More from Harry Ruhe's home: a glass cabinet in his living room containing works by Japanese Fluxus artists Yoko Ono and Mieko Shiomi. Included are Ono's:
- Onobox, the 1992 Rykodisc box set of all of Ono’s recorded output at the time.
- Arising, a boxed stone, available here for 25 Euro)
- We’re All Water, from Gallery 360
- the 2007 Imagine Peace box, available from Printed Matter, here.
- Box Of Smile - Onochord
- Water Music, the original Fluxus edition
- a reissue of the Events and Games box (available here)
- Endless Box
Elsewhere in the house is Shiomi’s annotated map piece Spatial Poem #1.
Fiona Rae, Doriana Chiarini, Aernout Mik, Kay Rosen Voorwerk 1
Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Witte de With, 1990
21 x 31 cm., boxed
Edition of 500
In October of 1990 Witte de With in Rotterdam held the first of their Voorwerk series, which featured works by Doriana Chiarini, Aernout Mik, Fiona Rae and Kay Rosen.
Voorwerk translates to "preliminary work" and the series featured then-younger and emerging artists, with the intention to provide "the first substantial presentation of works by relatively unknown artists". Their track record of picking those who would go on to greater success, especially in this first year, is pretty incredible. The shows were annual and presented without thematics or common denominators.
Italian artist Doriana Chiarini presented elegant objects that combined design and art. Aernout Mik showed his Dummies series, which consists of cushions from photographic linen, loosely modelled after the human body, that are photographically printed with children’s portraits. The two painters couldn't have been more different - Fiona Rae exhibited abstract works and Kay Rosen presented textual paintings rich with visual jokes, taken from everyday conversation, pulp novels and telephone directories.
The "catalogue" for the exhibition featured a compartmentalized cardboard box containing works by all four artists: an original painting by Fiona Rae (each unique), 5 cards by Kay Rosen, a fold out paper by Chiarini and 5 photocards by Mik.
Art Metropole stocked at least two of the three boxes that were released, in the first year that I worked there. I can't remember the exact price, but I seem recall them being between thirty and fifty dollars. All of the titles have increased in value considerably since that time, with the first one (owing much to the inclusion of the unique Rae painting) particularly costly.
This copy is from Cult Club, a new store and gallery project by Jeannette Dekeukeleire and Harry Ruhe in Amsterdam. It's available only in the complete set of three Voorwerk boxes, for 360 Euros, here.
AA Bronson, who founded and directed both the New York and LA Art Book Fairs (as well as founding Art Metropole and serving as director for Printed Matter for a number of years) was invited by the London Art Book Fair to share his experiences with book fairs and publishing. In addition to the talk about his life and work with General Idea, he presented a video about his banned erotic novel Lena (more about novels by artists later this week).
While in London, Time Out Magazine asked him for his top five choices from the fair, and Nothing Else Press was his fifth:
5. Nothing Else Press, Toronto ‘Named after Dick Higgins Fluxus-heavy press of the ’60s and ’70s, Something Else Press, this young publisher seemed the only ones present to have produced an entire new line of works especially for the Fair. My favourite? “Eel’s Wallet” by Dean Baldwin, an edition of 47 wallets stuffed full of drinks tickets, which bizarrely becomes some sort of “book” for which we have no name. £80.’
Hans Eijkelboom People of the Twenty-First Century
London, UK: Phaidon, 2014
512 pp., 22 x 17.5 cm., paperback
Edition size unknown
Hans Eijkelboom has produced over fifty artist's books in the last thirty-five years. Yesterday we visited his Amsterdam studio and were shown a small sample of them, including the first copy of his forthcoming Phaidon title, People of the Twenty-First Century. The thick volume features an essay by David Carrier and over 6000 photographs by Eijkelboom.
He described his process of unassumingly standing on a street corner with a camera around his neck. A remote is fed through his shirt so that he can surreptitiously take photographs of passersby. He begins by spending half an hour to decide on his "teams". The "teams" may be women wearing pink, men dressed in plaid, people carrying coffee, wearers of concert shirts, fans of Al Pacino, etc. Once decided, he typically allots himself a two-hour period in which to document members of the "team" (though a forthcoming project extends the time in order to find couples that link the groups in a sort of daisy-chain).
The resulting grids, called Photo Notes, become anthropological typologies. The work investigates notions of identity and the myriad cultural sub-categories one chooses to self-identify with. The grids also become portraits of the cities in which they are made, with the book covering projects in Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Shanghai, from a period of over twenty years (of his over forty year old practice).
