Saturday, October 31, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
Elliott Sharp, Melvin Gibbs, Lucas Niggli
Crossing The Waters
Zurich, Switzerland: Intakt Records, 2013
Edition size unknown
This seven-track CD features a cover photograph by Roman Signer.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Marcel Broodthaers: The elements of the box
Cologne, Germany: Henrich Nicolaus, 1994
287 pp., 31.5 x 32 x 7.5 cm., boxed
Edition of 1500
A red slipcase containing seven items: a monograph, a book titled "Le poids d'une oeuvre d'art", an audio CD of an interview by Freddy de Vree with Broodthaers, a facsimile of some notes for a film on Magritte, sketches on a bistro pad, a small publication of Broodtheaer's essays, and a book on his project drawings.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Monday, October 26, 2015
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Saturday, October 24, 2015
The Inkiest Black
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2015
140 pp., 3.5 x 20 x 1.5 cm., hardcover
Edition of 750
The Inkiest Black condenses David Foster Wallace’s 1079-page novel Infinite Jest into an 140 pages, emphasizing the author's description of colours. It's available at Art Metropole, for $30.00, here.
Labels: artists books
Friday, October 23, 2015
Three Color Separation
New York City, USA: The Letter Edged in Black Press, 1968
23.6 x 17cm
Edition of 2000
A still-life of a desktop blown up as a dot matrix image and separated into three colours (red, yellow and blue), each screenprinted on a different acetate sheet, which are bound together at one corner.
From SMS #2.
Available from the New Museum store, here, for $125.00 US.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Fishing with John
Rome, Italy: NERO, 2013
184 pp., 17 x 22.7 cm., hardcover
Edition of 600
Based on the artist's tumblr site, here, this volume presents his collection of image of women holding fish. It's available from the publisher, here.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Self-published, 1977
1 pp., 15.2 x 22.5 cm., leporello
Edition size unknown
The artist's assistant is tasked with tracking down friends from the decade prior and asking them what they remember about Eijkelboom. They are asked to imagine what occupation he holds. The artist is then portrayed personifying the profession attributed to him by the interviewee. These include a bank clerk, a photographer, a jet pilot, a filibuster and an idealist.
"Basically, throughout my whole career I have examined the same things. It’s always about identity. In the beginning it was about my identity, and now it’s more about identity generally in society. I studied architecture and I used my camera to photograph landscapes and maquettes and so on. Then I was interested in trying to capture how weather affected buildings, for example how houses change colour when it’s raining. This led me to photograph myself when I was wet, and that was the start of all my work. "
- Hans Eijkelboom
Monday, October 19, 2015
Offenbach a.M., Germany: Recycle or Die Records, 1992
Audio CD, digipack
Edition size unknown
The inaugural release from Recycle or Die Records is Berlin-school trance electronica with a cover that reproduces a painting by Robert Longo. Trib, from 1991, is 78cm x 58cm., and made with gesso and acrylic on newspaper.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Each fall Bookclub commissions an artist to design a book bag that we produce in a very small edition, for distribution among Bookclub members and their friends. Above are the 2012 bags (Michael Dumontier), 2013 (Kay Rosen) and 2014 (Claude Closky). Sara Mackillop will design the 2015 bag, due in December.
Visit her website, here.
Bookclub members include myself, Bill Clarke, Wendy Gomoll, Michael Klein, Micah Lexier, Derek McCormack, Roula Partheniou, Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Derek Sullivan, and Paul Van Kooy.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Aleksandra Mir <admin (at)aleksandramir.info>
To: Aleksandra Mir <admin(at)aleksandramir.info>
Sent: Friday, October 16, 2015 4:26 PM
Subject: BAD Reviews
I am planning to publish an artist's book called BAD Reviews, a collection of bad art reviews in the form of quotes, transcripts and reproductions of previously published material.
I take the view that the bad art review is a near extinct form of creative writing which deserves to be honored, and who better suited to do this, than the artist concerned?
I know you were subject to many bad reviews in the early stages of your career and so will greatly appreciate your contributions to this book.
Whether you were hurt or amused, affected or not, the creative energy that went into describing your work in derogatory terms stands for a commitment and is a marker of its time.
I will only publish material that has been voluntarily submitted by the artists themselves, so no slander, but a genuine investigation into the nature of criticism.
The more artists who contribute, and the more material there will be, the more of a substantial survey we can collectively create, so please do forward this mail to your colleagues.
All contributors will receive updates and a copy of the book.
"…Aleksandra Mir, from Lubin, in Poland, is another maker of new maps of the USA, across which she declares the Cold War to be Hot Stuff, in the style of a mustard advert in a hamburger outlet…Young America is a bottomless source of the stuff. This entire display stinks of stupidity and an absent education. Has anyone here read a book or studied history or looked at a Botticelli or questioned a technique or patiently thought their way through an artistic conundrum? Not a chance. This is a generation of paint-happy know- nothings brought up on hamburgers and porn, a talentless bloom of post-pop trailer trash that makes our own Brit Artists look like a parade of Einsteins by comparison".
Waldemar Januszczak, Don't want to be an American idiot, Review of USA Today at the Royal Academy, The Sunday Times, London, 8 Oct 2006
The co-editor on the project Tim Griffin, Director at the Kitchen in NYC will host a first launch and live reading event when we are done.
We understand it takes time to search through your archives so the project has no immediate deadline. Just let us know if you are interested and we will wait for your contribution.
Please send high res scans of printed pieces, screenshots or links to anything online.
We accept original material in all languages, which we will endeavor to translate to English.
