The exhibition Man Ray, Picabia et la revue Littérature (1922-1924) – Centre Pompidou, Paris, until September 8 – sheds light on a crucial period in the history of modern art, between the end of the Dadaist movement and the advent of Surrealism, and is based on the twenty-six covers designed by Francis Picabia for the review Littérature in the early Twenties. Until very recently, only their printed version was known. In 2008, Francis Picabia’s original drawings, fifteen of which has never been exhibited, were revealed. This exhibition also highlights the contribution of Man Ray. The American photographer had moved to Paris in 1921, and Littérature was where he first disclosed images that have become icons of photographic modernity, like Le Violon d’Ingres and Marcel Duchamp’s L’Élevage de poussière. The inside pages of Littérature also contained works by Picasso, Max Ernst and Robert Desnos.
In 1922, André Breton remained the only one in charge of the review, after the departure of Louis Aragon and then Philippe Soupault, with whom he had founded it in 1919. To mark the review’s change of direction, Breton decided to replace the cover image created by Man Ray with drawings – different each time – by Francis Picabia, to whom he gave carte blanche for each issue. Their highly linear graphic style was Picabia’s ironic response to the vogue of the “return to Ingres” advocated by the former Cubists, whom he regularly mocked. Picabia also drew on religious imagery, erotic iconography, and the iconography of games of chance. These ink drawings also reveal Picabia as an animal artist, as horses, baboons, tigers, dogs and deer, probably inspired by books for laymen, rub shoulders with various figures from the world of the circus or the musical. Several drawings seem to be of the authors of the review itself, to which Picabia made a regular literary contribution. The artist made play with pronounced contrasts of black and white, reminiscent of his “Ripolin” paintings of the same period, like the Dresseur d’animaux, now in the Centre Pompidou, which has similar iconography.
In its piece called Digital Video Effect: “Spills”, Seth Price borrowed some home video footage shot by Joan Jonas around 1971, featuring Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt and Jonas herself, talking with dealer Joe Hellman.
Price subjected the archival material to an invented digital video effect that made the footage appear to alternately spill across the black video screen and then itself be entirely obscured by oozing blackness. Displayed on a new TV/DVD player still in its own cardboard packaging, the work was like an object you could trip over, or look down on. It is a piece about the archive and the artwork, about concealment and visibility, as well as the liquidity of both digital culture and historical material.
Peep-Hole Sheet is a quarterly of writings by artists. Each issue is dedicated solely to one artist, who is invited to contribute with an unpublished text whose content is completely free in terms both of subject and format. The texts are published in their original language, with accompanying translations in English. Peep-Hole Sheet is meant for those who believe artists are catalysts for ideas all around us, and who want to read their words without any filter. Over time it aspires to build up an anthology of writings that might open new perspectives for interpreting and understanding our times.
Peep-Hole Sheet Issue #21, Ok, Just Send Me the Bill, by Seth Price, is a “fictionalized adaptation” taken from the audio of Price’s work. It was written in the same year, and laid it out so as to resemble an old book, with stills from the video as illustrations. Price altered the conversation, framing it within a kind of minimalist American style of fiction writing, together with oddball excurses and ‘glitches.’ Published here in its original format, the piece is a reflection on artworks and market and the passing of time that creates a temporal short-circuit, very much speaking to our moment, and questioning the role of the artist at play.
In the mid 1960s, the city of Chicago was an incubator for an iconoclastic group of young artists. Collectively known as the Imagists, they showed in successive waves of exhibitions with monikers that might have been psychedelic rock bands of the era – Hairy Who, Nonplussed Some, False Image, Marriage Chicago Style. Kissing cousins to the contemporaneous international phenomenon of Pop Art, Chicago Imagism took its own weird, wondrous, in-your-face tack. Variously pugnacious, puerile, scatological, graphic, comical, and absurd, it celebrated a very different version of ‘popular’ from the detached cool of New York, London and Los Angeles.
Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists is the first film to tell their wild, woolly, utterly irreverent story. Screening July 13, 2014, 8pm, at 356 Mission in Los Angeles.
Issue #30 of GRAPHIC, Publishers, features interviews with ten publishing companies, along with information about their books, which delves into the possibilities the book medium holds in the contemporary context. The ten companies introduced aren’t necessarily the leaders of their field. But each has its own identity, its own unique way of reflecting the field’s diversity.
With this issue, a number of possibilities for discussion. First, there is the overall context of the today’s art publishing market. Their community can’t be equated with the mainstream of art publishing, but they do at least have a pioneering role in art and design practice that cannot be ignored. That’s what allows the transdisciplinary bearings they forge to serve as a benchmark for understanding the contemporary art and design scene. Second, there’s the question of just what new possibilities can be found in the book medium at a time when the media technology environment surrounding it is undergoing profound changes. These companies are real-life examples showing new attitudes and patterns of practice in the area of art publishing. Their publication lists point to the direction in which art publishing is going in the e-book age. Finally, there’s the potential for publishing as a model for expanding on legacies from the past. What is the link between these companies’ activities today and the artist-led book production movement of the 1960s? Why do some publishers still view this kind of publishing as a viable model?
The starting point of Laurence Aëgerter’s facsimile Cathédrales, is the 1949 catalogue Cathedrals and churches of France, published by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Tourism. The artist placed the book by the window in her studio and allowed the incidence of natural light to impact a reproduction of the façade of the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Bourges. She photographed the book every minute during two hours, obtaining 120 photographs of light variations upon this unique image. The play of shadow and light of the Gothic architecture in the orignal photograph, is superimposed by a new shadow that slowly glide on the cathedral and, imperceptibly but irreparably, swallows it up. Aëgerter’s photographs contain thus three stratified layers of times : the 12th century, 1949 and 2012. Cathédrales presents a photographic sequence and as we turn the pages, we are aware of the temporal dimension of this visual exploration, a metaphor of transcience.
The photobook is a thriving medium for encountering a group of images, and the preferred presentation of many photographers. This form of publishing responds to the basic structure of photographic production, and is growing despite digital distribution of images.
The Sandbox: At Play with the Photobook, an installation by Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar, both artists and owners of Spaces Corners, transforms the museum into a playful hybrid space for encounters with the photobook: part reading room, part bookshop, part library, part event space. Encounter a rotating selection of photobooks and intimate events emphasizing contemporary trends that give the medium its character.
On view at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, until July 28, 2014.
Ray Johnson (1927-1995) was a seminal Pop Art figure in the 1950s, an early conceptualist, and a pioneer of mail art. His preferred medium was collage, that quintessentially twentieth-century art form that reflects the increased (as the century wore on) collision of disparate visual and verbal information that bombards modern man. Integrating texts and images drawn from a multiplicity of sources — from mass media to telephone conversations — Johnson’s innovativeness spread beyond the confines of the purely visual.
The art of Ray Johnson was rooted in his constant practice of correspondence. He dispersed a copious amount of collages and other printed matter through the mail to friends and colleagues. The Museum of Modern Art Library received materials in the mail from Ray Johnson from the 1950s until his death in 1995.
The exhibition Ray Johnson Designs – July 2 to September 29, 2014, MoMA, New York – focuses on Johnson’s early printed materials, especially his promotional flyers for his work as a graphic designer and illustrator. These flyers were some of the first materials that the MoMA Library received from Johnson and they prefigure the graphic motifs and word play that remained central to his later art work. Publications that included Johnson’s design work from this period, including book jacket designs for publishers such as New Directions, The Jargon Society, and City Lights, are also featured.
Is it possible to understand graphic design as a practice beyond an object-centric approach, as a practice beyond the conception and production of well-designed and printed artefacts? Which other potentials to create a public should be considered integral to design as an activity?
The Visual Event explores the question of how such an extended practice could be thought, which graphic, spatial and temporal forms such a situational practice could take, and tests the idea of the “visual event” from various perspectives of visual culture. The project compiles numerous contributions by artists, academics, designers, architects, and students of the System-Design Class at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.
Flaneur presents one street per issue. The magazine embraces the street’s complexity, its layers and fragmented nature with a literary approach. It creates a meaningful correlation between places, stories, people and objects that aren’t necessarily related. The magazine is aware of its subjectivity. It wants to say: “This could be Georg-Schwarz-Straße”.
Flaneur issue 3, Rue Bernard, Montreal, will be launched June 27, from 6pm, in Berlin, and July 4, from 6pm, in Montreal.
During its fifty-four issue run, spanning nearly three decades, ARK was an influential presence in British cultural life. A magazine created by students at the Royal College of Art in London, ARK attracted international attention for its often bold and fast-changing design as well as the extraordinary cast of writers and artists who contributed to its pages, including Ralph Rumney, Lucio Fontana, Alison and Peter Smithson, Toni del Renzio and Reyner Banham, as well as college students and staff.
ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950-1978 is an anthology the magazine ARK. It includes original material from the magazine, selected and introduced by students on the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA programme at the RCA today. Also featured, in full colour, are all the covers of ARK and an index of the magazine’s contents. This new publication will offer a vivid overview of changing attitudes and approaches to art and design in Britain in an age of considerable flux.
Symposium & Book launch, June 25, Royal College of Art, London.
Invented by the English scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a means for blueprinting, the cyanotype process is a simple and inexpensive printing method characterised chiefly by its cyan-blue hue. It was first popularised as a photographic printing technique in 1843 by Anna Atkins, a botanist who employed the practice to illustrate her collected herbarium specimens. Attributable to its affordability and amateur procedure, the cyanotype subsequently became a prevalent photographic process into the turn of the century.
Cyanotypes is an innovative exhibition – June 10 to 28, Roman Road, Brussels; June 14 to 26, MAD Agency, Paris – by the French multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender whose appropriation of this traditional technique serves not to comment, nor to foster a significant yet outmoded genre in the history of photography. Rather his cyanotypes challenge and satirise the clichéd legitimacy and parameters of today’s art. Imbued with humorous and bold content, Mailaender’s cyanotypes manifest images taken from the artist’s Fun Archive, a personal collection of absurd and anonymous pictures drawn from the Internet.
To mark the launch of Please Come to the Show, edited by Museum of Modern Art Bibliographer David Senior, Occasional Papers invites Berlin-based Bar Vulkan – June 10, from 6:45 pm, at Institute of Contemporary Arts in London – to host an evening devoted to celebrating the exhibition invitation card, a key yet often overlooked element of exhibition-making.
David Senior selected a wide range of exhibition-related ephemera – invitations, flyers and posters from the 1960s to the present (overview on pleasecometotheshow.tumblr.com ) – and presents them here as an historically overlooked but integral aspect of exhibitions. Often the first point of contact between the audience and artist, such items form part of an essential lexicon for graphic designers, curators, art historians and anyone interested in the event-based nature of showing art.
Filled with full-colour reproductions of numerous examples from the MoMA collection, the book includes new essays by Gustavo Grandal Montero, Will Holder, Antony Hudek, Angie Keefer, Clive Phillpot, David Senior and Suzanne Stanton.
“There’s more to life than books, but not much more”, says the song, with an unmistakable, ambiguously seductive, voice. Åbäke, Corinn Gerber, Laure Giletti, Jp King, Chris Lee, Anouk Pennel, Patricia No, and Benjamin Thorel, all agree with this bold statement. As artists, writers, publishers, printers, curators, graphic designers, researchers and many combinations of these disciplines, they are “making books”: engaging in the production, invention and circulation, in the selling and buying, writing and reading of paperbacks, catalogues, journals, ’zines, websites and text documents. Questioning the scope and value of this activity is what’s at the core of this book, that presents itself as a subjective lexicon, proposing keywords for contemporary publishers and book freaks.
A book about – What’s more to life than books, co-published by Art Metropole, Paraguay Press and Publication Studio, is the result of a seminar that was called There’s more to life than books, but not much more.
Multi-City-Launch June 14, 2014, at Publication Studio, 11am, in Portland; at Art Metropole, 2pm, in Toronto; at Studio Feed, 2pm, in Montreal; at castillo/corrales, 8pm, in Paris.
Ixiptla is a new biannual journal, initiated by the artist Mariana Castillo Deball, about trajectories of Anthropology.
The Nahua concept of ixiptla derives from the particle xip, meaning “skin”, coverage or shell. A natural outer layer of tissue that covers the body of a person or animal, the skin can be separated from the body to produce garments, containers for holding liquids or parchment as a writing surface.
Originally a Nahua word, ixiptla has been understood as image, delegate, character, and representative. Ixiptla could be a container, but also could be the actualization of power infused into an object or person. In Nahua culture, it took the form of a statue, a vision, or a victim who turned into a god destined to be sacrificed. Without having to visually appear the same, multiple ixiptlas of the same god could exist simultaneously. The distinction between essence and material, and between original and copy vanishes.
This edition of Ixiptla is focused on the trajectory of objects collected and produced by archeologists – plaster molds, facsimiles, drawings, photographs, and scale models -, in an attempt to capture and replicate material evidences left by time; these objects emerge from a specific moment in time, producing a doppelgänger of the original milieu, which then takes its own course. For this first issue, a group of anthropologists, archaeologists, artists, and writers have been invited to reflect on the role of the model, the copy, and reproduction in their areas of research and practice.
