Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This week on Tumblr: Andy Warhol Album Covers

This week on Tumblr: album covers designed by Andy Warhol (The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground, John Cale, John Lennon, Aretha Franklin, Moondog, Count Basie, etc.) and album covers that incorporated Warhol's graphics (The Smiths, Debbie Harry).

Lawrence Weiner letter

A 1988 letter from Lawrence Weiner to Robert C. Morgan, from the collection currently being offered by Granary Books (see below post). 

A follow-up to a telephone conversation, the letter accepts an invitation to participate in an exhibition ("Nostalgia sucks. We should concentrate on the relation of what was to what is") and apologizes that Weiner's Amsterdam boat could not accommodate Morgan as a guest ("you would be practically in our laps"). 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Robert C Morgan Collection

Today Granary Books announced the availability of The Robert C. Morgan Conceptual Art Collection of  Correspondence, Interviews, Artists' Books, Monographs, Catalogs, and Ephemera. 
The collection features works by Carl Andre, Art&Language, John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Jan Dibbets, Peter Downsbrough, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Douglas Huebler, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Muntadas, Sol LeWitt, Michael Snow, and Lawrence Weiner.

Included are many much-coveted artists' books, such as Michael Snow's Cover to Cover, Ruscha's Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, Jan Dibbets' Robin Redbreast’s Territory and John Baldessari's Fable. Other highlights include Art-Language journals, Seth Seigelaub publications and cassettes containing interviews Morgan conducted. These include conversations with Marina Abromović, Baldessari, Barry, Haacke, Huebler, Kaprow, Komar and Melamid, Kosuth, Lucy Lippard, Ruscha, Siegelaub, Snow, Bernar Venet, John Weber, and Weiner. Many of them have never been transcribed.

"Robert C. Morgan (b. 1943) is an internationally renowned American art critic, art historian, curator, lecturer, poet, and painter. He completed his dissertation, "The Role of Documentation in Conceptual Art: An Aesthetic Inquiry," at New York University (School of Education) in 1978. It was the first dissertation on Conceptual art in the U.S. and was later rewritten, updated and published as Conceptual Art: An American Perspective (McFarland & Company, 1994).

The present collection springs from Morgan's assiduous research and writing, and provides copious evidence of and discerning insight into the enduring phenomenon of Conceptual art, with particular attention to Lawrence Weiner, Robert Barry, Peter Downsbrough, John Baldessari, Dan Graham, Douglas Huebler, Seth Siegelaub, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, and Ed Ruscha, to name a few. The collection includes artists' books, monographs, catalogs, cards, posters, recordings, correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, and so forth, and represents the work of more than 100 artists, writers, curators, and editors."
- Granary Books press release

For more information, view the prospectus at Granary Books, here

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ray Johnson | Taoist pop heart school

Ray Johnson
Taoist pop heart school
New York City, USA: Karma, 2014
296 pp., 31 x 25 cm., hardcover
Edition of 1000

Colour reproductions of drawings, collages and doodles featuring figures such as Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Karen Azoulay | Flowers and Their Meanings

Karen Azoulay
Flowers and Their Meanings
New York City, USA: Self-published, 2015
[20] pp., 25.5 x 20.5 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

Floriography is a means of cryptological communication through the use of flower arrangements. Often called "the language of flowers", the practice dates back thousands of years, and peaked in popularity in the 19th century. Sentiments that could perhaps not be spoken aloud in Victoria society were expressed through gifts of blooms, plants, and precise floral arrangements. The recipient would decode the message through the use of floral dictionaries.

Hundreds of these volumes were produced in the England, France, the US, Belgium, Germany and South America. The inconsistencies in their content presumably led to some mistranslations, the consequences of which could be somewhat grave, given the range of emotions expressed. The Tiger Lily, for example, signifies "pride" but the Orange Lily "dislike". A White Rose means "I am worthy of you", but a dried White Rose indicates "death before dishonour".

Other sentiments include "I am dazzled by your charms" (Ranunculus), "the perfection of female loveliness" (Justicia), "your friendship is agreeable and pleasing to me" (Glycine),  "I shall not survive you" (Black Mulberry Tree) and "sourness of temper" (Barberry).

Azoulay's beautifully produced volume compiles hundreds of examples sourced from a variety of historic texts. They are illustrated with eleven full-page colour photographs by the artist. The information is arranged alphabetically, first by plant name, and again by emotion.

The book is available in Canada from Art Metropole, here, for $24.00 CDN, and from the artist, here, for $18.00 US.

This week Azoulay announced the Floriography Jacket, a collaborative project with fashion designer George McCracken. Made to order in an edition of ten, the jacket is available in both men's and women's styles. It can be purchased here, for $375 US, and comes with a copy of the bookwork.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sigmar Polke | Schieferpinselrassel

Sigmar Polke
Self-published, 1994
48.5 x 23.5 x 17 cm. (boxed)
Edition of 20 signed and numbered copies

A rattle constructed out of a paint brush with a large glass globe containing shards of shale attached over the bristles, housed in a wooden box.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Ay-O (seen above with Yoko Ono and Emmett Williams) turns 85 today.