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JAB1 – JAB5 on this page, keep scrolling down.

JAB1, spring 1994, a modest 12 pages—offset printed on the Hamada at SoHo Services in NYC by BF. Design by BF.

The design of JAB1 shows the codex form revealing its content over time as the pages turn–especially in the sequence of large text on the verso pages:






This text comes from a Burma Shave roadside advertisement and is central to the ideas in Joe Elliot's essay:

"Burma-Vita, the company that from1927-1963 brought us roadside verses singing the praises of Burma-Shave, a brushless cream, found that a jingle broken down into a sequence of signs produced a greater stir than that jingle could on a single sign. Like turning a page, the space between signs allowed the viewer room to think, anticipate, seek, and find, and the sequence made each partial verse, each sign, each page necessary to look at."


Table of Contents


JAB1_all pages_.jpg

 *  asks “Why is Dr. Zizmor Smiling?

Dr. Zizmor is smiling because he is a board certified. He is smiling because he can treat all your skin and hair problems. He is smiling because if he showed his other face you might not want him to treat all your skin and hair problems.

• ReViewing the Subway as a Book *

— Joe Elliot

• Artists’ Books / Book-like Objects

— Brad Freeman


Johanna Drucker, Sprouts & (Dixie) MALEVICH


Janet Zweig, Invention and Revision, 1991

PS 1, Brooklyn

Computer driven kinetic sculpture

Art Be All.png

Brad Freeman, ART. BE ALL YOU CAN BE.

insert in JAB1


guaranteed to change your consciousness

Melissa Dawn Watson, JAB logo



JAB2, fall 1994, 16 pages, offset printed by BF on the Heidelberg KORD at Nexus Press in Atlanta.


Table of Contents

• The Public Life of Artists’ Books: Questions of Identity
—Johanna Drucker

• Calendar-Art: Scenes from the Life of Raja Ravi Varma
—Michael Kasper



Keith Smith

Rochester, NY, July, 1994


"Calendar-Art: Scenes from the Life of Raja Ravi Varma"

by Michael Kasper


Scott McCarney

INDEX to the Encyclopedia McCarney. 1994


Printing JAB2 at Nexus Press on the Heidelberg KORD

July, 1994

BF and Chad Latz

JAB3, spring 1995, 32 pages, printed on the Solna at Center for Editions, SUNY Purchase, NY by BF. Thanks to Phil Zimmermann, Warren Lehrer, Clif Meador, and all the students and faculty at SUNY Purchase.


Table of Contents

• JAB Journeys Before the Glue Factory: Theorizing Production
—Brad Freeman

• The Dungeon of the Temple
—Clifton Meador

• Artists’ Statements
—Helen Douglas and Telfer Stokes

• Why A Book Is Not A Painting
—Susan Bee

• Back to Basics:
3 Primers from Granary Books
—Joe Elliot

• Notes from JAB International Roving Reporter, Johanna Drucker, in Paris at “The First Artistbook [sic] International” or “1er Salon International du Livre d’Artiste, December 4, 1994

• JAB: An Identity Crisis
—Douglas Beube, Artist/Curator

• Johanna Drucker responds



Joanne Paschall, Nexus Press, 1994



Water on the Border, 1994
Telfer Stokes and Helen Douglas



Seana Biondollilo

artist's pages, JAB3

Joe Elliot and Anne Noonan—SoHo Letterpress

1994, photo–BF


JAB4, fall 1995, 32 pages, printed on the Solna offset press at Center for Editions, SUNY Purchase, NY by BF.


Clifton Meador designed/letterpress printed the cover at Hatch Show Print, Nashville. So beautiful.


