A crucial concept behind the making of art in book form is making art effective, inexpensive, easily accessible, and outside commercial means of distribution. The best artists’ books are those things, and winning or droll or shocking besides. The worst are full of egregious prose and double-speak trash. Unfortunately, much of this collection falls into the latter niche: posturing of the most callow less-materialistic-than-thou variety. Didn’t anyone catch the irony in calling M. Rosler’s Service a “seminal feminist ideolog”? Couldn’t the editor strike out “mediumistic”? Clive Phillpot’s and Lucy Lippard’s essays stand out as thoughtful attempts to come to terms with the history of book-as-art/not art-book, but this is not a necessary purchase. GraceAnne A. DeCandido, “School Library Journal”
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.