“Art institutions are inevitably institutional, dependent on architecture and reliant on compromise. Yet this ‘institutionality,’ which we know to regard with a critical eye, can also be an asset, offering both a methodological and material grounding, community, and resources. Because museums cannot continuously rebuild and restructure themselves when confronting this dialectic with regard to both programming and exhibition making, the question becomes how to, at least temporarily, adopt another model or logic, while also resisting rehearsed tactics or resorting to spectacle. Excursus is one response.”
Excursus I – IV documents a two-year, four-part exhibition and program series at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Curated by Alex Klein and designed by Mark Owens, the 128 page catalogue operates at the intersection of art, publishing, the archive, and the social, and features contributions from Reference Library, East of Borneo, Ooga Booga, and Primary Information.
Purchase the catalogue at Draw Down.
With the development of technology and democratization of our communication tools, new kinds of language systems are created. In order for these systems to be compatible with the existing ones, we need an understanding of their basic mechanisms, what tools are at hand and how the increased complexity of technology, as well as the abstraction level, determines how we perceive the world. Our increasingly technological and globalized world has led to re-introduction of icon-based communication. The need of clarification over cultural borders cannot simply depend on the knowledge of an abstract language, but also the shared experience.
By combining an appropriated discourse with empirical experimentation, supervisors Samuel Nyholm and Tania Prill aim to establish a Master’s Studio for interdisciplinary studies of communication that focuses on the investigation and development of visual language systems.
The two-year study program, From Aleph to Eternity, at the HfK in Bremen, will be conducted in German and English, starts in october 2014 and results in a Master of Arts. Applications are accepted until the 15th of June.
It all started when Beni Bischof began publishing laser-copied artist’s magazines in 2005 as an independent means of distributing his drawings, collages, and texts. The speed of production suited his impetuous, prolific output. It was not long before he found an additional, three-dimensional outlet for his obsessions by adding sculpture, painting, and installations to his repertoire. Often using everyday objects, Bischof creates bizarre objects whose coherence he reinforces with plaster and paint. He applies similar techniques of combining, reassembling, and reworking to images appropriated from fashion magazines, trivial literature, LP covers, and the like, overpainting them and modifying them digitally or even mechanically.
Psychobuch presents an extensive and unusual survey of Beni Bischof’s oeuvre. It is a wildly rampant, multimedia conglomerate, held together by a dense network of recurring themes and motifs. The elaborate book is both an overview of Beni Bischof’s output to date and an artist’s book in its own right. Book launch, June 2, 6 pm at Galerie Milieu in Bern, and June 3, 6pm, at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen.
New issues: The Exhibitionist #9- E.R.O.S. issue 4 – Apartamento issue #13 – The Travel Almanac no. 7 – TOO MUCH Issue 5 – May n° 12
The Exhibitionist is as a journal by curators, for curators, in which the most pertinent questions on exhibition making today would be considered and assessed. Modeled after the iconic French film journal Cahiers du cinéma, the journal is meant to serve a critical role in understanding current curatorial practices through a number of editorial formats focused specifically on the critical and historical importance of exhibitions.
The Exhibitionist #9, featuring Christopher Lee on the cover, introduces, among others, a new long-form section titled “Rigorous Research”; for this first installment, Italian curator and writer Germano Celant addresses the evolution of exhibition spaces in the 19th and 20th centuries, and certain seminal exhibitions that established new standards by reacting to the existing models of design and display.
E.R.O.S. is dedicated to the subject of desire. It covers a wide range of fields, drawing together often disparate disciplines under the auspices of each issue’s theme. Alongside newly commissioned work, E.R.O.S. contains excerpts, reproductions and reappraisals.
E.R.O.S. issue 4 contributors are John Baldessari, Sami Jalili, Federico Campagna, Emma Jones, Mark Fisher, Sharon Kivland, Ed Atkins, Patrick Staff, Andrew Calimach, Saul Newman, Simon Critchley, AA Bronson, Jamie Sutcliffe, Dan Walwin, Luke Burton, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Richard Wentworth.
Apartamento is an everyday life interiors magazine. A place in print about people, not just objects. Apartamento features the homes and lives of creative people, both established and emerging, from all over the world. It understands interior design as a means of personal expression, showing how people arrange their homes and the solutions they find to the same problems that everyone has. Apartamento puts forward a fresh and simply crafted aesthetic. It cares about the way people live and their relationships to the places they live.
