Friday, August 7, 2020

Robert Rauschenberg | Cardbird VI, from Cardbird Series

Robert Rauschenberg
Cardbird VI, from Cardbird Series
Los Angeles, USA: Gemini G.E.L., 1971
66 x 71.1 x .09 cm.
Edition of 75 signed and dated copies [+6 AP]

The sixth of seven works in the Cardbirds series, which re-create the flattened cardboard boxes that Rauschenberg found in alleyway dumpsters off of La Cienega Boulevard, near the Los Angeles print shop that fabricated much of his work at the time. The torn edges, markings, folds, and labels have been meticulously reproduced onto pristine cardboard to duplicate the discarded found boxes.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Ian Hamilton Finlay | Woods and Seas

Ian Hamilton Finlay
Woods and Seas
Little Sparta, Scotland: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1980
[4] pp., 6 x 9 cm., softcover
Edition of 250

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Brian Eno | Glint

Brian Eno
New York City, USA: Artforum, 1986
Flexi-disc, 8", 33 ⅓ RPM
Edition size unknown

A single-sided flexi-disc record featuring an eight minute and thirty second ambient recording titled
Glint (East Of Woodbridge). The disk was released as a tear-out disc as part of Artforum magazine Volume XXIV No. 10, Summer 1986.

Three years later a version of Glint appeared with the new title of Suspicions on a non-commercial LP called Textures, which consisted of ambient tracks designed to be licensed for use in film and television productions. Three years after that, it reappeared again as Lanzarote and on Eno's 1992 LP  The Shutov Assembly.

The song can be heard on Youtube, here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Laurie Anderson | Let X = X

Laurie Anderson
Let X = X
New York City, USA: Artforum, 1982
5:00, 33 1/3 rpm 7" flexi-disc record
Edition size unknown

Two months prior to be releasing on her debut album (Big Science, Warner Brothers) a shorter version - without the tango and horns - was released as a flexi-disc tear-out in the February 1982 issue Artforum magazine. A sleeve for the disc could be cut out from the pages of the periodical and assembled.

Anderson was invited to contribute to the issue by Ingrid Sischy, who was the editor of Artforum from 1979 and 1988 (and later Interview Magazine and Vanity Fair, before dying of breast cancer at age 63 in 2015). 

Four years later, Brian Eno (who produced Anderson's fifth studio LP, Bright Red in 1994, among other collaborations) released the only other Artforum flexi-disc that I'm aware of, Glint (see next post). 

Hear Let X = X on Youtube, here

"In the early ’80s, Ingrid was one of the few people in the art world who had a very broad idea of the way art fit into the overall culture. Pop culture didn’t scare her. Neither did fashion. She was interested in everything. At the time, I had just signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records and was getting a lot of criticism from artists for “selling out.” Ingrid called it “crossing over,” and soon a lot of artists were trying it out. I’ll always be grateful to Ingrid for her support of my work. Every time I got an award, I would find out that Ingrid was somewhere behind it, pulling some strings. She invited me to put a flexi-disc of one of my songs, “let X = X,” into the February 1982 issue of the magazine. “Why not records?” she said in her voice that was half language, half laugh. She talked as if she were thinking of the words for the first time. In her grave mode, she could also speak in a way such that each word came out carved in stone. Ingrid was brilliant."
- Laurie Anderson on Ingrid Sischy, Artforum  2015

Monday, August 3, 2020

John Baldessari | Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts)

John Baldessari
Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts)
Milan, Italy: Edizioni Giampaolo Prearo and Galleria Toselli, 1973
[12 pp]., 25 x 32.5 cm., loose leaves
Edition of 2000 [+500 publisher's copies]

12 coloured photographic plates in an embossed box, produced on the occasion of Baldessari’s first solo exhibition in Italy in 1973. 

"Ever since the onset of photography, the roles of the hand and the arm in making art have been subject to doubt. Once the definitive means of bringing an idea into form, these human appendages could seem feeble or quaint in an age of science and industry. Allowing gravity to participate in marking became a vital way to give art a deeper or more objective structure. Marcel Duchamp dropped threads to make the lines of his pivotal 1913–14 work 3 Standard Stoppages, and Jackson Pollock later dripped paint to push the limits of his control over line. These tactics called attention to art making as a performative grappling with chance and indifference.

In his 1973 series Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts), John Baldessari brought his impish wit to this modernist turn. He threw three balls in the air in hopes that a snapshot might catch them aloft and aligned. Through the magic of photography, gravity was defeated, and the balls never had to come down. Although he playfully inserted his arm or his finger in other works, in Throwing Three Balls he kept himself out of the frame. Well, not quite: his balls were in the frame, and the playful reference they make both to his surname and to masculine anatomy is crucial. Throwing Three Balls spoofs the swagger of the Pollock myth of a man laying himself bare through his struggle with the elements. Whereas Pollock orbited his canvases on the floor with all the gravitas of a seminal creator, Baldessari sent his tiny planets skyward with a playful toss.

