Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Recent Broodthaers Reprints

The first two months of 2016 saw the announcement of three new Marcel Broodthaers’ reprints. Maria Gilissen, the artist's widow and the executer of his estate, has long been interested in facilitating a wider audience for her late husband’s bookworks, and has collaborated with numerous commercial galleries and museums (Edition de Cygne, Mary Boone, Michael Werner, etc.) to produce both unpublished volumes and facsimile reprints of titles originally available in very limited editions. 

Her collaborators for the recent titles are all well-chosen. Siglio was founded in Los Angeles by Lisa Pearson in 2008 and quickly established itself as a publisher of note, with carefully chosen titles and beautifully crafted publications. Alongside artists’ books by Nancy Spero, Sophie Calle, and Joe Brainard, Siglio has also produced several reprints, including John Cage’s Diary and Ray Johnson’s Something Else Press classic The Paper Snake. Poets & Writers Magazine noted that the press’ "higher calling is to make available uncommon books by authors whose work resides somewhere between the literary and visual arts."

Steve Clay's Granary Books have been exploring similar territory for almost thirty years. Their stated mission—to produce, promote, document, and theorize new works exploring the intersection of word, image, and page— has led to projects by Brainard, Simon Cutts, Johanna Drucker, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Jackson Mac Low, and many others. Granary also produced the lavish facsimile reproduction of Jack Smith’s The Beautiful Book in 2001.

Fittingly, Siglio and Granary worked with Gilissen to produce faithful reprints of three of Broodthaers' first four publications, all of which were volumes of poetry.  Siglio presents the artist’s first two titles (My Ogre Book and Midnight) in a shared volume - the first time either has been available in English. They are coupled with a print version of Broodthaer’s single-carousel slide projection, Shadow Theatre (1973-74), in a handsomely bound and affordable volume. 

Granary Books presents Pense-Bete (1964) as a deluxe facsimile reprint, in an edition of 100 (only 75 of which are available for sale). Broodthaers individualized most copies of the original, with the addition of coloured paper masking sections of the text. The Granary reprint is modelled on several examples of these collaged versions. It was published on the occasion of "Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective", which opened at The Museum of Modern Art on February 14th of this year, and runs through to next week. 

MoMA also produced their own reprint to accompany the exhibition: The Conquest Of Space: Atlas For The Use Of Artists And The Military. Originally produced in 1975, the artist's last book was published in an edition of fifty numbered copies which were intended to be signed but Broodthaers died shortly afterwards, on the 28th of January (his birthday) of 1976. He was fifty-two years old. 

Atlas is a miniature book (4 x 3 cm) with a clear plastic dust jacket and a simple black slipcase. Like the original, MoMA's reprint is available in both a standard and deluxe version. The deluxe version ($500 US, vs $175 for the standard) contains an uncut press sheet. 

The title continues an interesting trend for MoMA, who last year produced a facsimile reprint of the original edition, self-published version of of Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit to coincide with her retrospective exhibition. Atlas was coordinated by David Platzker, the museum's Curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books. Previously Platzker was the Director of Printed Matter and purveyor of Specific Object. 

This week will feature posts on both the original and the reprints of these four titles.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jonathan Monk | The Magnetism of Colour

Jonathan Monk
The Magnetism of Colour
Brussels, Belgium: MOREpublishers, 2016
68 x 94 cm
Edition of 25 [+ 5 AP] signed and numbered copies

More Publishers, whose previous projects included the "Sunday series" (with works by Walid Raad, Cory Arcangel, Claude Closky, Sylvie Fleury, Robert Barry, Pierre Bismuth, Dora Garcia, etc.) and "Hors série" (Mathieu Mercier, Yann Sérandour, Jochen Lempert, Joe Scanlan, Allen Ruppersberg, etc.) launched a new series called "Public Poster Program" at the beginning of 2016.

