giving a definitive answer, Le Livre libre pursues the question by presenting here images extracted from a few hundred books, from 1883 to 2010, created in a delimited territory or linked to it: the French-speaking part of Switzerland, which, by its geographical, historical, religious and economic situation, has played a considerable role in this form of publishing. Books by Swiss artists – sometimes expatriates or repatriates – but also by foreign artists – refugees or occasional visitors. Books by unreasonable publishers, perfectionist printers, feverish workshops, books by writers, poets, rebels, painters, sculptors, architects, illustrators, cartoonists…
These confidential – even invisible – publications constitute a disconcerting testimony, by their diversity, their excessiveness, their craft quality or their casualness. Major artists have contributed to this adventure, which is still often poorly measured: Steinlen, Masereel, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Cocteau, Arp, Baj, Miró, Tal Coat, Yersin; and contemporary artists, the little-known, the forgotten, whom we discover or rediscover here.