Table of Contents

• All Dressed Up With No Place To Go:

The Failure of Artists’ Books
—Janet Zweig

• Critical Necessities
—Johanna Drucker

• A Few Observations
—Philip Zimmermann

• Interview with Joan Lyons
—Brad Freeman

• A Mass Produced Product of High Order
—Anne Moeglin-Delcroix

• Bertrand Dorny at the Musée Pompidou
—Renée Riese Hubert

• from Language: A User’s Manual
—Darren Wershler-Henry

• Letter to the Editor
—Clive Phillpot

• Rambling Rant: Travels, Video, Typophiles . . . Books?
—Brad Freeman

• Hatch Show Print
—Clifton Meador



Clifton Meador, JAB4 cover - back & front, 1995


Interview with Joan Lyons



"We acquired an 11” x 17” Chief offset press from somebody’s garage in 1972. It was an impossible old Chief as a matter of fact. I started running the press in the fall of 72 because it was there and there was nobody else interested in doing presswork. I learned from the manual and held the press together with rubber bands and other improvisations. John Wood, who Nathan [Lyons] and I studied with at Alfred University, taught classes at VSW those first couple of years and produced some group books with students. Without going into the whole history of the Workshop, it is evident that the notion of printing books was part of it early on, Nathan had developed an active publishing program as Associate Director of the George Eastman House in the 60s and a press was part of his plan for VSW."


"Critical Necessities"

Johanna Drucker

"To clarify: JAB believes that establishing critical distinctions between forms of artistic production is a means of assessing the conceptual terms on which work is produced, as well as identifying the location for which it is making a bid within mainstream arts. These seem like essential aspects of developing a sophisticated critical dialogue about artists’ books, and this is JAB’s major goal.

To move artists’ books out of the artsy-craftsy ghetto into which they have drifted and to insert artists’ books into contemporary arts, it seems essential to take seriously the terms on which books are conceptualized as an artistic form–especially from within the networks of artists committed to books as their primary medium. That means making distinctions between what is and isn’t a book as well as what makes an interesting and vital work and what doesn’t."

A Mass-Produced Product of High Order

Anne Moeglin-Delcroix


“I have no sympathy for the whole range of hand-printed books, however sincere they might be . . . I am not trying to make a precious, limited-edition book, but a mass-produced product of high order.” A mass produced product of high order: this is the way in which Ed Ruscha, in 1965, described the spirit behind his books. The first one, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, published by him two years before, had already established the defining characteristics of what would become the artist’s book, first by making use of the production techniques of ordinary books (unlimited edition, low sale price, modest format, photographic reproductions, offset printing) and second by allowing an artist to have full control over the work.

Edward Ruscha to John Coplans, “Concerning Various Small Fires: Edward Ruscha Discusses His Perplexing Publications,” Artforum, 3. no. 5 (February 1965): 25.


Ed Ruscha, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963

JAB4_inside_cover copy.jpg

Helen Douglas, Johanna Drucker, Telfer Stokes
The Borders, Scotland, photo & polymer letterpress–BF
JAB4 inside cover, 1995


JAB5, spring 1996, 32 pages, printed on the Solna at Center for Editions, SUNY Purchase, NY by BF. Sean Biondolillo designed the cover and assisted with the printing.


Table of Contents

• Letter From Lower Broadway
—Joe Elliot

• Interview with Simon Cutts and Erica Van Horn
—Johanna Drucker

• Ephemeral as Thought: Didier Mathieu - Sixtus Editions
—Johanna Drucker

• Report from London
—Tanya Peixoto

• Look Who’s Talking: The Portrait Series by Warren Lehrer
—Paul Zelevansky

• Documentary Photography in Books: a Brief Glance
—Brad Freeman

• The Names Have Been Changed to Protect . . .
—Gary Sullivan, snapshots by Marta Deike

• The Rise of the Book in the Wake of the Rain
—Jim Trissel

• Buy More Artists’ Books
—Carol Barton



Sean Biondolillo,

JAB5 cover - back & front, 1996

JAB5 _cover inside_small.jpg

Sean Biondolillo,

JAB5 inside cover front & back, 1996


Joe Elliot

“Letter from Lower Broadway”


Skúta Helgason, Keflavik Airport,1995


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