© Carola Willbrand, Katharina Jesdinsky 2012
»Access to the artist’s book as a sequence is only gained as it unfolds in time. The sole difference between this and a conventional book is that the artist’s book is a creative sequence, and that the artist’s book as a totality represents a work in its own right.«
Guy Schraenen (1)
In the spring of 2012, the Deutscher Künstlerbund (Association of German Artists) invites members and guests to contribute artists’ books to an exhibition. Artists have always been interested in books and the artist’s book is a distinct genre in the fine arts. The range of approaches is huge: with or without text, with or without colour, unique works or multiples, small or large editions, bound book or loose sheets in a box, accordion fold or something else entirely − but always with reference to the book form.
The roots of the genre lie in links between fine art and literature (in the work of artists such as William Blake, Édouard Manet, Pierre Bonnard and Hermann Struck). At the beginning of the 20th century, artists – the Dadaists in particular – began to experiment with books, focussing not only on their original purpose, but above all on their outer qualities as objects. In such works, the classical book form is opened up, modulated, altered and modified. The »artists’ books« exhibition project is a challenge, a stimulus and a collection, offering the viewer an insight into the possibilities and rich diversity of contemporary artist’s books.
The exhibition concept was created by the artists Carola Willbrand (born 1952) and Katharina Jesdinsky (born 1972). Their own work is very different in terms of both form and content. Most of Willbrand’s work is made with a sewing machine, using everyday materials (such as wallpaper) to make drawings and texts about (women’s) everyday life, resulting in works that can also take on a performative, sculptural character. In 2005, Jesdinsky founded a small publishing house for artist’s books and a printing workshop (Umtriebpresse, Verlag für Künstlerbücher und Editionen).
Jochem Ahmann | Susanne Ahner | Bettina von Arnim | Monika Bartholomé | Johanna Bartl | Horst Bartnig | Christoph Bartolosch | Matthias Beckmann | Hella Berent | Georg Bernhard | Rolf Bier | Monika Brandmeier | Silvia Klara Breitwieser | Claudia Busching | Karlheinz Bux | Costantino Ciervo | Bignia Corradini | Joachim Czichon | Heinz H.R. Decker | Claudia Desgranges | Madeleine Dietz | Stefan Eberstadt | Dörte Eißfeldt | Andreas Exner | Siddhartha Y Fongi | Helga Franz | Stephan Fritsch | Anett Frontzek | Bernhard Garbert | Rolf Gentz | Johannes Gervé | Rolf Giegold | Harald Gnade | Karl-Heinrich Greune | 431art - Torsten Grosch | Rita M. W. Große-Ruyken | Marion Gülzow | Barbara Hammann | Ingrid Hartlieb | Heinz Hausmann | Susanne Hegmann | Ulrich Heinke | Marikke Heinz-Hoek | Thomas Helmbold | Dietrich Helms | Bernd Hennig | Mario Hergueta | Charlotte Herzog von Berg | Rosa M Hessling | Setsuko Ikai | Nikola Irmer | Constantin Jaxy | Birgit Jensen | Katharina Jesdinsky | Horst Egon Kalinowski | Petra Kasten | Joachim Peter Kastner | Annebarbe Kau | Barbara Keidel | Ulrike Kessl | Jean Kirsten | Reinhard Klessinger | Wolfgang Kliege | Beate Klompmaker | Doris von Klopotek | Bernd Klötzer | Kirsten Krüger | Ulrich Langenbach | Jürgen Liefmann | Julia Lohmann | Reiner Maria Matysik | Uwe Meier-Weitmar | Katharina Meldner | Nanne Meyer | Reiner Nachtwey | Susanne Nickel | Klaus Noculak | Karin Radoy | 431art - Haike Rausch | Bettina Rave | Jane und Werner Reichhold | Myriam Resch | Dagmar Rhodius | Rolf Rose | Ulrike Rosenbach | Susi Rosenberg | Karin Sander | Hella De Santarossa | Nora Schattauer | Sigrid Schewior | Birgit Schlieps | Andreas Schmid | Klaus Schmitt | Michael Schoenholtz | Eva-Maria Schön | Nicola Schrudde | Johanna Schwarz | Helmut Schweizer | Kerstin Seltmann | Roger David Servais | Robbin Ami Silverberg | Dietlinde Stengelin | Roland Stratmann | Markus Strieder | Volker Thies | Myriam Thyes | Alexandra Trencséni | Wolfgang Troschke | Timm Ulrichs | Maria Vedder | Klaus Vogelgesang | Bernd Völkle | Herbert Wentscher | Hans Wesker | Suse Wiegand | Carola Willbrand | Barbara Wille | Andrea Zaumseil | Bernd Zimmer | Isabel Zuber
(1) from: Künstlerbücher, mehr als fünf Sinne: ein Gesprach mit Guy Schraenen, in: Lutz Jahre Unlimited Edition (Cologne: Salon, 2001), p. 276