Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions

(7 customer reviews)



Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions is an in-depth chronicle of the spirit and genius of master fine artist and renowned graphic designer Norman Ives. This book fully defines Ives’s signature use of letterform fragments. These became the lyrical strokes of his abstract constructions and reconstructions.

The book is a work of art and introduces us to unseen treasures showcasing the brilliant variety and vitality of Ives’s work.

Ives’s design and art anticipates the percolating type-as-art movement popularized by Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculptures. Type-related art has since become ubiquitous in painting and sculpture, as well as other massive architectural “type works.” Ives’s work fits squarely into this genre having roots in the early 20th-century Modern movement.

Ives was part of Josef Albers’ restructured Yale School of Art which transformed the traditional teaching of graphic design, leading it towards a more demanding and thoughtful profession. Ives was a rare artist who was recognized for his innovative work in design. However, his vision extended well beyond the field of graphic design. His paintings and collages are collected by major museums: The 1967 Whitney Annual exhibition of American painting, the Guggenheim Museum, Yale University Art Gallery and various other institutions.

Additional information


John T. Hill


Foreword by Steven Heller, Preface by R. Roger Remington, with essays by Joseph Albers, Julie Curtis, Steven Heller, Leslie Katz, R. Roger Remington, Christopher Pullman, Nathan Garland, Leonard Stokes, Eugenia Joyce Fayen



Trim Size

10 3/4 x 10 1/4






Over 400

7 reviews for Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions

  1. Alison Fleischer

    This is an extraordinary book both in terms of visuals and depth of content about Norman Ives, his work, and the environment that influenced his work. It’s well-written and well-organized, offering a way to read it straight through or even skip around to various personal areas of interest. It’s a beautiful book also in terms of how the pages feel, so I appreciate the focus on the care and concern to deliver such a high-quality art and graphic design book at a fair price. Even if your recipient is not familiar with Norman Ives but is an art or design aficionado, then this would be a great gift.

  2. Judy Berry

    This book is absolutely stunning! It takes you on the fascinating journey of a multi-talented artist. I love the way it tell his story and is exceptionally written. In this way, it reads both like a biography, rich with information and stories about Norman Ives as well as serves as a coffee table book that you can flip through on an afternoon or evening, just taking in the amazing graphics and images throughout. Love it!

  3. Randall Roden

    Although I knew nothing about the artist and graphic designer, Norman Ives, before seeing this book, his work is so intriguing that it draws you in easily. The book does a great job of introducing you to Ives and giving context to his work along with some glimpses of his life.

    Ives was a protege and faculty colleague of Josef Albers at Yale. Albers was brought from Black Mountain College, NC to Yale to transform the Art Department, which came to include Albers, Walker Evans, Buckminster Fuller, John T. Hill (the author and designer of this book), and other luminaries. But, the important thing here is the masterful presentation of Ives’s artwork, in particular, his use of the letterform (that is to say, a piece of type for a particular letter or the shape of the letter itself) as the starting point or principal component of his complex and meticulously constructed images.

    Ives worked in all sorts of media—painting and collage especially, but also printing, lithography, photography, and bas relief as well. It seems as though he was a tinkerer, just messing around with stuff, and a perfectionist who would not quit until he had captured the essence he sought. He chose distinctive forms to explore, which imposed certain limitations and challenges, but it is like a poet being constrained by an established literary form which forces creativity and a solution that would not have occurred otherwise. This is highly enjoyable and satisfying material that is well worth looking at and then returning again to see what you failed to appreciate the first time.

  4. Mark Wollwage

    Please be careful when ordering from this group I ordered and paid for a copy September 29 and still have not received it. I have a confirmation email (order #3818) but no word the foundation about the status of my order. Disappointing to say the least.
    Mark Wollwage

    • Nina Gass

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are checking on this.The books did not arrive here until November. Please be assured that we will send a new book after checking our master list.

  5. Tom Coleman

    As a student I studied with both Norman Ives and John Hill. I also worked in their studios.
    This is an excellent book which is eloquently designed and beautifully tells the Norman Ives story.
    I ordered two books from Amazon. One for a former student who is especially fond of Ives and his work. The other to be treasured by me. They were sent to two different addresses and arrived in two days.

  6. Margaret Mullen (verified owner)

    This beautifully designed art book about Norman Ives’ life and body of work make it both possible to get to know the artist, his intentions, and his large contribution to the world of art. The essays take the reader on a guided tour through Ives’ progress from student to teacher to one of the most important artists in the twentieth-century modern movement. The elegantly written essays at the start of each section and beautifully reproduced artwork enable the reader to navigate Ives’ extensive journey. Whether you are looking to reacquaint yourself with Norman Ives or just beginning to learn of his contributions, the book will enchant as well as inform.

  7. Ned Irvine

    This book was given to me by a dear friend, and I was not familiar with the work of Norman Ives—his life, work and visual legacy have been an exciting discovery for me.
    As Stephen Heller attests in his foreword:
    “Ives’s constructions and reconstructions using letterforms and type are so contemporary (indeed so otherwise ahead of its time) that the book reverberates forward rather than reflects backward.”
    The book’s design is a perfect setting for the beautiful reproductions of work that span Ives’s remarkable career as a teacher at Yale and an artist and designer. The impressive range crosses between fine art and visual communication, with formal explorations that surprise and delight. This book is a must-have for scholars, designers and others interested in Ives’s important contributions to American art and design.

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