In THE EXQUISITE BOOK: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (Chronicle, $29.95) the artists of the collective ALSO Designs, Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvoski, and Matt Lamothe, have gathered 100 indie design favorites for a version of the surrealist game “the exquisite corpse.” Each artist, after seeing only the last drawing in a series, continues from the horizon line left by the previous artist. Some pick up the story or mood from the preceding page, others go off in wildly different directions. The results are imaginative, and as varied as they are wonderful, all examples of some of the best artists working today. The formatting of the book is no less ingenious. Each of the ten chapters is printed on accordion fold outs, so the reader can view the art in the continuous way it was meant to be enjoyed. With an illustrated introduction by Dave Eggers.
For years the National Museum of Women in the Arts has promoted artists’ books. It has a permanent collection devoted to the Book as Art containing over 800 works. This book highlights the work of women featured in an exhibition of the same name. While it is well worth it to see these amazing works in person, this book provides views of the featured work and the rationale for the work of artists from all parts of the globe. They are beautiful, curious, funny, and thought-provoking works. The Book as Art is also a wonderful introduction to this art form.