What is an artist book?

The answers are as prolific as the books themselves

A work of art in the form of a book

A playful, interactive and handleable exploration of an idea.

A sculpture

three dimensional

usually very portable

A work by an artist in a structure that includes ‘pages’ that are bound, folded or arranged together,usually within a binding, covers or a container.

An artist at play with their medium.

A visual methodology.

A rhythmic vessel of


An artwork that invites participation:

An artwork that is often intimate in scale, but monumental in impact.

An interplay between the viewer and the book which creates an intimacy that isn’t found in other art forms.

A piece of art that can be handled

Any work in a book format made by an artist; content may include drawings, prints, paper cuts, digital art, text, poetry, story telling, illustration, laser cuts, textiles, stitch, painting, photographs …

A dialogue between form and content.

A unique fusion of ideas, designs and imaginings conceived and made by an artist.

There is no definitive description …

They can be displayed in many ways – on bookshelves with or without your regular books, on mantelpieces, on custom made shelves or plinths, or even gathered together in a box to browse through. An example of displaying them is shown here. See also the page on how to display an artist book.