We should remember, however, that Throwing Three Balls was a game for two players. While Baldessari threw, his then-wife Carol Wixom operated the camera. Chance became the intersection of their performances, where the scattershot and the snapshot met. Each resulting image depicted a hanging sculpture made from dime-store materials that invoked, in the deadpan innocence of pop, both the lofty aspirations of the moon-shot era and the absurd randomness of the atomic age. As the catalyst of such images, Baldessari’s arm became one of the most disarming of his generation.

- Robin Kelsey, Aperture Magazine

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Takehisa Kosugi | Four devices

Takehisa Kosugi
Four devices
Tokyo, Japan: P3 Art and Environment, 1991
24 pp., 12.5 x 17 x 1 cm., loose leaves
Edition size unknown

Published by P3 Art and Environment on the occasion of an exhibition from the 8th to the 26th of October, 1991.

The work consists of a cardboard folder containing: an artist's biography and discography in both Japanese and English, performances photos, sketches and scores and a plastic magnifying glass.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Tracey Emin | Every Part of Me’s Bleeding

Tracey Emin
Every Part of Me’s Bleeding
New York City, USA: Lehman Maupin, 1999
49.5 x 34cm
Edition size unknown

A machine-folded promotional poster from Emin's first solo exhibition in the United States, from May 1st to June 19th, 1999.

Available for $100 US, here.

"Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963 and was raised in the seaside town of Margate on the English coast. After leaving school at an early age, Emin enrolled at Maidstone College of Art in Kent at the age of 20 and studied painting. She then went to London where she completed a Masters in Painting at the Royal College of Art. Emin is a storyteller whose subject matter comes from Emin's own rich life. Emin's first one-person gallery exhibition at the White Cube titled "My Major Retrospective" included family memorabilia accompanied with each related story and also presented an archive of Emin's early paintings which she had destroyed. Her book "Exploration of the Soul" told the story of her life from her and her twin brother's conception, their birth and early life to the age of 13. She presented this collection in a series of readings during a journey across America. In 1995, Emin opened The Tracey Emin Museum in London. At the museum, Emin sat with her work and spoke with visitors to encourage an exchange of experiences.

"Every Part of Me's Bleeding" will consist of many works done in a variety of media including several large-scale sculptures, drawings, neon pieces, video and a quilt. One large-scale piece in the exhibition is a seaside beach hut from a past vacation spot of Emin's friend artist Sarah Lucas, Emin and a former boyfriend. The actual hut has been carefully taken apart and reassembled in the main gallery space. Through the poetry of her honest retelling of unique and intimate life-events Emin establishes a generous dialogue between the viewer and the artist. The personal expands to the universal in the way Emin takes a feeling about her life and forms it into a genuine expression of a human emotion."
- press release

"By Jan Avgikos

"Girl talk" never much enjoyed the primetime exposure it has long deserved until last year, when the House Judiciary Committee chose to post transcripts of Monica Lewinsky's intimate phone conversations with Linda Tripp on the Internet for all to read. I particularly liked the part where Tripp tells Lewinsky she's starting to "think like him" and then muses over how she would like to kick him in the balls until they were flat like little pancakes. It's a perfect example of the "discourse": direct, uncensored, unfettered by gentility or reserve, and, when appropriate, graphically violent. Of course, we all know you should never kick anyone in the balls (even if it seems like a good idea at the time), but the point of "girl talk" is that the speech itself is liberating, even a substitute for action when action may be impossible.

We haven't heard a lot of "girl talk" in the galleries of New York lately—but that's nothing new. Male rants, after all, are considered cultural; female rants, premenstrual. Same ol' same ol'. If it's still the case that transgressive behavior by women is dismissed as simple "acting out," you get the sense that that's just fine with Tracey Emin, an artist who revels in hysteronics— mostly in relation to love gone bad.

There's nothing particularly enlightened in Emin's talk. And yet, despite her hard-baked litany of abuses suffered and her often scatological subject matter, she has a charming way with language. In her most recent show, she marries passionate, handwritten phrases—"Every Part of Me's Bleeding"; "My Cunt is Wet with Fear"— with cool blue neon. You feel her willful occupation of Conceptual art's formal turf (think Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, Joseph Kosuth) as well as her wicked put-down of its pompous austerity and authority. It's even better when her rapacious bombast lands on one of the most treasured of feminist-art icons, the handmade quilt. Emin trades in the flowery phrases found in ladies' heirloom handiwork for turbo-charged, Medusan rage directed at all the guys who've done her wrong. In Psycho Slut, I999, the eponymous words are (mis)spelled out (PYSCO SLUT) in big, bold lettering appliqued at the top of the quilt, as are phrases plucked from the maker's inner monologue: "I didn't know I had to ask to share your life"; "You see I'm one of the best"; "You know how much I love you."
- Jan Avgikos, Artforum, October 1999