"Michael Hampton’s title nicely encapsulates his thesis: that the artists’ bookis a misfit, defying the stuffy orthodoxy of the library shelves." -Gill Partington, Times Literary Supplement


(Artists' Books).
  • Axminister, Devon, UK: Uniformbooks, 2015.
  • 8vo
  • stiff paper wrappers
  • 176 pages

Price: $18.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 127035

First edition. In Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artists book, Michael Hampton vets the mediums history, postulating a new timeline that challenges the orthodox view of the artists book as a form largely peculiar to the twentieth century.

Post-Deweyed, these works form an entirely new corpus, showcasing the artists book not as a by-product of the book per se, but both its antecedent and post-digital flowering, many salient twentieth-century features proleptically flickering here and there through time, its epigenetic influence finally come to permeate mainstream book design everywhere; the manifold traits and studio processes inherent to the artists book bursting from their stitched sheath, cheerfully pollinating the whole gamut of reading impedimenta and spaces.

The book features fifty examples from the iconic to the obscure - accenting the codexs molecular structure rather than its customary role as a vehicle for text - a critical exposé of multiple types, plus an extensive select bibliography.

Elizabeth James, Senior Librarian at the National Art Library, V&A Museum, writes in her Foreword: The great service of this commentated bibliography is to discover that the experience of artists books encourages the art of reading: a rich, productive reception, such as people perform in their gallery-going. With minds and sensors thus attuned, why would you not turn the same attention outward and backwards, to the whole world of books: the texts and depictions that have been instantiated and promulgated in portable visual and material formats? The categorical ladder falls away.

Michael Hampton has contributed to many publications, including Art Monthly, Book Arts Newsletter, The Flaneur, Frieze, Geschichte, Interartive, Monika, The Penguin Collectors Journal, Schizm, Shearsman, /seconds, Tears in the Fence, thisistomorrow, 3:AM, Uniformagazine and The White Review. He is associated with the conceptual project Jeffrey Charles Henry Peacock, and the Birkbeck Material Texts Network. His Suspect Package was acquired by the V&A in 2002.