Books On Books Collection – Susan Hiller

The Artist’s Palette Alphabet (2013)

The Artist’s Palette Alphabet (2013)

Susan Hiller

Glued board with 26 removable postcards as pages, offset and letterpress on card. H102 x W155 mm. Edition of 500 and special edition of 25 signed and numbered, with original postcard attached to the cover, of which this is #22. Photos: Books On Books Collection.

Like Hiller’s first book, Rough Sea (1976), this compilation of postcards uses the postcard as art material not only to create an artwork but also to color and shape it with this form of collective memory. By making the postcards detachable this time, she also taps into a democratic strain with artist books. Each copy of the work has the potential of being partly shared with 26 other recipients, leaving The Artist Palette Alphabet to exist only as its cover.

For a collection like Books On Books, the choice of the special edition copy showing Frankfurt-am-Main, home of the centuries-old book fair, was inevitable and lucky.

Further Reading

ABCs: Bookmarking Book Art”, Books On Books, 29 November 2015.

Marion Bataille”, Books On Books Collection, 26 March 2020.

Various articles on Hiller, including a review from Harper’s Bazaar on Hiller’s posthumous solo exhibition at Frieze Masters and Matt’s Gallery in October 2019.

Books On Books Collection – Abecedaries (in progress)

Islam Aly, 28 Letters

Marion Bataille, ABC3D

Tia Blassingame, Mourning/Warning: An Abecedarian

Joyce Cutler-Shaw, Alphabet of Bones

Jennifer Farrell, The Well-Travelled Ampersand

Russell Maret, Hungry Dutch

Scott McCarney, Alphabook 3

Cathryn Miller, L is for Lettering

Andrew Morrison, Ampersands&

Movable Books Society, A to Z: Marvels in Paper Engineering

Suzanne Moore, A Blind Alphabet

Ludwig Zeller, Alphacollage

Further Reading

ABCs“, Bookmarking Book Art, 29 November 2015.

Books On Books Collection – Marion Bataille

ABC3D (2008)

ABC3D (2008)
Marion Bataille
Hardcover, paper on board, with holograph on front cover; H187 x 147 x D44 mm; 36 pop-up or movable pages. Acquired from, 31 May 2018.

“A” to “Z”

Becoming a “B”

“C” revealing a “D”

“X” sliding to “Y”

Although this book is available at retail, it is a delicate work. With small removable protective slips of paper inserted at points of friction, it is not a work to pull off the shelf, flip through and replace casually. “Flipping through” misses too much anyway. These are pages to tease apart, peer between, draw taut with fingers and thumbs holding the opposite edges tight, and work back and forth gently to appreciate the engineering.

VUES/LUES: Un Abécédaire de Marion Bataille (2018)

VUES/LUES (2018)
Marion Bataille
Leporello: H150 × W110 mm. Stitched card: H:110 x W250 mm. Acquired from Éditions ~zeug, 13 April 2020.

Vue means “view, sight, vision/eyesight or outlook”. “Picture postcard views” in French would be vues de carte postale. Lues is the past participle of the verb lire (“to read”) in the feminine plural, so the French for “Marion’s picture postcard views can be easily read as an abecedary” would be Les vues de cartes postale de Marion peuvent être lues facilement comme une abécédaire.

Facilement (“easily”), of course, depends on reading this leporello laterally in book fashion, not laterally in landscape fashion. But is it “O” for bull ring or bull ring for “O”?

Further Reading and Viewing

ABCs: Bookmarking Book Art”, Books On Books, 29 November 2015.

ABC3D video from the publisher Albin Michel/Roaring Brook Press.

Books by Marion Bataille and Complete Book Reviews”, Publishers Weekly, 18 August 2008. Accessed 25 March 2020.

Bataille, Marion. 10 (Paris: Albin Michel, 2010).

Bataille, Marion. AOZ (Paris: Le Trois Ourses, 2016).

Bataille, Marion. Bruits (Paris: Thierry Magnier, 2016).

Bataille, Marion. Numéro (Paris: Albin Michel, 2013).