Thursday, September 21, 2017

Erik Kessels signing

RVB Books is hosting a book signing with Dutch artist, designer and curator Erik Kessels, tomorrow at noon, at Unseen Amsterdam. Best known as a book publisher "specializing in absurdist found photography" (Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian, Nov 2015), Kessels is also the the creative director of the Amsterdam based advertising agency KesselsKramer, whose success presumably funds his interest in vernacular photography.

For more information, including an interview the artist, visit Unseen Amsterdam, here.

12th annual NY Art Book Fair opens tonight

"Printed Matter, Inc. presents
September 22-24, 2017
Preview: Thursday, September 21, 6-9pm

Printed Matter presents the twelfth annual NY Art Book Fair, from September 22 to 24, 2017, at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens.

Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines.

The 2017 NY Art Book Fair will feature over 370 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions and independent publishers from twenty-eight countries.

Join us on Thursday, September 21 from 6 to 9 pm, at MoMA PS1 for our opening night preview. The evening will feature special live performances on the steps of PS1 by Upstate Music, BLONDES and Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip).

Entry to the Preview will cost $10, proceeds going to support NYABF17. The first 2,000 visitors to pre-pay online or to pay at the door (while supplies last) will receive a Ticket Edition by Emma Kohlmann.

Entry may be paid at the door or booked online at until 12 noon on September 21st, 2017. If purchased online, you’ll receive your Ticket Edition when checking in at the Preview.

This year’s NY Art Book Fair will included an ever-growing variety of exhibitors – from the zinesters in (XE)ROX & PAPER + SCISSORS and the Small Press Dome representing publishing at its most innovative and affordable, to rare and antiquarian dealers offering out-of-print books and ephemera from art and artist book history, plus the NYABF-classic Friendly Fire, focused on the intersections of art and activism.

NYABF17 will host an array of programming and special events, including: The Classroom, a curated engagement of informal conversations, workshops, readings, and other artist-led interventions, for the eighth year running, as well as The Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference (CABC), in its tenth year, featuring two full days on emerging practices and issues within art-book culture.

Preview Thursday, September 21, 6-9 pm
Friday, September 22, 1-7pm
Saturday, September 23, 11am-9pm
Sunday, September 24, 11-am-7pm

MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue on 46th Avenue,
Long Island City, NY"

- Press release

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Claudia de la Torre | Ten (unknown) Gasoline Stations

Claudia de la Torre
Ten (unknown) Gasoline Stations
Berlin, Germany: Backbone Books, 2012
12 pp., 14.8 x 21 cm., saddle stitched
Edition of 500 numbered copies

Part tribute, part mystery novel, this title pays homage to Ed Ruscha's iconic first artist book, which is now 54 years old. Whereas Ruscha listed the location of the stations in his photographs, these images are anonymous - found online, uploaded by a man seeking help in identifying them.

Available for 15 EUR from the publisher, here.

PLEASE NOTE: Backbone Books founder Claudia de la Torre has offered that 100% of all sales today will be donated to organizations responding to the devastating earthquakes in Mexico.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Katie Paterson | Fossil Necklace Postcard Edition

Katie Paterson
Fossil Necklace Postcard Edition
Glasgow, Scotland: Self-published, 2013
342 pp., 14.3 x 19 x 9 cm., boxed
Edition of 100

Fossil Necklace consists of 170 carved, rounded fossils, spanning and representing geological time. Each fossil on the necklace, excavated from around the world, represents a major event in evolution. For a full listing of each stone, visit the artist's website, here.

The clothbound boxed postcard set features a micro lens portrait of each bead, with the relevant information printed on the verso. It is available for £250, here.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Meredith Monk | Key

Meredith Monk
San Francisco, USA: Tompkins Square Label, 2017
12" LP, 36:42
Limited edition. Edition size unknown

Meredith Monk Awarded 2017 Gish Prize

Record store release of the reissued classic, originally from 1971 (Increase Records) and later available via Lovely Music.

Monk's debut record contains her earliest compositions for voice, composed and performed between  1967 and 1970. The disk features vocals from Fluxus artist Dick Higgins and photography by Peter Moore.

“In Key I wanted to create a constantly shifting ambience. Each song dealt with a different vocal character, landscape, technical concern or emotional quality. I was trying for a visceral, kinetic song form that had the abstract qualities of a painting or a dance. I knew that I didn’t want to set music to a text; for me, the voice itself was a language which seemed to speak more eloquently than words. I chose certain phonemes for their particular sound qualities. In a sense, each song became a world in itself with its own timbre, texture and impulse.”

