Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fluxus: Selections from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection

[Fluxus] Clive Phillpot, Jon Hendricks
Fluxus: Selections from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection
New York City, USA: Museum of Modern Art, 1988
64 pp., 20.5 x 20.5 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

The Museum of Modern Art's first exhibition dedicated to Fluxus was installed in the gallery library and curated by then-Director of the Library Clive Phillpot. The exhibition, which ran from November 17th, 1988 to March 10th, 1989, consisted of works from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection. The works included instruction drawings, correspondence, photographs, newsletters, posters, multiples, bookworks and various other ephemera.

The catalogue includes texts by Phillpot and Jon Hendricks, who was the curator of Silverman collection at the time, and remains the leading authority on the subject of Fluxus publications. In 2008, twenty years after this exhibition, the Silverman's donated their collection of Fluxus works to the MoMA, where they are available to researchers.

The catalogue cover features Yoko Ono's documentation of a performance called The Museum of Modern [F]Art, altered with a few scribbles and collaged images of George Macuinas. The pages of the book also contain marginalia by Ben Vautier. Some are classic Vautier: "Do you think this page is jealous of the next one?"; while others appear to be channeling Ono: "Imagine yourself as a branch of the tree out of which this page was made", "Look through this hole at the world", etc.

The museum recently made the catalogue - now out of print, though not expensive on the secondary market - available as a PDF. Download the entire book at the MoMA site, here.

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