Saturday, March 31, 2012

Doug Aitken | Sleepwalkers

Doug Aitken
New York City, USA: Princeton Architectural Press, 2012
31.75 x 31.75 cm
Boxed work that includes a double-sided poster, 12” picture disk record, a 96-page visual diary, two flipbooks, CD soundtrack and DVD.
Limited Edition of 1000 signed and numbered copies

“The Sleepwalkers box is an experimental collaboration between Doug Aitken, Princeton Architectural Press, and DFA Records. Conceived in the spirit of multimedia editions of the past, such as Andy Warhol’s Index and the mid sixties artist edition/journal Aspen, the Sleepwalkers box is designed to encourage you to create your own multisensory experiences as you explore a kaleidoscopic universe of printed images, motion pictures, and audio recordings drawn from Doug Aitken’s groundbreaking 2007 Museum of Modern Art public film installation. In your hands, Aitken’s enigmatic story fragments, characters, and images become the building blocks of a new interactive multimedia work.”

Available here, for $300 US.

Claude Closky | 24 Vases

Sophie Calle | The Tie

Sophie Calle
The Tie
Zurich, Switzerland: Parkett Editions, 1993
Pure silk crêpe-de-chine man’s tie, printed with an autobiographical story written by Calle
Edition of 150.

"I saw him for the first time in December 1985, at a lecture he was giving. I found him attractive but something bothered me: he was wearing an ugly tie. The next day I anonymously sent him a thin brown tie. Later I saw him in a restaurant; he was wearing it. Unfortunately, it clashed with his shirt. It was then I decided to take on the task of dressing him from head to toe: I would send him one article of clothing every year at Christmas. In 1986, he received a pair of silk grey socks; in 1987, a black alpaca sweater; in 1988, a white shirt; in 1989, a pair of gold-plated cuff links; in 1990, a pair of boxer shorts with a Christmas tree pattern; nothing in 1991; and in 1992, a pair of grey trousers. Some day, when he is fully dressed by me, I would like to be introduced to him."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hans-Peter Feldmann | Untitled (Bottle Openers)

Hans-Peter Feldmann
Shark Editions/303 Gallery, New York City, 1992
Set of three silver-plated bottle openers, mounted inside a felt-lined box.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Miranda July | It Chooses You

A procrastination project while making her last film The Future (excellent, except for the talking cat), It Chooses You tells the story of the artist's encounters with people selling goods via the Penny Saver classifieds. Feeling that the characters she met were "too big for fiction", she lets them tell their own stories here. The book, published by McSweeney's, is available at amazon and most bookstores.

To coincide with the launch last fall, July set up a temporary store inside Partner's and Spade in Soho, and re-sold the items, re-packaged with a brief interview, at their original price. The contents ranged from scrabble pieces without the board to an entire drum kit. Reportedly, the entire lot sold within the first hour.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Art Sale to benefit Derek McCormack

Earlier this year Toronto writer (and fixture of the local arts community) Derek McCormack was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. I want to paraphrase the late Christopher Hitchens' joke about looking down on people with 'lesser cancers' but I don't have the literary dexterity to move from talking about someone I care a lot about, to making a crass joke, however hilarious (and in keeping with Derek's dark sense of humour).

To assist Derek financially through the terrible ordeal, Micah Lexier, Jason McBride and a number of other people have brought together a great group of artists for an online fundraising sale that begins Sunday April 1st, at noon, but previews now, at

The artists included are Micah Adams, Will Alsop, David Altmejd, Shary Boyle, Kim Dorland, myself, Vincent Fecteau, Robert Fones, Geoffrey James, Linda Jones, Tom Koken, Micah Lexier & Derek McCormack, Ken Nicol, Paul P., Roula Partheniou, Paul + Wendy Projects (including works by Michael Dumontier + Neil Farber, Daniel Eatock, Micah Lexier), Ian Phillips, Jon Sasaki, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Seth, Derek Sullivan, Scott Treleaven, Flavio Trevisan Joy Walker, Margaux Williamson, and Laurel Woodcock.

