Since 1981, I have been creating mixed media, unique and limited edition artist’s books. I am drawn to the artist’s book form for its intimate and participatory nature since it has the potential to be a garden in the pocket or a cathedral in the palm of the hand. I make artist’s books as a place and time for contemplation. The artist’s book is an ideal format—providing for the manipulations of layers of meaning, materials, texts/fonts, sequencing of pages and the integration of image and text, all creating a three-dimensional sculpture engaging the viewer’s attention—which combines to elucidate complex topics.
Nearly all of the subjects which intrigue me eventually can be summarized as the way in which we create stories of our lives and construct our sense of home—time and place—from the natural and cultural artifacts all around us. I am interested in complete, inseparable visual integration of text and image. I am inspired by William Blake, medieval illuminated manuscripts, and such contemporary artists’ books as Tom Phillip’s A Humument and Daniel Spoerri’s An Anecdoted Topography of Chance.
The artist’s book form facilitates the faculties of delectation and imagination in the viewer and encourages contemplation, which is defined as thoughtful observation and looking with continued attention. As culture moves at an ever-faster clip in cyberspace, the intimacy of the book form to communicate and the sensual pleasure of hands over pages will continue to inspire and delight.
1971 MFA Columbia University, New York, NY
1968 BA University of New Hampshire, Durham
Sue Ann Robinson is a visual artist, educator, author and museum professional. Robinson co-founded the first graduate program in museum education at George Washington University, Washington, DC. She worked with art museum director Walter Hopps at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and has developed innovative educational programs at the Long Beach Museum of Art, where she is currently the Director of Collections. She authored essays for the Art Museum as Educator, published by the University of California, Berkeley.
Robinson exhibited her assemblage on the east coast in the 70’s and produced artist’s books at the Writer’s Center, Glen Echo Park, MD. She was employed by the Women’s Graphic Center at the Women’s Building in Los Angeles in the 80’s. She received two three-year artist-in-residence grants from the California Art Council at the Long Beach Public Library and the Long Beach Museum of Art, where she subsequently continued as Director of Education.
Robinson has received numerous fellowships, awards and grants for her artist’s books—including the Library Fellows Grant from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, two artist’s fellowships from the Arts Council of Long Beach, a C.O.L.A. grant from the City of Los Angeles and residencies at Centrum, Port Townsend, WA; Dorland Mountain Artist Colony, Temecula, CA; The Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY; and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. She has completed numerous commissions for the Long Beach Public Library, the Long Beach Symphony and the California Art Education Association.
Her artist’s books are in the collections of The National Gallery of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Getty Research Institute, Yale University, University of Washington and the Environmental Library at the University of California, Berkeley, among others. Robinson maintains her studio in Long Beach, CA.