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, D.C. She authored essays for The Art Museum as Educator, published by the University of CA, Berkeley. In over 30 years at the Long Beach Museum of Art, she has been the Artist-in-Residence, the Director of Education, the Director of Collections and Exhibitions and is now Curator Emerita.
Robinson exhibited her assemblages on the east coast in the 70’s and produced artist’s books at the Writer’s Center in Maryland. She was employed at the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles in the 80’s and also received two three-year artist-in-residence grants from the California Arts Council.
Robinson has received numerous fellowships, awards and grants for her artist’s books from the Library Fellows Grant from the National Museum of Women in the Arts; two artist’s fellowships from the Arts Council of Long Beach, CA; and a C.O.L.A. fellowship from the City of Los Angeles as well as residencies at Centrum, Port Townsend, WA; Dorland Mountain Colony, Temecula, CA; The Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY; and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY. She is the recipient of a Faculty Grant from California State University Long Beach, where she currently teaches Artist Books and Paper Making.
Her books are in the collections of The National Gallery of Art, The Getty Research Institute, Yale University, University of Washington and the Environmental Library at UC Berkeley, among others. Her artist books were included in The World From Here Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists, The Getty Research Institute publication, Los Angeles. She maintains her studio in Long Beach, CA.