Fans of books-as-art will be enthralled by Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists, a massive coffee-table book that profiles 95 artists exploring the boundaries of what a book is. Each artist gets a two-page spread illustrating their art pieces, with photos and text describing the creative process and desired effect. "The book is far from dead," writes Getty Research Institute chief curator Marcia Reed. "Rather, it is a lively and contested concept that is frequently visualized or produced as a work of art, pointedly demonstrating its cultural significance."
Among the stunning, evocative and thoughtfully curated images are Mirella Bentivoglio's book of flattened Coca-Cola cans; Andrea Bower's wildly colorful assemblage of printed ephemera from every nonprofit labor rights organizations she could find in Los Angeles; and Keith Smith's frustrating yet calming "Book 91" with string running through holes in each page. This is a thought-provoking, imaginative and thrilling art book. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant