The Expansion of the Artist Book


Geographic Area: Spain, Europe, Latin America, United States of America

Related Fonds and Collections: Ou Magazine Collection1962-1978 FondsUlises Carrión FondsFernando Millán FondsFuera de formato Fonds

Related Exhibitions: What Is an Artist Book?The Idea of ArtSol LeWitt. Books. The Concept as Art

The paradigm shift that took place in the 1950s and 60s brought about an unceasing process of dematerialization of the art object which, among other consequences, led to the consolidation of artist’s publications as a support in their own right. Numerous artists have continued using this medium for their production, though their motivations and aims and the media they employ may differ widely from those of the early decades. This collection centers, primarily, on the first three decades in which the phenomenon rose to prominence, and on the first generation of artists who embraced publication as another element in their spectrum of creative formats.

The Lafuente Archive contains artist publications from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, all highly relevant when tracing the genealogy of this new reality and often extremely significant in the overall artistic production of their authors. Artist books by Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Christian Boltanski, Hanne Darboven, Richard Long, Lawrence Weiner, Peter Downsbrough and Hans-Peter Feldmann, to name but a few, fit perfectly into this topic-based collection, which also includes pioneering artists of the practice in Spain – the Zaj group, Joan Rabascall, Eulàlia Grau, Muntadas, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina – in addition to such magazines as Dau al Set, Negre+Blau, Cave Canis, Texto Poético, etc.

Broadening the perspective that restricts the canon of artist books to production in Europe and the United States, this topic is complemented in the Archive with a series of artist publications that illustrate the activity of post-war avant-garde movements and artists, primarily in Spain, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Publications produced in the 1970s by the Barcelona-based Grup de Treball are a fine example of this section.


Eugènia Balcells - Christian Boltanski - Ulises Carrión - Hanne Darvoben - Hans Peter Feldmann - Ian Hamilton Finlay - Muntadas - Richard Long - Yoko Ono - Clemente Padín - Francisco Pino - Joan Rabascall - Dieter Roth - Edward Ruscha - Isidoro Valcárcel Medina - Lawrence Weiner - Zaj