Donated by Ian Wallace, a Vancouver-based, internationally renowned painter, photographer and art historian, the gift builds upon the collections’ thematic strength in the postwar, avant-garde practices of Conceptual, Fluxus and Performance Art.
Wallace taught at Emily Carr for many years and during that time developed a personal collection of artists’ books, many dating from the 1960s to 1980s and often produced by prominent Canadian, American and international artists. Significant works include those by Lawrence Weiner, Chris Burden, Joseph Kosuth, Michael Snow, Laurie Anderson, Richard Prince, Iain Baxter, and Ken Lum. Of special interest are rare sound recordings by conceptual artist, Jack Goldstein, and also several artists’ books produced collaboratively with Art Metropole, Canada’s first artist-run-center dedicated to the production and distribution of artists’ books.
Works previously acquired by Ian Wallace in the 1980s set the original foundation for the Library’s artists’ book collection. The collection has continued to grow over the course of the following decade. Artists’ books are considered works of art in themselves. They are often unique, sometimes multiples or limited editions. The collection exemplifies a diversity of approaches to the conceptualization of the artists’ book and often challenges traditional notions of the book form.
The Library is committed to the preservation and growth of this collection while making it accessible. The artists’ books have been catalogued and are searchable by the series title “Ian Wallace Collection,” in the catalogue. Please ask for artists’ books at the Reference Desk. They can only be viewed in the library.