An artist’s novel is an artwork dependent on the structure of a novel. Even though it might relate to a literary tradition, it is produced in the context of the visual arts. Eminently a text-based medium, it always appears occupying a central position in art projects where visual elements are comprised that exist in relation to, but not inside the artist’s novel. Because it is a narrative fiction work, the artist’s novel (and, by extension, the art project it belongs to) privileges the use of faculties such as imagination and identification. It is predicated on immersion, it favours the deceleration of artistic experience and the protracted engagement of the spectator.
Although there exist precedents in the work of Henry J. Darger and Guy de Cointet, the most salient examples have appeared roughly in the last twenty years by Gerry Bibby, Liam Gillick, Goldin+Senneby, Jill Magid, Mai-Thu Perret, Cheng Ran, Roee Rosen, Lindsay Seers, Benjamin Seror, Alexandre Singh, and Cally Spooner, among others.
Currently, the only book published dealing with the subject of the artist's novel is the anthology Artist Novels. Among other resources, it contains the only existing bibliography of artists' novels, which is also published and updated in an online version. M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp) holds the first collection of artists' novels.
- Fusco, Maria (2010). "How Hard It Is To Die". Metropolis M. 31, no. 2: 99–101.
- Darger, Henry J. The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Chicago: Unpublished manuscript. Search this book on
- de Cointet, Guy (1973). Espahor ledet ko uluner!. Los Angeles: Self-published. Search this book on
- Bibby, Gerry (2014). The Drumhead. Berlin: Sternberg Press. Search this book on
- Gillick, Liam (2009). All Books. London: Book Works. Search this book on
- Goldin+Senneby (2015). Headless. Berlin: Sternberg Press. Search this book on
- Magid, Jill (2010). Becoming Tarden. Minneapolis: Print Craft. Search this book on
- Perret, Mai-Thu (2008). The Crystal Frontier. Zurich: JRP|Ringier. Search this book on
- Ran, Cheng (2013). Circadian Rhythm. Beijing-Lucerne: Galerie Urs Meile. Search this book on
- Rosen, Roee (2009). Sweet Sweat. Berlin/Antwerp: Sternberg Press/Extra City, Center for Contemporary Art. Search this book on
- Seers, Lindsay (2009). It Has To Be This Way. London: Matt’s Gallery. Search this book on
- Seror, Benjamin (2015). Mime Radio. Amsterdam/Berlin/Brussels, Paris: Kunstverein Publishing/Sternberg Press/BAT éditions. Search this book on
- Singh, Alexandre (2008). The Marque of The Third Stripe. New York/Rome: Preromanbritain/Monitor Gallery. Search this book on
- Spooner, Cally (2013). Collapsing in Parts. Birmingham/Milan: International Project Space/Mousse Publishing. Search this book on
- Maroto, David; Zielińska, Joanna (2015). Artist Novels. Berlin/Krakow: Sternberg Press/Cricoteka. Search this book on
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