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Text/Messages: Books by Artists

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"While literature is often a point of departure, artists’ books often bear little resemblance to conventional volumes. Many are sculptural, multidimensional, or made of material other than paper—some have no pages at all. Over the past three decades, the Walker has amassed a significant collection of books by artists, now numbering some 2,000 objects. Many of these are housed in the Walker’s library, where they have long been an insider favorite. Staff and visitors conducting research cannot help but be drawn in by librarian Rosemary Furtak’s enthusiasm for the eclectic collection, which has been steadily growing under her watch since the early 1980s. The library, says Furtak, 'tries to have books by all artists represented in our permanent collection who have made books.' She is also 'constantly trying to balance the need for new titles with an attempt to acquire out-of-print material that might represent a significant period or style of bookmaking.' Examples include books by Surrealists and Futurists, elegant tomes conceived by artists such as Robert Motherwell and Ellsworth Kelly, conceptual projects by Lawrence Weiner, humorously subversive books by Karen Finley, Mike Kelley, and Paul McCarthy, and rare illustrated editions such as Salavdor Dali’s take on Alice in Wonderland. Usually accessible to the public only by appointment, these items are now brought together in a major exhibition."

December 18, 2008 - April 19, 2009
Medtronic Gallery, Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis