Monday, July 16, 2018

Marcel Dzama | The Cabin of Count Dracula

Marcel Dzama
The Cabin of Count Dracula
Brisbane, USA: Trillium Press, 2005
14 x  14 x 6"
Edition of 10

A set of twenty lithographs depicting a variety of imagined activities happening at the vampire’s log cabin retreat. The prints are on Arches Cover paper, each signed with initials and numbered VII/X in pencil. They are housed in a custom hand-made wooden log cabin box, on a bed of faux beaver fur. A 9" marbelized green vinyl record (released separately in an edition of 1000) is also included.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

ACBA: Raymond Pettibon for Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth [Raymond Pettibon]
(Over) Kill Yr Idols
Newtonville, USA: Forced Exposure, 1985
17.8 × 18.4 cm.
Edition of 1246

Early 7" single recorded live in Berlin in 1983 and released alongside Forced Exposure magazine #7/8, and made available to Forced Exposure subscribers. Between ten and twenty test pressing copies have covers fully hand-coloured by Thurston Moore and a significant proportion of all copies feature some hand colouring.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ettore Spalletti | Salle des Fetes

Ettore Spalletti
Salle des Fetes
Milan, Italy: a+m bookstore, 1998
1400 pp., 17 x 12 cm., hardcover
Edition of 1000

Friday, July 13, 2018

Enrico Baj | La cravate ne vaut pas une médaille

Enrico Baj
La cravate ne vaut pas une médaille
Genève, Switzerland: Edition Rousseau, 1972
38 x 38 cm.
Edition of 160 signed and numbered copies

The Tie is Not Worth a Medal contains 21 folders of screenprints on handmade paper, some featuring mixed media additions such as plastic, felt and collaged paper. The final folder is signed "HC baj." They are housed in a white imitation leather slipcase, onto which is mounted a Lego board.

Auction records vary, with the size being listed as 38cm., 39.5cm., 40cm., and 40.5cm., and the edition size as either being 160, or 200, which is unusual, given that the work is numbered. The work has a value of between three and four thousand dollars.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Joseph Beuys | Filzpostkarte

Joseph Beuys
Heidelberg, Germany: Edition Staeck, 1985

10.5 x 15 x 0.9 cm.
Unlimited edition, with 100 copies signed by the artist

A postcard made of Beuys’ signature material, possibly a pun on the word Feldpostkarte – a postcard sent through the German military postal service to and from soldiers in the battlefield. Beuys also produced a wooden (Holzpostkarte) and PVC version (Honey is Flowing).

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Towards New Models of Artists’ Publishing: 2 Round Table Discussions


A Summer School for Artists’ Publishing
July 12 at 6:30 in Rennie Hall
With Danielle St-Amour, Jonathan Middleton, Kristy Trinier. Moderator: Kathy Slade
Publications of the Future
July 19 at 6:30 in Rennie Hall
With Jacquelyn Z Ross, Ryan Smith, Emma Metcalfe Hurst + Christian Vistan. Moderator: Lyndsay Pomerantz

As part of the Libby Leshgold Gallery’s exhibition It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox: Toward new models of artists’ publishing, READ Books and Publication Studio Vancouver are pleased to present two round table discussions by both leading and up-and-coming artist publishers. It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox continues at the gallery until September 16, 2018.

For information on the exhibition please visit our website.

About the Panels:

A Summer School for Artists’ Publishing
July 12 at 6:30 in Rennie Hall
Danielle St-Amour
Jonathan Middleton
Kristy Trinier
Moderator: Kathy Slade

Please join Danielle St-Amour from Art Metropole, Jonathan Middleton from Distribution Office, and Kristy Trinier from Southern Alberta Art Gallery in a discussion moderated by Kathy Slade. The discussion will consider current concerns in artists’ publishing as a practice and centre on ideas for the formation of a summer school for artists’ publishing. How should this school take its form? What is needed? What could it look like?

Danielle St-Amour is the Director of Art Metropole in Toronto. She is an artist, writer, and curator who works predominantly with collaborative projects and platforms. She has served as an editor with Kunstverein Toronto and is a member of the editorial advisory board at C Magazine. In 2013 she co-curated the exhibition TO BECOME WHOLE at The Banff Centre, with writer and art historian Robin Simpson. From 2008-2013, she was a member of the experimental publishing collective palimpsest. St-Amour participated in the Banff Research in Culture Institute, 2014, and the Critical Arts Writing Symposium at the Banff International Curatorial Institute in 2015. She regularly publishes arts writing and criticism nationally and internationally.