This email has already reached artists of every generation and around the world. We are very excited by the contributions that are coming in from the most established, to the youngest of artists. Everyone who has material to add is welcome. Please spread the word.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
[Marvin Sackner, Ruth Sackner]
The Art of Typewriting
London, UK: Thames & Hudson, 2015
352 pp., 25 x 31.5 cm., hardcover
Edition size unknown
In 1979, Marvin Sackner discovered a book on the top shelf at Jaap Rietman's New York bookstore and excitedly turned to his wife: "Ruth, this is what we are collecting. It even has a name". The book was An Anthology of Concrete Poetry, edited by Fluxus artist Emmett Williams and released by the Something Else Press in 1967. The volume presented the first international overview of the medium, collecting works by Eugen Gomringer (Switzerland), Dieter Rot (Iceland), Daniel Spoerri, Claus Bremer and Hansjörg Mayer (Denmark), Bob Cobbing (England), bp Nichol (Canada), and many others. It was reissued last year by Primary Information, and can be downloaded for free, here.
Five years later, in 1972, the Something Else Press released Typewriter Poems, edited by Peter Finch. "As far as I know it was the very first book to anthologize typewriter work," Finch told me over email last year. Unlike An Anthology of Concrete Poetry, the slim Typewriter Poems concentrated entirely on British artists.
Typewriter Art followed in 1975, edited by Alan Riddell, an Australian poet who grew up in Scotland and was introduced to Concrete Poetry by one of it's most celebrated practitioners, Ian Hamilton Finlay. It is now long out of print. Darren Wershler-Henry, a Montreal-based poet and cultural critic who was once the senior editor at Coach House Books, wrote The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting, in 2005. Last year graphic design scholar Barrie Tullett published Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology.
The couple met on a blind date when Ruth was studying English at the University of Pennsylvania. They married in 1956 and had three children. They were together for almost sixty years. Ruth died in her sleep last Saturday, at the age of 79.
“Miami lost, today, one of its real cultural giants,” South Florida art collector Dennis Scholl told the Miami Herald. “Ruth was one of those people who really cared about culture in our community. Together they built the greatest collection in the world. That is a hard thing to do.”
Marvin Sackner, now retired, was a successful pulmonologist who also invented medical devices. The royalties from these inventions provided the couple with the money ("play money" they called it) to invest in their art collection. Their holdings, while all text-based, include a wide variety of techniques, including hand-written artists' books, rubber-stamped works, artists' stamps and mail art.
Unfortunately, the female artists in the book don't fare as well - by rough estimate their work makes up less than 20% of the almost 600 colour reproductions. Several of the earliest examples in the collection, however, were produced by women, including the first example of typewriter art ever published in a periodical. The work, an image of a butterfly, was by Flora F.F. Stacey, an English stenographer who had been 'drawing' with the typewriter for many years before winning an open competition in 1898.
Canadians, often omitted from international surveys, or represented by a token inclusion, fare much better here. The book features work by Derek Beaulieu, Earle Birney, bill bissett, jw curry, Paul Dutton, David W. Harris (also known as David UU), Steve McCaffery, bp nichol, and Mark W Sutherland. Interestingly, all but the latter come from the country's poetry, not visual art, communities.
Following the introductory texts is an expansive plate section, illustrating key works by over 200 poets and visual artists, beautifully rendered. These are divided into sub-sections, including sound poems, punctuation pictures, overtyped characters, canceled texts, textured texts, patterns, three dimensional objects, maps, erotica, love poems, typed artists books and many others.
Some categories work better than others. The 'erotica' is mostly nude photography with typewriter character shading, and the 'political' section includes a rudimentary tank fashioned out of slashes and dashes. The thirteen pages of 'typed representations of artistic works' features tributes and parodies of paintings and sculptures by Jasper Johns, Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Brancusi and Mondrian. The 'sound poems' scores resonate simply from the suggestion that they be read aloud. Here solo works by nichol and Dutton (half of the Toronto sound poetry group The Four Horsemen) are included, alongside works by Bernard Heidsieck and Ernst Jandl.
But I find myself most drawn to the works at the extreme ends of the categorization: unstructured, expressive works and simple, restrained gestures. There are several pieces, for example, by Tom Edmonds, a concrete poet who died in his late twenties in 1971. They are striking dense, messy layered pages that appear almost three-dimensional. Inversely, the stark pieces in the 'punctuation pictures' section, benefit from their limitations. A simple and beautiful work by Claus Bremer retypes the alphabet twenty-six times, each time starting one space in but ending in the same place, a hard right margin. The characters that do not fit are overtyped. The work is part of his book Texte un Kommentare, which can be seen in the Youtube video below.
The Art of Typewriting is rounded out by an extensive bibliography and twenty-nine pages of illustrated biographies, including Tom Phillips (one of the Sackner's all-time favorites), Mary Ellen Solt, Emmett Williams, Carl Andre, Henri Chopin and Bob Cobbing.
An interesting, and undoubtedly costly, feature of the volume is that no two covers are alike. The book’s layout was created by the London-based graphic design studio Graphic Thought Facility, who utilized an algorithm to ensure that a unique combination of front and back image graces each copy
of the book.
The Art of Typewriting serves as a useful introduction to the art form, an essential addition to any library dedicated to the subject and a fitting tribute to Ruth Sackner. The book will be released by Thames and Hudson on the 26th of October. It can be pre-ordered now, from Amazon, for $45.18, here.
Images from the Sackner's home, published earlier this year in Apartemento, to accompany an interview with Leah Singer, can be seen here.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Miami art collector Ruth Sackner died over the weekend, at the age of 79.
Together with her husband, Marvin, she assembled a collection of over seventy-five thousand pieces of concrete poetry and text art. Typewriter works from their collection is the subject of a book out later this month, called The Art of Typewriter (a copy arrived last week and a review will be posted here in the new few days).
Read the Miami Herald obituary here.