The artist's book is not a book of art is a work of art .
This statement indicates the artistic quality of the artist's book with the fundamental distinction might be called " ordinary book " .
The artist's book is a work of art , conceived and performed by a visual artist in whole or , in the case of published work , with full control over the final outcome of the issue.
The commonplace book is an industrial product that may contain literary artworks or illustrations of works of art, but is not intended as a work of art.
The artist's book is a means of expression that began in the second half of the s . XX , with many precedents in the history of culture.

Among the closest background : Mallarme and Apollinaire Poets , the Italian Futurists , the Dadaists and the Russian constructivists , all linked to the breakdown of the text and the traditional page . Marcel Duchamp , linked to Dada and Surrealist movements thousand innovative artistic ideas . The new ways of conceiving the surrealist objects and works of concrete and visual poets of the 60s , for his insights text and artistic value of the page.

With this experimentation , the book addresses a ¬ Scripture is not only literary , is plastic . He begins to use this medium , traditional vehicles as literary texts ¬ or theoretical , for another use : the artistic experimentation .

The artists take the format " book" as the basis of new artistic pursuits , but also the traditional format , choose any of the historical supports transmission of ideas, in a review of the history of books and writing .

The era of the artist's book as an independent means of artistic expression outside the traditional book, with works by Ruscha , who begin this current concept artist book , according to historian Anne Moeglin - Delcroix ( Esthetique du livre d' artiste . Nationelle Bibliothèque de France , Paris, 1997 ) . Become aware of the book as an artistic entity itself , creating a new independent genre within the Fine Arts , which will , therefore , a genre of contemporary art with new parameters , totally different from painting , sculpture or literary presented in standard books .

Artists' books are thus halfway between traditional media writing and conventional artistic works (painting , sculpture , etc. . ) . The approach to one side or the other of this spectrum will bring us to the different types of artist's book , sometimes close to the textual and other pictorial or sculptural completely .

The fully interdisciplinary character artist book offers endless possibilities with combinatorial artistic techniques , crafts , texts, etc. . , Allowing great creative freedom.

The sequence of paged ¬ ciation with the introduction of the time factor in the work and play participatory reader / handle , taken from the book will be common components . Artist adds book while the component sensitive : tactile , olfactory , by the materials used and manipulated. Adopts also other qualities common books : easy handling and portability, and in the case of broad or open editions , the large capacity broadcaster has historically led to the book to be the cornerstone in the cultural propagation , as we used the Fluxus movement .

These characteristics result in a huge variety of works . The attempt to label , classify or order , a vast world of artists' books , it seems an impossible task, and indeed, may be a way to subtract the creative freedom that allows each work its own world , but seems that an elementary attempt at classification could clarify such different results and at the same time raising awareness of the broad picture presented .

Artists' books are not usually located within the publishing field , are immersed in the art market as paintings and sculptures , but may participate in both circuits.