There are a few editions included (making this post not entirely off-topic) and works by many artists who have been or will be discussed here in future entries. There are some very strong pieces included, making it a great opportunity to buy a work and support an excellent cause. 100% of the sale price goes directly to Derek.

Additionally, Superframe (who have framed everything I've made and everything I own for the last five+ years) have an incredible deal where they are offering to frame the unframed pieces at a 25% discount, AND then contribute all after-cost profits directly to Derek as well.

My small contribution is a new work called Found Portrait of Joe Dallesandro, which consists of the two album covers that the Warhol superstar appeared on: the Smiths' 1984 debut (which used a still from the Warhol film Flesh) and Warhol's famous zipper cover for the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, combined as a single portrait.

A few samples of some of the other forty works offered are pictured below (Micah Lexier, Laurel Woodcock, Joy Walker, Roula Partheniou, David Altmejd):

Louise Lawler | Bird Calls

The piece, installed at the DIA Beacon, can be heard here. It is also available on the 1996 CD Radio Zona / Keeping Time, published by Maurizio Nannucci's Zona Archives.

Album covers by artists #8: Roy Lichtenstein

Comic Strip Favorites
Ray Martin & His Orchestra

I Cry For You
Bobby Orlando

Garry Neill Kennedy

Two new essential Garry Neill Kennedy books are being launched at Art Metropole this Saturday, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. One is written and compiled by Kennedy, about his time at NSCAD, and the second documents his own work, via printed materials, by Peter Trepanier. I haven't seen the latter title yet, but I know Peter (librarian at the National Gallery of Canada) to be extremely knowledgeable and meticulous, so I suspect it'll be great.

The former, a large hardcover volume which I received in the mail last week, is called The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968 - 1978 and covers the years that Kennedy transformed the school from a small provincial art college into the 'epicenter of art education'. The list of visiting artists and faculty at the school is truly impressive: John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, Gerhard Richter, Dan Graham, Lucy Lippard, Hans Haacke, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Frank, Jenny Holzer, Robert Morris, Eric Fischl, and Dara Birnbaum. The NSCAD Press was ran by Kasper Koenig and Benjamin Buchloh, and published an almost unrivaled collection of important artist's books, including works by Michael Asher, Daniel Buren, Hollis Frampton, Donald Judd, Claes Oldenburg, Steve Reich, Lawrence Weiner, and, perhaps the definitive title of the genre, Michael Snow's Cover to Cover.

The volume contains personal accounts from many of the key players, and a collection of printed ephemera that tells the story of the variety of activities that took place in the decade that the book covers: exhibition openings, performances, lectures by visiting artists, publication announcements, etc. etc.

Trepanier's book on Kennedy also uses printed materials to communicate the artist's activities, this time thirty-eight years worth of solo projects. Produced in consultation with the artist, Garry Neill Kennedy: Printed Matter 1971-2009 includes printed matter ranging from books, pamphlets and leaflets, to cards, posters, and wallpaper. Arranged chronologically, each entry in the volume includes a photograph of the item and a full bibliographic listing, which are supplemented with descriptive texts noting details regarding production methods and techniques.

Both books feature wallpaper as endpapers. The Last Art College reprints John Baldessari's iconic handwritten I WIll Not Make Any More Boring Art, which originated with the students at NSCAD and has been produced as a video and lithograph by the NSCAD Workshop in 1971, wallpaper in 2000 and a slew of stationary (pencils, rulers, etc) from the Tate a few years back. Trepanier's title uses Kennedy's late nineties wallpaper project Seizures, which features images of bosses admonishing employees, lifted from corporate conflict resolution manuals.

Peter Trepanier
Garry Neill Kennedy: Printed Matter 1971-2009
Ottawa, Canada: The National Gallery of Canada, 2012
200 pp., 200 ill., 10.5 x 7, wrappers

Garry Neill Kennedy
The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978
Cambridge, USA: MIT Press, 2012
480 pp., 191 color illus., 410 b&w illus., 9 x 11.75, cloth

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kay Rosen | Go Do Good

Only two of these left, for $300, here.

