1st Edition

The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe

Edited By Kathryn Brown Copyright 2013
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    Investigating the complex history of visual art’s engagement with literature, this collection demonstrates that the art of the book is a fully interdisciplinary and distinctly modern form. The essays in the collection develop new critical approaches to the analysis of twentieth-century bookworks and explore ways in which European writers and painters challenged the boundary between visual and linguistic expression in the content, production, and physical form of books. The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe offers a detailed examination of word-image relations in forms ranging from the livre d’artiste to personal diaries and almanacs. It analyzes innovative attempts to challenge familiar hierarchies between texts and images, to fuse different expressive media, and to reconceptualize traditional notions of ekphrasis. Giving consideration to the material qualities of books, the works discussed in this collection also test and celebrate the act of reading, while locating it in the context of other sensory experiences. Essays examine works by Dufy, Matisse, Beckett, Kandinsky, Braque, and Ponge, among other European artists and writers active during the twentieth century.

    Contents: Introduction, Kathryn Brown; Dufy draws Apollinaire: illustration and commemoration in the livre d’artiste, Peter Read; Enacting beauty: Baudelaire, Matisse, and Les Fleurs du mal, Kathryn Brown; Out in ’the open’ with Georges Braque and Saint-John Perse: L’ordre des oiseaux, Neil Cox; Bun-Ching Lam’s and Samuel Beckett’s Quatre Poèms/Four Songs: music, image, text, Derval Tubridy; Unreal forms: Joan Ponç and Joan Fuster’s Exploració de l’ombra and Joan Ponç and Luis Goytisolo’s Devoraciones, Montserrat Roser-i-Puig; Word and image in times of crisis: the bookworks of Arnold Daghani, Peter Z. Malkin, and Ian C. Dengler, Deborah Schultz; Wassily Kandinsky’s animated page: The Blue Rider almanac as a work of art, Christopher Short; ’Poésie plastique’? The competition between art and literature in early 20th-century France, Linda Goddard; Poems as objects: the visual poetry of Giulia Niccolai, Sarah Patricia Hill; After Magritte: telling tales, Elza Adamowicz; Modernist ekphrasis and the texte-atelier of Francis Ponge, Susan Harrow; Bibliography; Index.


    Kathryn Brown is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. She is the author of Women Readers in French Painting 1870-1890 (Ashgate, 2012).

    'This book presents fresh interpretations of the unique relationship between word and text, author and artist, and the intersection of art and writing. It offers new and often intriguing insights into collaborations between artists and writers as well sheds light on lesser-known artists of this genre, thus opening up opportunities for additional new scholarship.' ARLIS

    'This volume makes a valuable contribution to intermedia studies and succeeds in the editor's aim of showing how the art book tradition exploits "the dynamic relations between contrasting media in order to test and expand their own expressive repertoire".' French Studies

    'Le volume ... offre un échantillon varié et stimulant de contributions à ce champ en plein épanouissement. L’intérêt et les mérites de ce volume collectif, dont grâce au travail très soignée de la directrice l’ensemble vaut plus que la somme des articles qui le composent, sont multiples. [ ... ] Enfin, le livre dirigé par Kathryn Brown prend soin également de sa valeur d’usage: une excellente bibliographie, un index utile, un choix intelligent d’images parfois surprenantes font de cette publication un outil de travail on ne peut plus utile.' Image & Narrative

    'New outcomes in the traditional ekphrastic "war" between word and image are envisaged in these innovative and scholarly essays, most timely in view of current inter-disciplinary trends in research and teaching programmes.' SHARP News