Art From Old Books

Many old books simply get thrown out—even by libraries. Artists have found a better second life for unwanted books.
book art
Jonathan Callan of London – The Defrauder.
joseebienvenugallery.com

reuse art
Jonathan Callen uses large screws to hold the books together.
joseebienvenugallery.com

books as art
Jonathan Callen – The theoretical assumptions of management, 2008.
Bio:  www.artnet.com  Kudlek van der Grinten Galerie.

reuse art
Cara Barer of Houston, Texas.
“No important books have been injured during the making of any of these photographs.”

recycled book art
Cara Barer
Whirligig 2006, 36” x 36” “I realized I owned many books that were no longer of use to me, or for that matter, anyone else. Would I ever need “Windows 95?” After soaking it in the bathtub for a few hours, it had a new shape and purpose.”  www.carabarer.com

book art
Psigologica biologica, (2012) by
Barbara Wildenboer barbarawildenboer.yolasite.com

book art
Book art by Ekaterina Panikanova, born in St. Petersburg in 1975, lives and works in Rome and St. Petersburg. www.ekaterinapanikanova.com

book art
Book art by Ekaterina Panikanova.
www.ekaterinapanikanova.com

art from old books
Matej Krén
Book Cell, Centro de Arte Moderna – Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, 2006. The artist has done numerous such book installations. www.matejkren.cz/en

art from old books
Matej Krén
Inside of above Book Cell.
The artist currently lives and works in Prague.
Photo by Ferran Moreno Lanza, www.flickr.com

book art
Daniel Essig
Asheville, North Carolina. Uses found books that have mangled spines and covers but good quality paper, and he uses that paper in his work. Often, as in this work, he uses old Bibles with exceptionally thin paper, which has a nice drape and flow. This work is a single structure that can be hung on the wall. donnaseagergallery.com

book art
Book art by an anynomous artist found in Edinburgh. From March to November of 2011, ten small book sculptures with tags saying “In support of libraries, books, words, and ideas” were found in various book-friendly locations in Scotland.

book art
Book art by an anynomous artist found in Edinburgh. From March to November of 2011, ten small book sculptures with tags saying “In support of libraries, books, words, and ideas” were found in various book-friendly locations in Scotland. schoollibrarybeyondsurvival.wordpress.com

book art
Buddha carved from books.
Image courtesy of the artist / Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
Long-Bin Chen (Taiwanese, b.1964) halsey.cofc.edu

book art
Indian Buddha carved from phone books.
By Long-Bin Chen (Taiwanese, b.1964)
artnet.com

book art
Book carvings from the culture warrior series.
Long-Bin Chen (Taiwanese, b.1964)
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
halsey.cofc.edu

book art
Book sculpture from the icon series.
Long-Bin Chen (Taiwanese, b.1964)
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
halsey.cofc.edu

recycled book art
Wim Botha
Born in 1974, graduated from the University of Pretoria in 1996, and currently lives in Cape Town. Pic source: www.piecefleet.com Dealer: www.michaelstevenson.com

recycled books art
Pablo Lehmann – Dialogues – Intricate book cut outs – which are then photographed.
www.pablolehmann.com.ar

book art
Close up of Pablo’s work.

reuse books for art
Pablo Lehmann – Ties 1
Argentinian. Professor at IUNA, Buenos Aires.
www.pablolehmann.com.ar 

book art
I Could Tell You,
2011, Paperback books, acrylic medium, 7” x 95” x 3″
Image Courtesy of the Artist and Packer Schopf.
briandettmer.com

book art
Close up of similar to above.
By Brian Dettmer, briandettmer.com

carved books
Brian Dettmer – briandettmer.com
Formerly of Chicago, now living in Atlanta.

carved books
Brian Dettmerbriandettmer.com
“I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”

carved books
Brian Dettmerbriandettmer.com

book art
Brian Dettmer – close up.
briandettmer.com

book art
Brian Dettmer – close up of door below.
briandettmer.com

book art
Emergency Exit
Paperback books with acrylic varnish, 2012.
by Brian Dettmer   briandettmer.com

book sculpture
Brian Dettmer   www.briandettmer.com
See the excellent video interview with the artist below…

book art
Censored Book, 1974.
Book tied in rope, nailed, gessoed and painted.
By Barton Benes. centerforbookarts.org

reuse book art
Biblios
Guy Laramee: www.guylaramee.com

reuse book art
Grand Larousse (2010)
Guy Laramee: www.guylaramee.com

reuse book art
Historia das americas (2009)
Guy Laramee: www.guylaramee.com

book art
Jorinde and Jorindel, 2010
by Su Blackwell. sublackwell.co.uk

book sculpture
Book Sculpture, Drowning from Obsession
By Thomas Wightman, www.thomaswightman.co.uk

