ArtLex Art Dictionary


oook - A book is typically a set of written, printed, or blank paper pages, bound together on one edge, within protective covers; a codex. It usually has a significant amount of text, and may also be illustrated.

In cyperspeak (aka geek-speek) books are called "treeware" or a "dead tree edition," though these concepts can include any other work printed on paper.

librarian with stacks of books

There are several terms used to describe the various parts of books. A signature is a sheet of paper folded once, and bound. If an illustration is placed very near the title page of a book, it is called a frontispiece.

Book sizes are often called folio, quarto, octavo, etc. A very small bound book is often called a booklet or brochure. A very small unbound book is a pamphlet.



Works involving books:




see thumbnail to leftAbelardo Morell (American, born Cuba, 1948-), Old Travel Scrapbook: Pyramids, 2000, photograph of a book opened so that a shadow cast on the book's interior echoes the triangular shape of the Egyptian pyramids in photographs on either side. Morell has made numerous photographs of books.



Buzz Spector (American, 1948-), Library, 1984, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Buzz Spector often uses books as a sculptural medium. He is also known as a theorist on artists' books. By tearing the pages of books in the case of Library, Spector demonstrates the irony that when books are used as sculpture, they no longer function as books. The reverse would also be true; books function conceptually when we are not paying attention to them as physical objects. The irony Spector reveals in this and other of his sculptural books derives from the fact that books are both objects with physical gravity and conceptual objects offering a less tangible kind of gravity, the gravity of ideas.



see thumbnail to rightRobert The (American, 1961-), Untitled handgun cut-out, c. 1998-2000, a found copy of Black Water, a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, cut with a bandsaw, Spencer Museum of Art, U of Kansas. This book, Robert The understood, is noted for its depictions of violence and evil in modern society. See transformation.



Quote:an open book



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Also see Arts and Crafts Movement, bookbinding, book of hours, bookplate, broadside, colophon, duodecimo, folio, graphic design, handbill, ink, illumination, incunabulum, leather, margin, marginalia, octavo, pagination, quarto, rotulus, scriptorium, scroll, sextodecimo, signature, sketchbook, text, tricesimo-segundo, typeface, typography, and vicesimo.




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