Jonathan Middleton is an artist, curator and publisher based in Vancouver. His practice proceeds from strong interests in language, failure, and the antagonistic structure of comedy. His artwork has been presented at Plaza Projects, the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Vancouver International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, VIVO Media Arts, Tracey Lawrence Gallery, among others. Middleton served as Director/Curator of Western Front Exhibitions (1999–2005) and Or Gallery (2007–2017) and was the founding publisher and an editorial board member of Fillip magazine (2004–2008). He currently works with artist/designer Derek Barnett in a design and publishing collaboration called Information Office.

Kristy Trinier is the Director of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Secretary of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, and Editor of Publication Studio Edmonton at 66B. Her previous roles include Director of Visual, Digital and Media Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity; Curator at the Art Gallery of Alberta, where she curated the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art in both 2015 and 2017; Public Art Director at the Edmonton Arts Council. Trinier holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art and English from the University of Victoria, and a Masters degree in Public Art from the Dutch Art Institute as a Huygens scholar in The Netherlands. She is currently pursuing PhD studies in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought at European Graduate School based in Switzerland.

Publications of the Future
July 19 at 6:30 in Rennie Hall
Jacquelyn Ross
Ryan Smith
Emma Metcalfe Hurst + Christian Vistan
Moderator: Lyndsay Pomerantz

Lyndsay Pomerantz of READ Books will moderate a discussion with Jacquelyn Ross of Blanque Cheque, Ryan Smith of Brick Press, and Emma Metcalfe-Hurst and Christian Vistan of SPIT. Together they will speak about their publishing practices, speculate on what the future holds for artists’ books, and point to the wishes and needs of young publishers.

Jacquelyn Z Ross is a writer and critic based in Toronto, Canada. She publishes books by emerging artists and writers under the small press Blank Cheque. Her writing has appeared in BOMB, Mousse, C Magazine, The Capilano Review,, and elsewhere. Some of her recent chapbooks include Mayonnaise and Drawings on Yellow Paper. Her short story Wild Horses was published in the most recent issue of Agony Klub and her poem R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. was featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Fence.

Ryan Smith is a designer and publisher based in Vancouver, BC. He has been independently publishing books since 2010. In 2012 he created a pop-up shop called Ryry’s Bodega, a retail space used for installation based art projects. He is the founder and operator of Brick press, an art book publisher and bookstore. Since 2012, Brick Press has published a variety of artists’ books, art theory and exhibition catalogues. In the Fall of 2018, he will begin a Masters of Design degree at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Christian Vistan is a Filipino-Canadian artist originally from Bataan, currently based in Ladner, BC. His work has been exhibited in Canada, US, and Philippines. Recent projects and exhibitions include a lot of it happened under my grandma’s mango tree (2017) for GUM in Ladner, BC, Kamias Triennale (2017) at Kamias Special Projects, Quezon City, Perla/Pervize (2017) at Artspeak, Vancouver, and breakfast lunch & dinner (2016) at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta. He was the Curatorial Assistant at Centre A, Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and in 2017-2018, he was part of the Studio for Emerging Writers at Artspeak. Together with Emma Metcalfe-Hurst he runs SPIT.

Emma Metcalfe-Hurst is an artist and writer based in Vancouver. Since graduating from Emily Carr University in 2015, Metcalfe-Hurst has worked with Nanaimo Art Gallery, Access Gallery, and Avenue. She has exhibited her work at Ladner Library, Unit/Pitt, 221A, The Amazing Gallery, and Avenue. Together with Christian Vistan she runs SPIT, which is a new iteration of LIT LIT LIT LIT,  a project she collaborated on with Stephanie Ling.

Libby Leshgold Gallery (formerly the Charles H. Scott Gallery)
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
520 East 1st Avenue. Vancouver, BC V5T 0H2

This week on Tumblr: Puzzles and Games

Monday, July 9, 2018

Jean Toche, RIP

Jean Toche, artist, activist and co-founder of the Guerrilla Art Action Group, was found dead in his home by the police, this afternoon.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Christopher Wool | Untitled (Sonic Youth)

Christopher Wool
Untitled (Sonic Youth)
New York City, USA: Brand X Editions, 2012
139.8 × 99.3 cm.
Edition of 45

Silkscreen ink on Fabriano Aristico, 300 gram traditional white. Sold out.

