In search of the book as a work of art

In search of the book as a work of art

by Alan Loney

In search of the book as a work of art
— Alan Loney

With a Foreword by Paul F Gehl
Published by Opifex, November 2019
ISBN 978-0-64868-070-3
152 × 229 mm / 6 × 9 inches
114 pages

In search of the book as a work of art is a probing series of questions about how we understand the words ‘art’ and ‘book’ and what happens when we put them together. It argues that the categories by which we have distinguished different kinds of books no longer tell us what we are looking at when we look at new books, including many made by trade publishers. Categories like ‘fine press book’ and ‘artist book’ have served useful purposes in the past, but are now redundant in the face of the incredible range of categorical overlaps in books that people are actually making. Along the way, this book explores and explodes a number of current ideas about books whose use-by dates are seen by the author as well and truly passed.



‘Alan Loney’s newest book invites the same type of deep and lasting discussion as his 2010 monograph, The Books to Come. Craft practice, canonical work, the contested role of academia, philosophical approaches to the Book and book, all become food for thought and questioning. From Mallarmé to Beatrice Warde, Loney offers us a variety of voices, including most importantly his own, through which we can explore our connections to the book as an object and as a work of art.’
— Kathleen Walkup, Lovelace Family Chair in Book Art, Mills College, California

‘Loney’s personal approach is strong medicine — an antidote to the worn discourses that drain the concept of the book as a work of art of all meaning.’
— Peter Koch, The Codex Foundation, California



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