Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Artists' Books and Deluxe Suites of Prints

Prints. Click to enlarge.

John Ashbery
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
With original prints by Richard Avedon, Elaine de Kooning,
Willem de Kooning, Jim Dine, Jane Freilicher, Alex Katz,
R. B. Kitaj, and Larry Rivers
San Francisco: Arion Press, 1984

The Ransom Center holds over 400 titles cataloged under the broad heading of artists' books. This large collection reflects the evolution of this twentieth-century art form and includes various examples of its development from deluxe suites of prints and livres d'artiste, to the more conceptual and self-reflexive form referred to today as an artist's book. Early modern works in the collection include Henri Matisse's Jazz and his illustrations for Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal, Georges Rouault's Cirque de L'étoile filante, and Joan Miró's Constellations. The strengths of the collection are found in titles of the late twentieth century, particularly 1970–1985. Highlights include the collaborative efforts of artists and writers such as Foirades by Jasper Johns and Samuel Beckett, Traces suspectes en surface by Robert Rauschenberg and Alain Robbe-Grillet, Stones by Larry Rivers and Frank O'Hara, and Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror by poet John Ashbery. The collection also embraces the work of modern and contemporary artists, including Laurie Anderson, Ida Applebroog, John Baldessari, Johanna Drucker, Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Jacob Lawrence, Ed Ruscha, Lucas Samaras, Betye Saar, Terry Southern, and Richard Tuttle.

A partial checklist of the artists' books is available in the Ransom Center's Reading and Viewing Room, and online here.

For more information, contact art staff.


The Reading Room Will Be Closed:

Monday, May 27
Thursday, July 4

Always closed on Sundays

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