Clive Phillpot — Booktrek


A few weeks ago my copy of Clive Phillpot’s Booktrek arrived and since then it became a very important book and a great resource for me. It is a collection of essays on the artists’ books phenomena he wrote between 1972 to 2010. In Booktrek you’ll find various essays on the definition and development of artists‘ books, including historical texts, manifestos, catalogue entries, and essays on works by Ed Ruscha, Sol LeWitt, Dieter Roth, and Richard Long…


Diagramm by Clive Phillpot

“Clive Phillpot has been a tireless advocate for the artist’s book for more than 40 years–both as a critic, curator and editor, and in his tenure as director at the library of The Museum of Modern Art in the late 1970s, where he built the library’s collection of artist’s books and mapped out the field with influential essays that traced its ancestry and distinguished it from seemingly similar genres such as the livre d’artiste. As he has delineated the genre: “Artists’ books are understood to be books or booklets produced by the artist using mass-production methods, and in (theoretically) unlimited numbers, in which the artist documents or realizes art ideas or artworks.” Also collaborating with Printed Matter and Franklin Furnace, among other places dedicated to the medium of the book, Phillpot helped raise awareness of artists’ books, endowing them with the critical credentials to enter the collections of museums. Booktrek gathers for the first time Phillpot’s essays on the definition and development of artists’ books from 1972 to the present–historical texts, manifestos, catalogue entries and essays on works by Ed Ruscha, Sol LeWitt, Dieter Roth and Richard Long. Booktrek will prove an invaluable reference for all those interested in the evolution of the artist’s book, and offers a crucial account of the genre’s ascent.”

On September 17th, 2013, Printed Matter invites you for the New York launch of Clive Phillpot’s Booktrek including a reception and rare signing with Phillpot on from 5 to 7pm.

On September 19th, 2013, Phillpot will also deliver one of this year’s keynote talks (Conversation with Pictures. A 40 year trek through 50 years of artist books) at the NY Art Book Fair, hosted as part of the Contemporary Artists Book Conference. He will be joined in conversation by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art.

“Working over the last 40 years as a curator, critic, editor, Board Member (1980–1994) and President of Printed Matter (1992–1993), and as the Director of the Museum of Modern Art Library (1977–1994), Phillpot established himself as one of the world’s leading authorities in the artists‘ book field. His writings have been formative in articulating how artists‘ publications function as a powerful site for experimental artwork, and have helped to shape a broader interest and understanding of the field.”
— Printed Matter


In 2011 Clive Phillpot did a lecture at the Amsterdam Art Book Fair. A record of this leture you’ll find in two parts here and here.


Printed Matter
195 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

September 17th, 2013 from 5 to 7pm (signing & launch)

NY Art Book Fair
@ MoMA PS1
Long Island City, Queens

September 19th, 2013 from 7 to 8pm (keynote)