Frank Turek’s Altered Book Assemblage Art

self-portrait of Frank Turek inside one of his book assemblage artworksI create art pieces using published hardcover books as raw material. This idea has been around for a while, but it has only been in recent decades that the term ‘altered book’ has come into use, as has the acceptance of this genre into the art world. Every artist’s approaches to altered books differs depending on the artist’s craft techniques as well as their conceptualization of just what constitutes an altered book. As in any art medium there are almost as many ways of doing it as there are artists creating them.

My technique is in the margins of the dominant trend in altered book art. Most altered book artists will utilize the existing book as a whole as the source material. For them, the pages and their manipulation become the focal point of the piece. My approach is to gut the pages entirely and use only the book’s cover; the pages are replaced by a framed box containing the contents of the assemblage. At this point it becomes not so much an altered book but a book cover as container for a boxed assemblage. Aspects of more conventional altered book art do come through for instance, the cover’s inner liner is almost always re-covered and the collage elements, illustrations and text, predominantly come from other books.

Many of these book assemblages have been exhibited in the past. There are no present or future plans to exhibit these art pieces and the actual works are now sequestered away. This website is the one place where you are able to at least see images of them.

While focuses on my book pieces, my other boxed assemblage artwork can be seen at

~ Frank Turek