Tauba Auerbach

American (San Francisco, California, 1981)

Alphabetized Bible

book | offset lithograph
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Alphabetized Bible

    Tauba Auerbach, Alphabetized Bible, 2006; offset lithograph, 8 in. x 6 in. x 1 1/2 in. (20.32 cm x 15.24 cm x 3.81 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Tauba Auerbach

The Alphabetized Bible investigates the idea that any piece of writing, no matter its intellectual weight, is nothing more than a collection of letters.

Auerbach's book reorders and presents all the characters in the King James Bible in alphabetical groupings, showing capital and lowercase instances in the order in which they appear in the original text. Some letters and sequences of letters appear more frequently than others, in some cases hundreds of times more than their counterparts.

As the artist describes it, "The intention of my work is to formally and conceptually break language down into its tiniest essential units, and apply the unique properties of the system to the system itself, subjecting it to its own idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies in remarkable patterns."

8 in. x 6 in. x 1 1/2 in. (20.32 cm x 15.24 cm x 3.81 cm)
Acquired 2007
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
© Tauba Auerbach


artist books, design, text, alphabet, The Holy Bible, Christianity, gray

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.