book art
Book Sculpture, Derailing my train of Thought
By Thomas Wightman, thomaswightman.co.uk

book art
Book Sculpture Derailing my train of Thought, 2013.
By Thomas Wightman, thomaswightman.co.uk

book art
An altered book or “book excavation” Skulduggery by James Allen.
“I opened this tome of DC Comics somewhere in the middle, laid it flat, and cut down through the pages of both the front and back covers. Through the right panel we see the distant past and as the pages go deeper we see more and more recent images. While the left panel shows the most recent images and the deeper pages reveal images from further in the past. In this way the pages of the book show a condensed history of all the 75 years of DC Comics all in one vignette.” 23sandy.com

book art
Herder 9 by Alexander Korzer-Robinson
cut encyclopedia, 1930, 25 x 17 x 6cm.
White space and words cut away, “an encyclopedia can become a window into an alternate world, much like lived reality becomes its alternate in remembered experience. These books, having been stripped of their utilitarian value by the passage of time, regain new purpose.” alexanderkorzerrobinson.co.uk

art from old books
Rune Guneriussen – Norway
It´s common knowledge, 2009, edition of 5+1, 187cmx150cm, c-print
www.runeguneriussen.no

Maurizio Cattelan
Maurizio Cattelan
Oh Mariana, Mariana, Mariana
www.nymag.com

art from old books
Robert The
‘Reader’s Digest’ Cake frosted with wax, 1998.
www.blogs.walkerart.org  Walker Art Center Library’s collection.

art from old books
Robeert The
Britannaca Book Broom
www.beautifullife.info

art from old books
Robert The
‘Poetic Justice’
www.bookgun.com

paper art
White Undulation by Amy Genser
Rolled paper.
www.amygenser.com

art from books
Nick Georgiou
Bon Papier.
www.myhumancomputer.blogspot.com

old book painting
Nick Georgiou
The Happy Shaman
www.myhumancomputer.blogspot.com

old book art
Nick Georgiou
The Meeting (in Nick’s Studio) of newspaper people.
www.myhumancomputer.blogspot.com

painting with books
Nick Georgiou
Of Queens, NY – currently living in Tucson, AZ
Nick says his art is inspired by the death of the printed word.
www.myhumancomputer.blogspot.com

book art
The Librarian, 1960, George Herms.
Wooden box, papers, books, loving cup, and painted stool. 57 x 63 x 21 in. Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Molly Barnes. © George Herms. blogs.getty.edu

art from old books
Jacqueline Rush Lee
‘Stack’ 50″ high, from the Volume series created in 2000. The books are wet, dried, then screwed together into organic and geometric forms.
www.jacquelinerushlee.com

recycled book art
Jacqueline Rush Lee
Slice Trio, from the Volumes series 2001, created in 2000.
www.jacquelinerushlee.com

books as art
Alicia Martin
Spanish – Galleria Galica, Italy.
www.galica.it

books as art
Alicia Martin
Spanish.
www.blipoint.com

reused books art
Mike Stilkey
Of Los Angeles. Source. www.mikestilkey.com

art from old books
Mike Stilkey
Of Los Angeles.
mikestilkey.com

reuse of old books
Mike Stilkey   The Pipe 
2009, ink, colored pencil and lacquer on vintage book pages, 33×24 inches

www.mikestilkey.com

recycled book art
Alex Queral
Carves faces into phonebooks.
Born in Cuba, received an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. His works have been exhibited in Canada, England, Mexico and throughout the U.S..
www.projectsgallery.com

art from old books
Yuken Teruya
Based in New York, the artist constructs intricate paper cuttings with various materials such as toilet paper rolls and paper shopping bags. His ideas often reflect the life and history of Okinawa, his homeland.
www.yukenteruyastudio.com

vases from old books
Book Vases by Laura Cahill
Laura uses a band saw – then inserts glass tubes inside for the water. She says “I discovered that the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle.”
Via www.dezeen.com

book art
Waldo Lee, aka WALEE – digital artist/photographer – plays some photoshop games.  www.walee.com

recycled books
Book Bow Tie. Bind some pages in the centre with a piece of leather or fabric. via: no-aesthetic.tumblr.com

book art
Origami Books
Just unfold and read! By Isaac Salazar www.flickr.com/photos/bookofart


Brian Dettmer
TED Video – worth a watch!