Eijkelboom's early books were made in small editions, often self-published. This forthcoming title will have a production size of around 40,000 copies and may see a collaboration with Urban Outfitters to appear in their over-400 retail locations worldwide.
The book is released in late October, and can be pre-ordered here, for €29.95.
I've just been putting together a powerpoint presentation where Bill Clarke, Roula Partheniou and myself will represent Bookclub (which also includes Micah Lexier, Derek McCormack, Paul Van Kooy, Michael Klein, Sarah Robya Sheridan, Derek Sullivan and Wendy Gomoll) at the London Art Book Fair next week. We'll talk about the origins and activities of the group, and share some favourite titles. There will be a Q&A afterwards, and some raffle prizes.
The event takes place at Whitechapel Gallery next Friday, the 26th of September from 3 to 4pm. Booking is required.
Above are some of our bookshelves. The fair is offering chance to win 10 Art Books by posting a photo of your own bookshelves to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #artbookshelfie. The fair will be selecting a winner in a prize draw on Monday 29 September. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 28 September, 6pm. It is a requirement of the contest that the books be collected personally, but if you happen to win I'm sure we could work something out...
In addition to our own books and multiples (including four or five we are launching there, depending on a shipment arriving today or not), we will have a number of editions by Paul+Wendy Projects at the London Art Book Fair next week, including works by Micah Lexier, Derek Sullivan, Sara MacKillop, David Shrigley, Michael Dumontier, and ourselves.
Rosemarie Trockel Moscow-Boston
Boston, USA: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1991
3.75 x 4.25 x 1"
Edition of 37 (+3 AP) signed and numbered copies
Commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art for their "Limited Editions Series", this faux crocodile patterned leather Russian billfold was produced following the artist's first trip to the USSR, made with the staff of the ICA. The object included inside the wallet (pills, coins, bills, a coupon, a black and white photograph with a handwritten note, a postcard mailed from the US, a bill, a ticket, a hand-scrawled note, etc.) are intended to imply a narrative.
"The London Art Book Fair 2014
Opening night: Thursday 25 September 2014, 6pm
This free fair at the Whitechapel Gallery presents the best in international contemporary art publishing.
Browse artists’ books, rare art publications and catalogues from over 80 publishers. Enjoy a packed programme of talks and events over the weekend, including print and bookmaking workshops and signings by leading artists and authors.
The opening event of the London Art Book Fair will feature a live set by Turner Prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed. Treating the audience to a short performance of his catchy, humorous songs, Creed will kick-off a full weekend of performance, talks and workshops.
See the full exhibitor list, events programme and special projects at: thelondonartbookfair.org
Opening: Thursday 25 September, 6-9pm (featuring a special live performance from Martin Creed)
Hours: Friday 26 September, 11am–9pm / Saturday 27 & Sunday 28, 11am–6pm
Roula Partheniou & Joy Walker Full Circle
Toronto, Canada: Canadian Art Foundation, 2014
13.5 x 13.5 cm
Edition of 1000
The Canadian Art Foundation's annual Gala Dinner and Auction is being held tonight at the Kool Haus in Toronto. Artists involved include John Armstrong, Dean Baldwin, BGL (representing Canada in Venice next year), Sarah Cale, Tammi Campbell, Greg Curnoe, Michel de Broin, David Harper, Spring Hurlbut, Eleanor King, Nestor Kruger, Arnaud Maggs, Ken Nicol, Laura Simon, Miles Stemp, Zin Taylor, and many, many others. Tickets for the event are $600, which includes cocktails, dinner, dancing and the live and silent auctions. Click here for information, or about absentee bidding.
Each year an artist is invited to produce the gala 'environment'. Previous artists have included Micah Lexier, An Te Liu, vsvsvs, Karen Azoulay, Jon Sasaki, John Oswald, etc. This year Joy Walker was invited, who proposed a collaboration with Roula Partheniou.
The pair address "colour, light and shape" with an ambient video, gobo light centrepieces and a limited edition artist book that collectively explore "perceptual shifts, pattern, states of flux and everyday objects at play."
The beautiful book comes housed in a foil-stamped card stock envelope and each spread presents a different shape, with a mirrored cover endpaper completing the first and last. Additionally, another simple shape sits in between the pages (poorly illustrated with the fast snapshots above).