Other Brand X Editions prints include works by Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Chuck Close, Vija Celmins and others.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Festum Fluxorum Festival

The original printing plate and plastic foil positive designed by George Maciunas for the poster advertising the Festum Fluxorum Festival in the Art Academy, Düsseldorf.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mask of Gillian Wearing by Gillian Wearing

Gillian Wearing
Mask of Gillian Wearing by Gillian Wearing
London, UK: Self-published, 2003
23 x 22 cm.
Edition of 4000 numbered copies

Claude Lanzmann, RIP

Claude Lanzmann died yesterday at the of age ninety-two, in Paris.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Micah Lexier | Drilled Deck

Micah Lexier
Drilled Deck
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2018
9 x 6.5 x 1.8 cm.
Edition of 54 initialed and dated copies

"Drilled Deck is a varied edition of playing cards in which each deck of cards has been made unique by the placement and size of a drilled hole. This project was made for the Toronto Art Book Fair which opens Thursday night and runs until Sunday night. The multiple was made in an edition of 54 decks of red cards and 54 decks of blue cards. The decks of red cards have been drilled with an 1/8” hole and the decks of blue cards have been drilled with a 5/8” hole. The placement of the hole is unique to each deck of cards. Each deck is sold for $5 and is initialed and dated in pencil by the artist. Subsequent editions will be made using different brands of cards or different hole sizes.

Drilled Deck is one of two projects that I made for the art book fair that are based on the price of $5 per hole. The second project is a collaborative hole-punch drawing in which the purchaser selects the location of the hole(s) they want punched and I do the punching. I charge $5 per hole and at the conclusion of the drawing we both sign the drawing in the allocated locations."

- Micah Lexier

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Lee Lozano | Notebooks 1967-70

Lee Lozano
Notebooks 1967-70
New York City, USA: Primary Information, 2010
224 pp., 8.5 x 10.75", softcover
Edition of 1500

Before this volume, I knew very little about Lee Lozano's confounding life and body of work. I was familiar with her contribution to the SMS periodical (see previous post) and her involvement with the Art Workers Coalition (“for me there can be no art revolution that is separate from a science revolution, a political revolution, an education revolution, a drug revolution, a sex revolution[...]"), but little else.

This is possibly due to the success of two of her epic works, General Strike and Dropout. The former, from 1969, reads:

"Gradually but determinedly avoid being present at official or public ‘uptown’ functions or gatherings related to the art world in order to pursue investigation of total personal & public revolution."

Dropout went even further.

"It was inevitable...that I do the Dropout Piece," she wrote on April 5, 1970, "It had been churning for a long time but I think it's about to blow. Dropout Piece is the hardest work I have ever done in that it involves destruction of (or at least complete understanding of) powerful emotional habits. I want to get over my habit of emotional dependence on love. I want to start trusting myself & others more. I want to believe that I have power & complete my own fate."

Retiring from the art world as an artwork is celebrated in the practice of Tehching Hsieh, but Lozano never attained the same cult-like status he was afforded. Or respect. Reclusive male artists, such as Stanley Brouwn and On Kawara, were granted autonomy from the art world without accusations of being "caught in the space between art and madness” [curator Alanna Heiss]. Even Bas Jan Ader and Ray Johnson - whose deaths straddled the line between artwork and suicide - are rarely discussed in such emotional terms.

Few artist's stories are as compelling and enigmatic as Lozano's. A New York Times obituary and an unmarked grave make strange bedfellows. But rather than attempt to piece together her complicated life, publisher Primary Information instead present pages compiled from notebooks that Lozano kept from 1967 to 1970. The volume eschews any supplemental information at all, even pagination, in favour of a facsimile reprint of the loose pages as they were found photocopied thirty-odd years ago.

Lozano notes within the journal that she considered the pages to be "drawings," and they were periodically exhibited and sold as such.

The first third of the entries are essentially preparatory sketches for paintings, and the shift towards conceptualism is anticipated in the evolving way that she views these works. In December of 1968 she writes "Decided to refer to the paintings as "Movies", then changed the word to "Films" for pun value". An entry from May 10th, 1969 reads "If the canvases are on warped stretchers, let them be hung on specially built warped walls."

She fantasizes for a few pages about refusing to sell her paintings and, eventually, to only showing them to close friends. The transition away from the medium she was celebrated for soon follows.