Apartamento issue #13 features Wes Anderson, Anissa Helou, Joel Chen, Rafael Horzon, Jack Pierson, Faye Toogood, Marie Honda, Richard McConkey, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Adel Husni Bey & Mirella Clemencigh, Arturo Rhodes, Fabiola Alondra, Bernhard Willhelm, Andy Rementer & Margherita Urbani, Oscar Tusquets Blanca, Peter Shire. With The Girards, a special supplement about the legacy of Alexander Girard & Humor Furniture Graphic a portfolio by Luciano Consigli.
The Travel Almanac is a Berlin- and New York- based print publication focusing on traveling & temporary habitation, addressing an increasingly mobilized creative community, it is the first publication of its kind to speak to this sophisticated generation of travelers.
Contributors for The Travel Almanac Issue no. 7 are Gia Coppola, Ryan McGinley, Christophe Lemaire, David Chipperfield, Cordula Reyer, Phil Collins.
TOO MUCH gathers thoughts about cities, the people who live in them, and the changes affecting our society and our environment. It’s a magazine about romantic geography.
TOO MUCH Issue 5 is about looking at the body in space, and ways in which we have biologically and socially entered into the built environment, and how we are then changed into the process. With contributions by Francis Upritchard, Hidemasa Yatabe, Manabe Daito, Cara Phillips, Naoki Ishikawa, Shinya Aota, Madeline Gins, Ari Marcopoulos, Fala, Yayako Uchida, Takashi Homma, Fumihiko Maki, Arata Isozaki, Hiroshi Hara, Kengo Kuma and Nagao Nishikawa.
May is a bilingual (French/English) quarterly publication conceived as an experimental platform for new forms of criticism. May proposes to examine matters pertaining to the field of contemporary cultural production through the publication of essays, exhibition reviews and interviews with international contributors varying from scholars to critics, artists, writers and curators.
May n° 12 is the third and final section devoted to the 1990s in France, with contributions by Georges Rey, Florence Bonnefous, Éric Troncy, Yves Aupetitallot, Elein Fleiss, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Bernard Joisten, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Olivier Zahm, Nicolas Bourriaud, Renaud Jerez, Roy Genty, Annie Godfrey Larmon, Nick Mauss, Neil Beloufa, Jacob King, Vincent Normand, Damon Sfetsios, Elise Duryee-Browner, Jana Euler.
Richard Hollis dit de Pierre Faucheux qu’il est le graphiste français le plus important depuis Cassandre. Proche de Le Corbusier et des surréalistes, Faucheux fut aussi architecte, scénographe d’exposition, plasticien.
Son petit-fils Adrien Faucheux, cinéaste, présente en avant première un portrait documentaire du typographe, figure majeure du graphisme français de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. Par ses choix, le film exprime la vivacité de cette œuvre foisonnante et multiforme, mais aussi étonnamment cohérente. Filmer “au présent” des livres, des maquettes, des bâtiments, objets inertes par essence, c’est ici retrouver le mouvement de leur création.
Projection en avant première de PRR FCHX (52′,2014) en présence de son réalisateur Adrien Faucheux, suivie d’une discussion avec Catherine de Smet, historienne du graphisme, le 16 mai à 19h, au Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Between 1932 and 1936 five edition of the cahier Abstraction Création: Art non-figuratif was published in Paris by the eponymous association, uniting all movements who worked abstractly. The magazine not only formalised a new tendency for language in visual art, but also became a form of explicit self-promotion and opposition against the growing force of figurative Surrealism, led by André Breton. Two minimal yet clear criteria needed to be fulfilled to become a member of the association: you had to be an artist and work non-figuratively. This resulted in a list of members of long-forgotten artists mingled with names such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, Calder, Delaunay, Van Doesburg and Brancusi.
With the cahier Abstraction Création: Art non-figuratif, most of the members handed in documentation of work along with self-written texts. Those writings were visions about their own work, detailed explanations of the documentation, short viewing instructions, epistles about the true meaning of abstract art, essays on the relation between abstract art and evolution, straight forward explanations why a locomotive is not a work of art, and a poem about God being a copycat.
The publication of the cahier in English is the initiative of artist Riet Wijnen. During the launch, May 15 at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, artist and designer Will Holder will lead a small audience through the museum’s galleries, stopping at paintings and sculptures made by contributors of Abstraction Creation: Art non-figuratif, and reading excerpts of their writings.