Sunday, April 28, 2024

Yves Klein was born on this day in 1928. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Fiona Banner | Performance Nude

Fiona Banner 
Performance Nude
London, UK: Other Criteria, 2009
96 pp., 8.3 x 1.1 x 10.4”, hardcover
Edition size unknown

"From 'The Birth of Venus' to art school classrooms across the globe, artists have, over time, employed life models in an attempt to capture the essence of the female nude. One such artist is Fiona Banner. As this book Performance Nude illustrates, Banner uses paint and line to portray her models; however, she renders them not in figurative gestures, but in words. Straying further from traditional methods, she specifically uses 'real' women rather than practiced life models as her subject, choosing to capture the strain and tension created in the room by the presence of a novice. Whatever discomfort is revealed in the relationship is tested further by introducing an audience to the room and filming the scene for up to an hour. The effect is at timespoetic, at others searching and critical. By portraying her nudes in this way, Banner questions the difference between looking and perceiving; the separation between experiencing something, and the language we use to describe it.”
- publisher’s blurb

Friday, April 19, 2024

Bas Jan Ader

Bas Jan Ader was born on this day in April of 1942. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Joy Walker | A Circle in Four Parts

Joy Walker
A Circle in Four Parts [Special Edition] 
Toronto, Canada: Nothing Else Press, 2016
4 Soft enamel pins, plexi box
5.5 cm x 5.1 cm x 5.5cm
Edition of 50 initialed and numbered copies

A circle is divided and rearranged into four quadrants to create this black and white graphic lapel pin. The work is available as a single pin or as a special edition that houses an arrangement of four pins in a plexi box. The original design is rotated, reflected and reshuffled, to create 6 different patterns.

A new exhibition of Walker’s work opens Saturday April 20 and continues until May 18, at MKG127 in Toronto. Titled A Line Becomes a Thread, the show explores Walker’s interest in art and fashion and the ways they inform and influence each other. 

"As someone embedded in both worlds – as an artist, fashion educator, textile researcher, and with a family history in the garment industry – Walker inhabits a unique intersection.

The works in this exhibition explore this symbiotic relationship and its connection to individual and collective histories through the use of the artist’s own manipulated garments and thrifted finds; textile remnants, repurposed prints, and sustainable materials.”
- MKG127 press release

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Douglas Gordon | List of Names

Douglas Gordon
List of Names
London, UK: Ax, 1992
31 x 22 x 6 cm. 
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies

Initially displayed as a list of names, appearing in columns as if it were a war memorial, List of Names consists of the names of everyone the artist can recall meeting in his life. An autobiography by association, shaped by the limits of memory. 

"It was an accurate and honest statement but it was full of mistakes (like forgetting the names of some friends),” Gordon said, later, "so there were some embarrassing elements in the work, but that all seemed to be quite close to the truth of how our head functions anyway. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t."

"The first list of names was compiled in August 1990. The list consisted of 1440 names typeset
in Frutiger 66. The list was installed on a wall for the exhibition Self Conscious State at the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, November 1990.

The second list of names was compiled in August, 1991. The list consisted of 1705 names, typeset in American Typewriter. The list was presented in edition form, printed and wrapped for the exhibition Walk On at the Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, September 1991.”
- Douglas Gordon, colophon page

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Faith Ringgold | Bookplate

Faith Ringgold
New York City, USA: Printed Matter Inc., 1992
[250 pp], 13 x 7.5 cm., loose leaves
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies

"Published by Printed Matter in 1992 as part of a series of individually issued ex libris projects, these bookplates by Faith Ringgold are printed on acid-free paper and come in an archival document box. “Ex libris ultimus” (“The last of the books”) is printed on the plate along with “Black Matters”, the title of the first of three essays in Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992), which criticizes the American literary canon for depicting the Black experience in America from a white, Eurocentric perspective, reducing Black characters to ornamental stereotypes. There are 250 book plates in each box, including one that is signed and numbered. Other artists in the series include Larry Clark, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, Claes Oldenburg, and Nancy Spero.”
- Printed Matter

The work is available from the publisher, here, for $175.00 US. 

Faith Ringgold died Saturday, at the age of 93. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

James Lee Byars | 100,000 Minutes

James Lee Byars
100,000 Minutes
Antwerp, Belgium: A. de Decker, White Wide Space, 1969. 
[200] pp., 26.8x20.8 cm., softcover
Edition of 250. 

100,000 Minutes is the first artist book by James Lee Byars. It is also known as The Big Sample of Byars or The First Paper of Philosophy, or The Pink Book, or 1/2 An Autobiography. The latter title refers to the artist’s age at the time - he was thirty-six years old when writing it, and the life expectancy of an American male was seventy-two.  

"If I ever become 72, I'll write the second part,” he wrote, but didn’t. He died in 1997 at the age of 65. 

The title features a single hand scrawled line per spread; questions, statements, instructions, anecdotes, biographical information, etc. For example: 

"Breakfast is my favorite meal"
"I want to live to be a hundred”
“I’m six feet tall”
“Judgment is impossible"
"Your reading My Big Sample is one of my works"
"I write best with ball pen"
"Publicity is the content of this exhibition”
"His head weighs twenty-five pounds"
“What is the difference between asking and telling?”
“Is is?"

"The overriding theme that increasingly dominated Byars’ work in the ’70s was philosophical doubt, informed by Pyrrhonic and Buddhist dialectic, and by the phenomenological rejection of all claims to certainty or ultimacy of knowledge. Byars’ sensitivity to the problem of knowledge, increasing over decades, led him to posit, as an art object or the basis for a series of art objects, the primacy of the question over the answer. The self-sufficient question stood in his work as a symbol of indeterminacy, openness to the universe, freedom from the enclosing and restricting anxiety of the answer. For Byars, adding a question mark to any statement infuses it with life and moves it into the realm of art or poetry. In his work the question mark functions as an analogue of the unfettered potentiality of the zero. Each discloses an empty space where any of life’s infinite forms is invited to arise.”
- Thomas McEvilley