Two Of Hearts, 2002-04
Brown cover with 2 photos of man with glitter heart in background. Unique $1250


Circle Dots, 2002-04
Black cover with circle pattern made of dots. Unique $1100

Cognac Travel Wallet, 2002-04
Small book cover made from leather travel wallet. Unique $650


Cork covered book made from a handbag. Unique $900.


Skinny Fur, 
Small faux fur covered book. Unique $550


Beaded Pearl, 2002-04
Beaded book cover made from a handbag. $750


Travel Bag, 2002-04
Large book cover made from large travel bag coffee/cognac color, with original collages Unique. $2500


Box, 2002
Bound artist books, original collages, leather case, 10 x 10 x 10 inches, unique. $5000 (Contact Gallery)



Sparkle, 2006
Sequin covered artist’s book of original collages, 12 x 9 x 3 inches. $1300

7a.Sparkle_Karl Mann.



Suede, 2006
Suede fabric covered artist’s book of original collages, 9.5 x 8.5 x 2.5 inches. $1300

8a.Suede_Karl Mann.

8b.Suede_Karl Mann.



Patchwork, 2001
Quilted patchwork fabric covered artist’s book of original collages, 12 x 11 x 1.5. $900
2a.Patchwork_Karl Mann

2b.Patchwork_Karl Mann.



Wicker, 2007
Artist’s book of original collages with Wicker covers, 9 x 11.5 x 3 inches. $1000

5a.Wicker_Karl Mann

5b.Wicker_Karl Mann.

Black Briefcase, 2002
Briefcase bound artist book, original collages, 15 x 11 x 2 inches, unique. $1100



Brown Purse, 2003
Leather purse bound artist book, original collages, 12 x 9 x 5 inches, unique. $1100



Checkerboard, 2002-04
Black and white faux leather checkerboard cover. Unique $1250



Grey Purse, 2005
Purse bound artist book, original collages, 10 x 9 x 3 inches, unique. $900



Leather case bound artist book, original collages, 9 x 5 x 2 inches, unique. $700



Black Fur + Pearl, 2004
Artist’s Book of original collages covered in fur, 16 x 14 x 2 inches. $700
3a.Black Fur+Pearl_Karl Mann.

3b.Black Fur + Pearl_Karl Mann.



Brown Snaps, 2005
leather bound book of original collages, 11 x 10 x 2 inches, unique. $1200




Blue Marble, 2000
Wallet bound artist’s book of original collages, 11 x 9.5 x 1.5 inches. $500

4a.Blue Marble_Karl Mann.

4b.Blue Marble_Karl Mann.



White clutch, 2002
Clutch purse bound artist book, original collages, 7 x 5 x 2 inches, unique. $800


Black + TAN, 2004
Leather bound artist’s book of original collages, 10 x 6 x 4.5 inches. $1200
1a.Black+TAN_Karl Mann

1b.Black+TAN_Karl Mann


Black Clutch, 2004
Clutch purse bound artist book, original collages, 6 x 6 x 2 inches, unique. $850




Large Old Brown, 2003
Leather bound artist’s book of original collages, 12 x 10 x 4 inches. $1500

6a.Large Old Brown_Karl Mann.

6b.Large Old Brown_Karl Mann.





Karl Mann had been investigating collage for more than three decades when he turned his attention to creating hand-made books in the late 1990s. These books radicalized his approach to image making even as they made more explicit and elaborate reference to the transmission of images and their narrative readings. Mann had originally pursued a sculptural collage aesthetic closer in spirit to assemblage art, which he also subsequently developed. With the book format, he chose to deal with images exclusively, combining them according to their psychological suggestiveness and the strong cultural associations they carried. All his imagery is appropriated from books, magazines, and other print sources. The elements are combined according to a rigorous design sense and a desire to produce shocking juxtapositions that open up psychic, political and cultural narratives. These provocations are leavened with a good deal of humor. Mann has given special attention to the covers of these books, each one referencing through its materials and size a particular set of associations. The choice to bind the book in the carcass of a patent leather purse or in denim or faux fir or in massive boards covered by industrial canvas echoes the camp strategies of Pop art and fashion but it also emphasizes the found, recycled character of his images and beyond that of all communication. We are inundated with a sea of images, a chaos of forms promising significance. Karl Mann’s books reconvene those images as poignant, open-ended narratives and unite them in bindings that encourage us to consult their contents as oracles, as repositories of a wisdom we can neither fully decipher nor resist.


Karl Mann was born in Chicago in 1940. At an early age he was a resident of an orphanage where he remained until his high school years. His graduation marked the end of his formal schooling and initiated an extended period of crisscrossing the country between Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, where he finally settled. He held a series of part time jobs and lived hand to mouth, but it was during this period that he began making mosaics, which would form the foundation for the assemblage aesthetic that he has developed throughout his life. In the 1960s he met Jack Lenor Larsen and under his inspiration began a successful career in interior design. His firm, Karl Mann Associates, pioneered a collage approach to interior design groupings that earned widespread recognition. At the same time, he continued to pursue his own art, in sculpture, collage and hand-made collage books. Entirely self-taught, Mann has followed a distinctive artistic path, combining elements of the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell, Hannah Hoch and others in order to express the chaos and beauty of contemporary life. Mann’s work has won critical praise and been the subject of important gallery exhibitions. His work is in many private collections. He lives in New York and Bridgehampton with his life partner, the distinguished painter Hector Leonardi.

Karl Mann Website