Long-Bin Chen
College of Charleston — 2013 Spoleto Festival USA.
Excellent video of sanding and nailing books here: youtube.com

BookLovers – check out this amazing site: bookshelfporn.com

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Author: keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building.

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28 comments

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1

Thanks for nice photos, really enjoyed. Appreciate your concept, taste and pretty collections.

2

Thanks for gathering these images. Beautiful work, great concept. Would love to attend an exhibit of works such as these.

3

Very creative. Fascinating. Fourth dimensional craft. Love it all!

4

HEY JUST A BIG SHOUT OUT TO SAY, I LOVE WHAT YOU DID WITH YOUR INSPIRATION! THANK YOU FOR SHARING! <3 DS

5

interesting! At first, I was shocked to see that many books going, but $ stores are packed with them and trash cans too throughout America and the world. Inspiring to see what free time can achieve with lots of lost knowledge

6

Amazing - so creative - I started the page by thinking this is more installation work and not practical but ended up thinking 'what fun'! I wish I was so clever!

7
Patrice Bauer-Collins

WOW! Anything i can readily think of to say bout this sounds so trite when I read what I have written! Your creativity is amazing. T have thought of all the various ways in which you've used these books is mind-boggling! Your art works are truly inspiring and thought-provoking.

I think I'LL START OUT WITH A COFFEE TABLE!

8
Choi to the World

Living in a family of librarians I was told that a book should never be thrown away. But what do you do with a book that has done its time? This is inspiring and amazing a great use for old, but as we seen here, never useless books. Books in themselves are beautiful objects regarless of what is written inside and this just utilizes their form to the next level. Thanks for this compilation of beautiful book art.

9

I'm completely awed...They're all magnificent.

10

What a great gallery of book art. I love it! The images kept getting more and more intriguing.

Thanks for putting this together. Book love at its best!

11

Thomas Allen's 'Paper Cuts'

http://thomasallenonline.com/

12
Christopher Swift

While Martej Kren's work is very impressive, the carved head is infact Wim Botha's - a South African artist:

http://www.michaelstevenson.com/contemporary/exhibitions/botha/index2009.htm

Check it out.

13
sandy wischnewsky

wow, this adds a whole new twist to my library. I'm so impressed!

14

these creations are example of extreme artistic passion

Just superb.

sell used textbooks

15

I always wonder what to do with the books we can't use at the Friends of the Library sorting garage. Now I only have may imagaination to limit me.

16

What a glorious site! Thanks

17
Jacqueline Rush Lee

Thank you for showcasing my work. I always appreciate it when bloggers take the time to peruse artworks and post inspirational works. I'd like to add that the works that you posted above are from my VOLUMES series from 2001, originally created in 2000. These are books that were wet, dried, then screwed together into organic and geometric forms. As in most of my work the colored edges from the inks are showcased, concepts and techniques that continue into my works of today. I thought I'd point out the dates as I think it's important to include them with the work as it gives the viewer the perspective of a timeline of who created what, when and why. Thanks! Jacqueline (Rush Lee)

18

I didn't know where to find this info then kboaom it was here.

19

Wow! Exciting! Came to this by accident. Thank you for your work.

20
Janet Battaglio

As an artist and collector of books I was absolutely thrilled to see so many creative book ideas together in one collection of images...the work is abosolutely wonderful and thought provoking...I am currently helping a friend organize her home and can't wait to share some of these images with her on what we can do with all those books she dosen't want to part with. She collects art so why not! I have seen wood piles stacked differently to identify the owner so moving from this and with your ideas we may build some of that new furniture she wants out of books....thanks for the inspriration.....at the very least I will be contacting for permission to reproduce a print one of these ideas to hang as a reminder to my fellow hoarders!!!!

21

This is possibly the best webstie ive ever come across for art. So inspirational and full of personality. When you think it cant get better it does! really enjoyed the #Art from old books. Brilliant.

22

Marvelous page of book art

23

Looking for pictures of people made out of books

24

Love it love it love it!!!! Inspirational.

25

What ingenius creations-

26

out of this world -- +then some!

Man's ever-expanding creativity dazzles+inspires!!!

27

Thanks--this video is just great!

28
Jesús Lafont Mateo

Tengo un proyecto relacionado con el aprovechamiento de libros como base de obras artísticas, creando una empresa de economía social, capaz de dar puestos de trabajo a jóvenes artistas, sin interés material por mi parte.

Agradeceré cuanta información puedan darme quienes tengan experiencia en estas técnicas, admitiendo su posible colaboración en el proyecto. Gracias y un cordial saludo.