Saturday, November 18, 2023

Hanne Darboven | Letters from New York

Hanne Darboven
Letters from New York
Berlin, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 1997
 650 pp., 22.9 x 17.5 cm., hardcover
Edition of 999

"Soon after completing her studies at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and embarking upon a two-year sojourn in New York, the 25-year-old artist Hanne Darboven created "sketch sheets" on graph paper - early drafts of what would later form a system she would "write herself into" over the course of the ensuing years. During these years, exceptionally meaningful ones for both her life and her work, she developed in parallel a kind of self-assurance program, recording dates, observations and everyday experiences in countless small calendars. To these "existential bank statements" she later gave the title Existenz 66-68. In the frequent letters written to her family in Hamburg during this time she goes yet a step farther. More firmly anchored in her own private sphere, they serve as a "lifeline" in her quest for objectivity in her existence through the medium of words and messages: encounters (with Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre, for example), questions regarding her own identity, her art and her efforts to come to terms with the self reflected in it. These letters from New York, which form both the core and the point of departure for important aspects of Hanne Darboven's oeuvre, are reproduced in facsimile and in their entirety in this publication. "
- Publisher's blurb

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