Monday, May 2, 2016

Lawrence Weiner | Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red

Lawrence Weiner
Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red
Brest, France: Zédélé Editions, 2012
100 pp., 17 x 12 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

In 1972, Lawrence Weiner published Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red as his ninth artist's book. The work shares it's title with a wall text from the same year, and later became the subject of an 18-minute video work in 1976, in which two women seated at a table play with copies of the book, and three poker chips. The video is perhaps most notable for its editor, producer and script consultant: Kathryn Bigelow, who would later become the first (and still only) woman to win the Best Director Academy Award (for 2009's The Hurt Locker).

 "The book came about because of an exhibition of the work at Jack Wendler's gallery in London," wrote Weiner, later. "I asked Jack if he would make a book & he said yes. He found a printer and the book was made." Four years prior, Wendler had funded Seth Siegelaub's seminal Xerox Book, which featured Lawrence Weiner and six other artists (Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris) utilizing the pages of a book as alternative exhibition space.

Printed Matter bookstore called Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red "a true classic and a cornerstone of conceptualist artists' books." The title features single-line statements, one or two to a page. Like the eight volumes before (and two that followed), the book featured no photographs or illustrations. Despite the title, the only colour in the volume is the cover, which the artist noted "perhaps it is just by chance that it looks like one of Mao's [little red] books". A 2009 work by Micah Lexier and Roula Partheniou (Works, Works 1, Twice - found and painted books, below) finds a similar shared design with another communist leader, Joseph Stalin.

When pressed to comment further on Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red, Weiner stated: "There is nothing to say. A Book is a Book for all that" and later added "The book is about its content. Perhaps not at all about the shelf it finds itself on".

The title has been long out-of-print (the original 1972 version can be purchased here for 120 GBP) but Zédélé Editions re-issued the book in 2012, as part of their reprint series which also includes important bookworks by Emmett Williams, Herman de Vries, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long and Peter Downsbrough.

It is available from them, here, for 15 Euros.

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