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JUDITH HOFFBERG


Certainly what changed my life were my first encounters with artists’ books at the Pasadena Art Museum's bookshop. The manager of the bookshop took chances with new publications by artists in the 1960s, and Ed Ruscha's books were there loud and clear. For $2.50 I bought my first artist book. My life has never been the same. That book and many others that I found near the cash register at Flax or in that very same shop set me on the mission of collecting, musing, meditating, mediating, and curating exhibitions throughout the world. As a result, my life has been dedicated and devoted to artists who make books, and the likes of Dick Higgins, Ed Ruscha and Dieter Roth have become my true friends, my mentors, and my compass points over the course of years.

Certainly, Ruscha is truly Mr. L.A., but he took his books on the road and made himself the best distribution system. Higgins of the Something Else Press and Roth, the late eclectic genius, showed the way to intersect the media, to document the happenings, and to conceptualize ideas which ordinarily were on the walls of museums, but now could be carried off in book form to fill the shelves of many libraries, so that the portable museum was in the form of books.