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Artist's book - Real lush

Real lush

  • Object:

    Artist's book

  • Place of origin:

    Virginia (published)

  • Date:

    1981 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Osborn, Kevin (artist)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

The rhomboid shape of this book is a striking example of a structure that manipulates the way that the viewer experiences the book. ‘Real lush’ is over 2 inches thick and comprises 315 leaves bolted together within a stiff red cover. The positioning of the bolts and the resulting tight, angle binding was intended to help flip open the book, but also to hide a good proportion of the book in the spine. For Osborn books are about revelation and concealment.

‘Real lush’ is a largely visual work with perceptible sequences of images, overprinted layer upon layer. Individual elements of imagery reappear as visual refrains throughout the work. Some sequences of images depict movement: a man running from left to right, or a bird flying off the page. The book paraphrases the experience of growing up in a close-knit, vocal, voluminous family.

Although the book can be perused slowly and deliberately, page by page, its tactile structure lends itself emphatically to flipping through it at breakneck speed, the viewer experiencing a dynamic onslaught of sensory overload.

Physical description

Artist's book incorporating a montage of recycled magazine ads, photos and graphics - printed offset.

Features an unusual angle binding, intended both to help flip open the book, but also to hide a good percentage of the book in the spine. Each leaf measures 10 x 14 cm. but the book is bound at a slant to form a rhomboidal solid.

Limited ed. of 305 copies.

640 pages all illustrated, some colour

Place of Origin

Virginia (published)


1981 (published)


Osborn, Kevin (artist)


Height: 10 cm

Descriptive line

Artist's book, 'Real lush', by Kevin Osborn, Virginia, 1981


Artists' Books; National Art Library


National Art Library

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