Elisabetta Gut

Born 1934

Endowed with an aura of originality and poetic whimsy, Elisabetta Gut’s book objects must be seen rather than read; they articulate her most intimate emotions, fleeting moods, and other sensory expressions. 

Born in Rome to a Swiss father and Italian mother, Gut has lived in Italy most of her life. During World War II, to protect her from the horrors of war, her parents sent her to Switzerland. The trauma of separation gravely affected her behavior, and after returning to Rome in 1945, she had difficulty communicating with people.

In 1964 she created her first book-object, Diario, an assemblage. Since then, book-objects, object-poems, and artists’ books that reflect beauty, sadness, and the fragility of life have become her focus. Many of Gut’s work are visual representations of poetry, music, and art.

A uniqueness and tactile physicality define Gut’s book-objects. The artist frequently incorporates organic matter such as leaves, seeds, and wood. “The vein of a leaf, flowers following the journey of the sun, thin blades of grass blown by the wind are for me the ancient alphabets of unknown languages,” she says.

She is the recipient of many Italian and international prizes and her work can be found in major museums, archives, and public collections throughout Europe and the Americas.

National Museum of Women in the Arts