The move from painting towards conceptual and performative work was not uncommon in the mid-to-late sixties, but Lozano's might legitimately be called radical. Writing in Art Journal Open, Lauren O’Neill-Butler noted that “at a time when Conceptual artists were outdoing themselves in dematerializing their objects and their activities, competing as to who could do less and still call it art, Lee outdid them all by doing less with an unmatched intensity that made it more.”

Alongside the two epic acts of refusal are smaller gestures that also illustrate Lozano's growing disdain for the ways that art making was intertwined with commerce and social activity. Party Piece (or Paranoia Piece) reads:

"Describe your current work to a famous but failing artist from the early 60’s. Wait to see whether he boosts* any of your ideas.  March 15, 1969. *hoist, cop, steal"

Withdrawal Piece, from February 1969, proposes:

"Pull out of show at Dick Bellamy's to avoid hanging with work that brings you down."

The two other artist notebooks I have in my collection are by George Brecht and Michael Snow, both designed to mimic the ubiquitous spiral-bound school workbook.  The Brecht title documents his time as a student studying under John Cage, and serves as a collection of proto-Fluxus "event" scores. Snow's recounts his high school days, but is in fact (like his The Last LP record) an entire fabrication, playing on the juvenile pun of the title High School. "The high in High School refers to dope," he recounted, laughing, a few years ago.

Lozano may indeed have been stoned when she wrote many of her entries, given that Grass Piece, from 1969, proposes that the artist "Stay high all day, every day. See what happens". A similar work suggests taking acid for thirty days, something many friends think forever changed her. Even a painting proposal (unrealized) calls for the same paintings to be made while stoned, drunk and sober.

But whereas other artists' facsimile notebooks tend to focus on the formative years, and serve as additional colouring to an understanding of their practice, for Lozano's work the notebooks are instrumental. “I have started to document everything," she writes, "because I cannot give up my love of ideas.”

While a few of these ideas are playful and light (such as proposing using a toilet tank as an aquarium for pet fish, because it self-cleans from the regular flushing) most of the scores consist of strict self-imposed rules that increasingly structured most aspects of Lozano's life.

Her 1969 Masturbation Investigation - which dictates the types of things she can fantasize about, as well as the various objects she may use (carrot, feather, hard rubber motorcycle pedal) - can also be viewed in the context of withdrawal and refusal. Immediately under the title, Lozano notes that the work takes place simultaneous to Grass Piece, and General Strike, but also "I refuse to see my partner or anyone else".

In August 1971, she began what might be her best known (and least understood) work, Boycott Piece. In the her New York Times obituary, penned by Roberta Smith, this work was given top billing, in the headline: "Lee Lozano, 68, Conceptual Artist Who Boycotted Women for Years."

Initially, the plan was to stop speaking to women for a month, in order to "make communication better than ever". But the work gradually morphed into a lifelong project. It was almost as though non-participation in the art world was not sufficient. Lozano had to further alienate herself, in order to achieve her own personal revolution.

Her mother was reportedly exempt, but otherwise it is said that the artist did not have a civil conversation with another woman for the last twenty-eight years of her life. Sol Lewitt, her friend, confirmed that New York waitresses became accustomed to being ignored by her. His wife, Carol LeWitt, confirmed that whenever the two encountered each other, Lozano would cover her eyes and turn away. Mark Kramer, the artist's cousin, said that she wouldn't even enter a store if a woman was behind the counter.

Alternately viewed as radical feminism or profound misogyny, the work surely must be considered one of the longest duration performances ever, and perhaps the most difficult to unpack.

Very little is known about Lozano's self-imposed exile in Texas, from 1972 until her death from cervical cancer in 1999. She left no survivors and was buried without a headstone, amongst the bodies of the homeless and unclaimed.

In a 2001 interview, Lucy Lippard (the first 'victim' of the Boycott piece) noted, "Lee was extraordinarily intense, one of the first, if not the first person (along with Ian Wilson) who did the life-as-art thing. The kind of things other people did as art, she really did as life--and it took us a while to figure that out."

Primary Information reissued Lee Lozano: Notebooks 1967-70 earlier this year. The title is currently on sale for only $25, here.

[original pages from the Journals, in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art]

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lee Lozano | Thesis

Lee Lozano
New York City, USA: The Letter Edged in Black Press, 1968
7.5 x 12.1 cm.
Edition of 2000

Billed as an "erotic thesis" and subtitled All men are hardly created equal, Lozano's notebook from SMS #2, reproduces typewritten pages and illustrations and is held together with a lavender satin ribbon.

It is available at the New Museum, here, for $75 US.