Ken Lum and Hubert Damisch | Ultimo Bagaglio

Ken Lum and Hubert Damisch
Ultimo Bagaglio
Paris, France: Thee Star Books, 2008
335 x 280 x 75 mm

Objects in box include a printed six-page essay, an instruction leaflet, one hotel pen, one sock, one miniature Eiffel Tower, one dictionary, a small mirror, one nail clipper, one black stone, one small lock, one key, one bamboo object, one DVD, one Vancouver bus ticket, one sheet of music, as well as four passport photos.

Edition of 15 signed and numbered copies , with 9 artists’ proofs.

Daniel Spoerri

Artist Daniel Spoerri turns 82 today. Best known for his 'snare paintings' (or 'trap pictures') - which secured the remnants of a meal onto a table and were then hung as paintings - Spoerri also produced many classic multiples and bookworks, as both artist and publisher. He was an active participant in the Fluxus and Nouveau réalisme 'movements'. In 1959 he founded Editions MAT ("Multiplication d'art Transformable"), producing multiples by Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Dieter Roth, Jean Tinguely, Victor Vasarely and many others. Spoerri is often credited with coining the term "multiples".

His artist book The Anecdoted Topography of Chance is considered a classic of the genre, and has been reprinted several times. The Something Else Press edition will be looked at in detail in a future post (as will his other Something Else Press title, The Mythological Travels... of a Modern Sir John Mandeville). At one point the Wikipedia entry for The Anecdoted Topography of Chance claimed it was a precursor and inspiration for the site, noting that the text is anecdoted and annotated by multiple authors. This always seemed a bit spurious to me (akin to Al Gore's supposed claim that he invented the web) and I note that the entry has now been removed, and a shorter version (minus the claim) is folded into the artist's bio page.

Much of his practice involves food, generally the debris of a meal itself, but he also used actual perishable food in many of his works. In 1968 he opened Restaurant Spoerri and two years later the Eat Art Gallery was added, adjacent to the space. Buyers could request a particular meal from the restaurant to be fixed and mounted as an artwork. Additionally, the gallery showed the work of other artists, including Joseph Beuys, Richard Linder, Roy Lichtenstein and others. Most of the works involved edible materials or food wastes. Eat Art anticipated numerous artist restaurants (Gordon Matta-Clark, N.E.Thing. Co., Allen Ruppersberg, Damien Hirst) as well as the 'relational aesthetics' of Rikrit Tiravanija.

Spoerri was born in Galatji, Romania to a Romanian father and Swiss mother. His father was arrested and killed by the Nazis when he was 11 years old. The following year, 1942, his mother emigrated with her family of 6 to Switzerland. The artist has lived in a number of different cities, including Basel, Berlin, Bern, Dusseldorf, Munich, New York, San Francisco, Symi, Toggwil, and Vienna. In 1997 he moved to the Tuscan town of Seggiano, where he opened a sculpture garden called Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri.

Cologne, Germany: Edition MAT/Galerie Der Spiegel, 1965
50 x 50 x 8 cm
Bread, wood, plexi
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies.

Achtung Kunstwerk
Remscheid, Germany: VICE-Versand, 1968
12 x 8 cm
Perishable rolled herrings in a glass
Unlimited edition, signed.

Art Rat Trap Flag
Berlin, Germany: Gallery Andre, 1973
115 x 70 x 12 cm
Wood, copper
Edition of 30 signed and numbered copies

Daniel Spoerri, Vera Spoerri, Roland Topor, and Robert Filliou
Monsters are Inoffensive
New York City, USA: Fluxus / Implosions, 1967.
16 x 11 cm
22 loose cards in an envelope. Individual titles include:
Men are Stupid Asses, Filliou Wears Glasses, Men are Blind to the own Follies, Men art Maneaters, Men Call Pubic Hair Pornography, Men Will Talk Nonsense about a Third Eye, The Fatter the Men Get, the Sillier They Are.

Complete sets are hard to come by, but individual cards are available here, for $20 each.

Several other works by Spoerri can be purchased here.