"Public Poster Program" is a one-year exhibition program consisting of twelve projects. Each month of the year an artist is invited to produce a large industrial screen-printed poster. Over the course of the year the posters will be on view in office-like metal and glass display cases hung in public areas.

On Sunday, MORE announced that the May poster would be produced by Jonathan Monk, who has previously contributed #11 in the "Sunday series", and three separate works as part of "Hors série". Monk's  The Magnetism of Colour is a four-colour silkscreen print packaged with a 10 coloured magnets to hang the print on a metal board. The edition is signed and numbered on a adhesive label, glued on the back of the package of magnets. Once the work is installed the leftover of the package serves as a certificate.

The Magnetism of Colour is available from the publisher, here, for 240 €.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lawrence Weiner | Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red

Lawrence Weiner
Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red
Brest, France: Zédélé Editions, 2012
100 pp., 17 x 12 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

In 1972, Lawrence Weiner published Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red as his ninth artist's book. The work shares it's title with a wall text from the same year, and later became the subject of an 18-minute video work in 1976, in which two women seated at a table play with copies of the book, and three poker chips. The video is perhaps most notable for its editor, producer and script consultant: Kathryn Bigelow, who would later become the first (and still only) woman to win the Best Director Academy Award (for 2009's The Hurt Locker).

 "The book came about because of an exhibition of the work at Jack Wendler's gallery in London," wrote Weiner, later. "I asked Jack if he would make a book & he said yes. He found a printer and the book was made." Four years prior, Wendler had funded Seth Siegelaub's seminal Xerox Book, which featured Lawrence Weiner and six other artists (Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris) utilizing the pages of a book as alternative exhibition space.

Printed Matter bookstore called Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red "a true classic and a cornerstone of conceptualist artists' books." The title features single-line statements, one or two to a page. Like the eight volumes before (and two that followed), the book featured no photographs or illustrations. Despite the title, the only colour in the volume is the cover, which the artist noted "perhaps it is just by chance that it looks like one of Mao's [little red] books". A 2009 work by Micah Lexier and Roula Partheniou (Works, Works 1, Twice - found and painted books, below) finds a similar shared design with another communist leader, Joseph Stalin.

When pressed to comment further on Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red, Weiner stated: "There is nothing to say. A Book is a Book for all that" and later added "The book is about its content. Perhaps not at all about the shelf it finds itself on".

The title has been long out-of-print (the original 1972 version can be purchased here for 120 GBP) but Zédélé Editions re-issued the book in 2012, as part of their reprint series which also includes important bookworks by Emmett Williams, Herman de Vries, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long and Peter Downsbrough.

It is available from them, here, for 15 Euros.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Allen Ruppersberg

Allen Ruppersberg turns 72 today.

Craig Atkinson | Problem / Solution

Craig Atkinson
Problem / Solution
Southport, UK: Café Royal Books, 2012
6 x 9 cm.
Edition of 100 numbered copies

"10 items are roughly the same in each edition. A map, a lottery ticket, a picture of the Queen...Each a possible solution to a potential problem. Opening the book is a destructive act, it being stapled shut at the top."
- Café Royal Books

For more information, visit the publisher, here.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lauren Fournier & Lee Henderson | Paradox

Lauren Fournier & Lee Henderson
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2016
9.6 x 8 x 12 cm.
Edition of 70 [+2 AP]

Paradox (we cannot afford to be productive/we can afford to not be productive) is a ceramic white classic-style mug with wrap-around black text in Marion font. They will be available (shortly) at Art Metropole, for $20.00 each.

"This work reflects a paradox that those with anti-capitalist leanings face when it comes to productivity and privilege. Tongue in cheek, the work acknowledges the limits of its own idealism while nonetheless maintaining the importance of capitalist critique."
- Lauren Fournier & Lee Henderson 

Henderson's exhibition Never Letting Us Take Breath opens this today at Zalucky Contemporary (3044 Dundas St. West, Toronto). For more information visit the gallery website, here.