Artists' books are generally considered to be books that are made by artists and intended to be viewed as works of art.
Since the early 20th century, the book has provided artists with a form in which to explore new means of expression. Page, text, image, binding, shape and size are all aspects of a book that can be deconstructed and reconstructed through the experimentation of the artist.
Artists' books encompass a great diversity of approach. Some are lavish productions issued in small editions. Others are mass produced using affordable processes. Some exist within traditional models of printing and binding, while others redefine the book through the development of unusual forms and the use of new materials.
We have examples of artists' books ranging from the brilliant La fin du monde illustrated by the French Cubist Fernand Léger through to the little offset books by US photographer Ed Ruscha, but our main collecting focus has been on books made by Australian artists since 1990. We have about 400 books by Australian artists, including Robert Jacks, Bruno Leti, Inge King, Petr Herel, Angela Cavalieri, Peter Lyssiotis, Louise Jennison and Gracia Haby, George Matoulas, Nicholas Jones and Dianne Longley. Artists' books are held in Rare Books.