Conceptual Books

Call for Art: Conceptual Books

Keith Smith has argued that an artists’ book can exist solely in conceptual form, not unlike the statements of Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner, or Yoko Ono. 

There are also those books that remain conceptual for practical reasons: too complicated to realize or too simple to bother, too expensive, too hard to sell, too dangerous, too many other priorities.

This project will compile conceptual books by participating artists into a single volume that will, in fact, be produced (under the imprint Partial Press). Will the printed book lend substance to these imaginary works and spark surprising juxtapositions? Or undermine its own conceptual underpinnings? Yes and yes – isn’t that exciting?

For inspiration, and to give credit where it’s due, here’s a quintessential conceptual book by Keith Smith (reproduced from Structure of the Visual Book):

The final form will depend on the submissions, but it will be a print-on-demand book with textual descriptions/statements from each artist. (Any style of writing is encouraged — deadpan or lyrical, questions or statements.) Imagine a book where every page contains a conceptual book like the one above, but each written by a different artist.

Participating artists will be able to purchase their own copies of the finished book on demand, which means the project won’t be constrained by start-up costs. Any exhibitions, spin-off projects or other news and opportunities will be communicated to participating artists. 

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm on Monday, February 28, 2022. We hope this gives time for interested artists to conceive new works if they wish (although this project is also intended to revive old projects from notes and sketchbooks).

Artists can submit to the project using this simple Google Form.

The character count is intentionally limited to 1200, so that each conceptual book will fit on one page of the printed book. If a project warrants an exception, feel free to contact us. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any other questions. 

Lastly, please share this call with anyone you think may be interested. We hope the dematerialized nature of this collaboration results in participation from people who aren’t always represented in existing book art projects.  

We look forward to receiving your books,

Levi Sherman and Carley Gomez, co-founders of Partial Press

2 thoughts on “Conceptual Books

  1. How do I enter?

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