Monday, January 9, 2023

Michael Snow Tribute #11: A Survey

Michael Snow
A Survey [Special Edition]
Toronto, Canada: Art Gallery of Ontario/Isaacs Gallery, 1970
124 pp., 20.5 × 21.5 × 1 cm., hardcover
Edition of 125 signed and numbered copies

Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, held at the Art Gallery of Ontario, February 14-March 15, 1970, this artist book/exhibition catalogue hybrid combines images of the artist's work alongside family photographs. Designed by Snow himself, the work also includes texts by Robert Fulford, Dennis Young, Richard Foreman & P. Adams Sitney.

A Survey marks the beginning of Snow's use of repurposing earlier works for new. "The whole retrospective thing," he told Joe Medjuck in 1971, "made me look back at my old work for the first time. I was interested in the idea of using the records of old work as the material for new works."

The deluxe edition is housed in a plexiglass slipcase and includes a small magnifying glass in a glassine envelope, a fresnel magnifying sheet, three Walking Women stickers, a nude photographic bookmark, and a 22 x 23" folded print of the work Manual (above, bottom). Each copy is individually annotated, signed and numbered by the artist.

The work is valued at around a $1500, depending on condition. 

"Like Warhol before him, Snow also took on the task of designing the catalogue for his first retrospective, which took place at the Art Gallery of Ontario in February and March of 1970. Unlike Warhol’s catalogue, however, there are some concessions to the traditional exhibition catalogue format, including a list of art works in the show, as well as a biography and C.V. But, that’s as far as it goes. For A Survey, Snow combines elements of the exhibition catalogue with a family scrapbook. The layout of the book reflects Snow’s interest in serial imagery and photographic experimentation. The limited edition hardcover is encased in a clear plastic shell, and includes several extras: a fresnal magnifying sheet; some Walking Woman stickers; a signed and numbered poster picturing drawings of a soft cover version of the book twisted into various shapes; and, notoriously, a laminated ‘bookmark’ picturing, on one side, a photo booth strip picturing the artist’s erect penis and, on the other, an equally intimate portrait of his wife, the artist Joyce Weiland, who, for her exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada the following year, designed her own artist book/exhibition catalogue, True Patriot Love."
- Bill Clarke


No comments:

Post a Comment