Here is a list of Fred's currently available artists' books. Click on any title to view details and purchasing information:
- Gardening: An Ecological Approach (2009)
- Garden Notes: Thoughts on Gardening, Ecology, and Sustainability (2015)
- Fox Sense I: A View of Humans and Their Environment (24th anniversary edition) (1992-2016)
- A Small Book of Winter Animals (2015)
Fred is continually working to promote the mission of his Mountain Bear Ink operation through his writing and his art--words and images. One of his activities is the creation of artists' books. An artist's book is a unique genre of visual art whereby the author/artist actually creates the book. With a conventional author and a commercial book, the author, in reality, only writes the text. Someone else makes the book. With artists' books, the author not only writes the text (if there is one), but also may design, illustrate, and bind the book. Sometimes the author may also print the book. In this way, the author creates a handmade art object that may also serve various utilitarian (information) and aesthetic (visual) roles. We describe these ideas in more detail below.
ARTISTS' BOOKS: AN INTRODUCTION
Artists’ books represent a unique genre of art that combines an emphasis on visual information (words and/or images) and a three-dimensional format—a book, folder, box, or sculpture..
There are few rules—only that the creator of the object executes all (or most) of the operations required to produce the “book.” The author/artist may design, write, illustrate, construct, and market the object. With this fundamental distinction, artist’ books differ from commercial books.
Conventional authors contribute words and then turn their projects over to the publisher who designs, manufactures and sells the book. Ulisis Carrion, in "The New Art of Making Books" (from Joan Lyons, 1985, Artists' Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, Gibbs Smith, publisher), points out:
A writer, contrary to the popular opinion, does not write books. A writer writes texts.
Artist’s books are typically “one-person” projects, and the books may be issued singularly or in small editions. They are vestiges of creative, democratic, independent, and unrestrained communication.
FRED MONTAGUE’S ARTISTS’ BOOKS (ISSUED UNDER THE MOUNTAIN BEAR INK IMPRINT)
Fred’s books represent true artists’ books and “hybrid” artists’ books. His works include a one-of-a-kind book/sculpture piece (a true artist’s book) that consists of a hand-bound volume titled Wildness: Complete Works, Last Edition that is sewn closed and mounted as a sculpture.
His most ambitious project, Rambling, is an 88-page hard-cover book that he wrote, illustrated, designed, printed on his 1913 letterpress, and hand-bound (hard cover) in a limited edition. Two of his books, Leaves and Garden Grace, consist of hand-bound limited edition collections of illustrations-- each page hand-drawn.
His “hybrid” artists’ books appear in larger editions that he writes, illustrates, and designs. Gardening: An Ecological Approach is an example, and he hand-lettered the pages of the original text. Others he hand-binds in limited, signed and numbered, first editions of 88 to 8,800 books. These include Garden Notes, Fox Sense I, and A Small Book of Winter Animals. The larger edition sizes reflect Fred’s desire to offer his conservation and environmental commentary to as many people as possible in a collectable book at an affordable price.
For more information see individual book entries above.