- Meredith Monk

Monk has just been awarded the quarter million dollar Lillian Gish Prize, which will be honoured during a ceremony at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 26. She was chosen from among more than sixty-six finalists in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, and arts administration. Previous recipients of the award include Trisha Brown, Laurie Anderson, Frank Gehry, Peter Sellars, and Bob Dylan.

“I am humbled and grateful to receive the Gish Prize,” Monk said. “It’s exceptional for being a prize that a great artist decided to give to other artists, and even more special for the values that Lillian Gish expressed when she said it should recognize contributions to ‘the beauty of the world.’ I believe, as she did, that art can be a healing force, a source of light during dark times. With boundless admiration for her, and profound respect for the artists who received this prize before me, I am thrilled to have been chosen for this one-of-a-kind award.”

- Meredith Monk

Friday, September 15, 2017

Endre Tót | Total questions by Tot

Endre Tót
Total questions by Tot
Berlin, Germany: Edition Hundertmark, 1974
16 pp., 21 x 14.7 cm., softcover
Edition of 300

Reproduction of the questionnaires answered by Marina Abramovic, anonymous c/o Marylin Monroe, George Brecht, Jacques Charlier, Hervé Fisher, Ken Friedman, Dick Higgins, Pierre Restany, Takako Saito, Mieko Shiomi and Wolf Vostell, and not by Marcel Duchamp.

A second edition from 1982 is available from the publisher, here, for 16 Euro.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pierre | David Nuancier

Pierre David
Paris, France: RVB Books, 2015
96 pp., 28 x 6 cm., hardcover
Edition size unknown

Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freyre wrote in 1933 that race was uniquely insignificant in Brazil, that the country was the world's only true “racial democracy”. Generations of miscegenation, he argued, had made skin tone irrelevant.

This became a point of pride for Brazilians, and as late as the 1950s, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) funded research into Brazil’s racial relations, hoping to discover “an alternative model for the racial conflicts found worldwide.”

The notion is considerably more contentious now, challenged by both activists and academics. Examples can be found here, here and here.

But for some, the central premise is still worth exploring. French artist Pierre David moved to Brazil in 2009, and was struck by the variety of skin colours, and Freyre's observations.

“Brazil has a better attitude to skin colour than other developed nations,” he told The Guardian,  “There’s no doubt, because the concept of skin colour difference was recognised very early in their history. Now, it even appears on identity documents. In France, it is forbidden to define someone by his colour; in Brazil, that’s not the case. Everyone can claim his skin colour and be proud.”

Produced while in residence at the Museum of Modern Art in Salvador da Bahia, his colour chart book Nuancier documents the skin pigmentation of forty employees of the museum. David took photographic scans of 15cm of skin from the back of each member of the installation crew. The scans are presented as a fanned book of swatches, with topless portraits of each on the verso.

The artist also worked with the paint manufacturer Sikkens and to industrially produce each of the men’s skin tones. The forty paint cans were displayed alongside the colour chart, and the museum walls were painted with their colours.

Nuancier is available from the publisher, here, for 28 €.

Watch the book unfolded on Youtube, here, and hear the artist speak about the project (in French) here.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Jenny Holzer | Laments

Jenny Holzer
New York City, USA: Dia Art Foundation, 1989
VHS tape housed in a plastic clamshell box.
Edition size unknown

Often packaged with the book of the same name, this video documents Holzer's installation at DIA in March of 1989, in which thirteen texts were engraved into a continuous row of stone sarcophagi that recounted what Holzer identified as “voices of the dead.” These lamentations expressed the "before death" thoughts of an infant, two children, and ten adults. LED lights affixed to columns within the space echoed these meditations, constructing an architectural installation of spotlight tombs and didactic pillars.

“This videotape is based on the installation by Jenny Holzer of thirteen stone sarcophagi and thirteen vertical LED (light emitting diode) signboards at the Dia Art Foundation.”
- VHS label

Friday, September 8, 2017

Christian Marclay | Drumsticks

Christian Marclay
New York City, USA: Paula Cooper Gallery, 2000
38.4 × 0.3 × 0.3 cm
Edition of 15

Hand-tooled glass drumsticks, a kind of 'one shot percussion', incised with the artist’s signature and date.

At a Phillips auction just a little over a year ago, a pair sold for $5,625 US, against an estimate of between $6,000  and $8,000.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Robert Rauschenberg | Guggenheim Retrospective Limited Edition Suite of 6 Plates

Robert Rauschenberg
Guggenheim Retrospective Limited Edition Suite of 6 Plates
New York City, USA: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1997
26.3 × 26.3 cm., each
Edition size unknown

Published in conjunction with his massive survey at the Guggenheim in New York City, these porcelain plates now sell for around $3000 US, for the complete set.