Thursday, May 31, 2012

Walter Abish | Alphabetical Africa

Walter Abish
Alphabetical Africa
New York City, USA: New Directions, 1974
168 pp.

The first chapter of this 'novel' consists entirely of words beginning with the letter A. The following chapter allows in words that begin with B, the third adds C, and continues until the 26th chapter, when all of the alphabet is available to the author. The second half of the book reverses this restriction so that by the 52nd and final chapter, the author may only employ words that begin with A again.

It's an incredible book, highly recommended for fans of Oulipo, Georges Perec or Christian Bok.

A list of instances in the book where the constraint is violated (premature or belated use of a letter) is available here.

Excerpts from the first three chapters are below.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Art Metropole sale

Art Metropole's annual sale begins this Saturday, and runs for a week. Assuming it's like previous years, everything in the entire store will be either 10 or 20% off, a large table of items will be 50% off and Art Metropole's own publications will be 80% off, with some inevitable exceptions. In addition to the usual books, multiples, records, videos, posters, etc., this sale will also include furnishings, as Art Metropole readies itself for the move from King Street to Dundas Street West, later in the summer.

Unfortunately, the sale prices do not apply to web orders.

Jessica Stockholder | Placemats

Jessica Stockholder
Chicago, USA: The Renaissance Society, 2002
26.7 x 35.6 cm
Set of 100 paper placemats
Eight different patterns
Edition of 1000

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rachel Whiteread | Mike and the Modelmakers

Rachel Whiteread
...Presents M. Sasek - Mike and the Modelmakers
Cologne, Germany: Salon Verlag, 2008
41 pp., 28 x 20.5 cm., hardcover with photo-pictorial dustjacket
Edition of 200 signed and numbered copies

Whiteread was invited by Salon Verlag to select a book of special importance to her, and design a new dust-jacket for it, and then present it under her own name as a 'Reprint'. She chose the 1970 children's book 'Mike and the Modelmakers' by M. Sasek. Whiteread's studio faced the company Lesney, who during the 1970's was the toy manufacturer of the Matchbox car.

Maurizio Nannucci | M 40/1967

Maurizio Nannucci
M 40/1967
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Edition Multi Art Points, 1976
184 pp., 8.25 x 6 x .075", softcover with dustjacket in box
Edition of 1000, 250 of which are signed and numbered and also include three graphics.

One of my favorite artist's books, made as a tribute to the Olivetti typewriter M 40 (see promotional brochure for the unit, below), consisting entirely of single-character typewriter grids. Given the experimentation with typography and the concrete poetry of the day, the work is remarkably restrained. It's also beautifully produced in an elegant white clamshell box. I'm not sure what the year 1967 in the title refers to, as the M40 was produced twenty and thirty years prior (in '67 the Olivetti Diaspron 82 was released).

Drinkware by Lawrence Weiner, Keith Haring, Kay Rosen, Damien Hirst, and David Bellingham.

Tracey Emin

Cary Leiboitz mugs

Barbara Kruger

Jonathan Monk | Meeting #56

Jonathan Monk
Meeting #56
Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada, 2009
Boxed set of drinking glasses.
A pair of water glasses printed with a bilingual invitation to meet the artist at The Maid of the Mist Niagara Falls Ontario Canada on August 1st, 2015 at noon.
Edition of 90.

Damien Hirst mug

Damien Hirst
For the Love of God
London, UK: Tate Modern, 2012
Anamorphic cup and saucer

"The distorted image printed on the saucer becomes recognisable as it is reflected in the metallic cup."

Available from the Tate, for £12.50, here.

Daniel Buren for Illy