JOHNSON, RAY

PUBLISHER
SIGLIO

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 10.75 x 8.75 in. / 48 pgs / 48 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
PUB DATE 7/31/2014
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE
CATALOG: SPRING 2014 p. 34   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781938221033 TRADE
LIST PRICE: $34.70 CDN $34.70

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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SIGLIO

Ray Johnson: The Paper Snake

Published by Siglio

Featured image is reproduced from <I>Ray Johnson: The Paper Snake</I>.Long out of print and unavailable to wider audiences, The Paper Snake is an essential work in Ray Johnsonís oeuvre and the second title published by Dick Higginsí Something Else Press, in 1965. Johnson describes the book as "all my writings, rubbings, plays, things that I had mailed to [Higgins] or brought to him in cardboard boxes or shoved under his door, or left in his sink, or whatever, over a period of years." A vertiginous, mind-bending artistís book, The Paper Snake was far ahead of its time. In his essay "The Hatching of the Paper Snake," Higgins says: "I was fascinated by the way that the small works which Ray Johnson used to send through the mail seemed so rooted in their moment and their context and yet somehow they seemed to acquire new and larger meaning as time went along ... Since a book is a more permanent body than a mailing piece or even than our own physical ones, I could not help wondering what it would be like to make a new body for Johnsonís ideas as a sort of love letter or time capsule for the future." A collection of letters, little plays, tid-bits, collages and drawings, The Paper Snake connects disparate†elements to unbed fixed relationships and forge new systems of meaning by means of scissors, paste and the American postal system.

Featured image is reproduced from Ray Johnson: The Paper Snake.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Bookforum

Alberto Mobilio

From our current vantage, itís not hard to acknowledge that one of the presiding spirits of early-twenty-first-century art is Ray Johnsonís. Collagist, painter, poet, and the originator of mail art, Johnson took up the appropriative strategies of Marcel Duchamp and Jasper Johns, infused them with John Cageís ideas about Zen and chance, and energized the mix with his own brand of deadpan Conceptualism. . . . The republication of his artistís book The Paper Snake and the selection from his voluminous letters in Not Nothing are an opportunity to sample one of the most subversively witty intelligences to paste, draw, and type in the last half century.

ARTnews

ZoŽ Lescaze

Looking at the drawings and notes that make up this reissued artist book, one yearns to claim Ray Johnson, the founder of the mail art movement, as a correspondent in this e-mailĖbenighted age. The project consists of the letters Johnson, who died in 1995, sent to his friend, the poet and Fluxus artist Dick Higgins, and is part of his movement, in which small works are sent through the post, creating a system of sharing work outside museums and galleries. By turns humorous, clever, and paranoid (ďDorothy Podber is going to put 183 agents in your apartment,Ē reads one scrap), the book grants readers highly personal access to Johnsonís unique mind.

Hyperallergic

Frances Richard

The participation of three poets in bringing Johnsonís word-works into print is not coincidental, and while Not Nothing will make absorbing reading for those interested in mail art, Fluxus, Pop, Conceptualism, the legacies of Dada and Surrealism, the reception of Duchamp, or the downtown New York scene in the years spanned by Zubaís selection, the two books will likewise be a pleasure for anyone beguiled by language-and-image as a field of play. For, while the increased availability of Johnsonís letters, notes, and statements subtilizes our understanding of this legendarily well-connected yet enigmatic artist, his flattened logorrheia is also just fun to read.

Times Literary Supplement

Marjorie Perloff

Both The Paper Snake, a facsimile of the Fluxus artist Dick Higgins's inventive 1965 assemblage of ephemera received from Johnson, and Not Nothing, a generous and beautifully produced selection of the artist's "mail art" and related writings, testify to a preoccupation with language that allies Johnson to the Black Mountain poets, especially Robert Creeley. . . . But is is Mail Art, with its strong ties to Conceptualism, that makes Johnson, its founding father, so interesting to a current generation of poets. . .

Los Angeles Times

Sharon Mizota

Although artist Ray Johnson created plenty of conventional art objects ó mostly quixotic, irreverent collages ó his most sustained efforts took the form of letters, sent to hundreds of recipients, including such art stars as Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and John Cage. Throughout his 40-year career, he zealously monitored the membership of his own artistic movement, the New York Correspondance School (misspelling and double or triple innuendoes intentional). And although he detested the term ó or any label, for that matter ó he was a leading practitioner of mail art, in which language and the letter opened onto endless chains of meaning. Selections from this prodigious output are lovingly documented in two new titles from Siglio Press.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/11/2014

Ray Johnson: The Paper Snake

Ray Johnson: The Paper SnakeIn Siglio's new collection of Ray Johnson's Writings, Elizabeth Zuba excerpts a 1968 interview with the artist: "Well, I shouldn't call myself a poet but other people have. What I do is classify the words as poetry. Something Else Press published a book in 1965 called The Paper Snake which is all my writings, rubbings, plays, things that I had given to the publisher Dick Higgins, editor and publisher, which I mailed to him or brought to him in cardboard boxes or shoved under his door, or left in his sink, or whatever, over a period of years. He saved all these things and designed and published a book, and I simply as an artist did what I did without classification. So when the book appeared the book stated, "Ray Johnson is a poet," but I never said, "This is a poem," I simply wrote what I wrote and it later became classified." Featured detail is reproduced from Siglio's notable facsimile reprint of The Paper Snake, released this week. continue to blog


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RAY JOHNSON MONOGRAPHS + ARTIST'S BOOKS

Ray Johnson: The Paper Snake

RAY JOHNSON: THE PAPER SNAKE

SIGLIO

ISBN: 9781938221033 | US $34.70

Pub Date: 7/31/2014
Active | In stock


Not Nothing: Selected Writings by Ray Johnson 1954-1994

NOT NOTHING: SELECTED WRITINGS BY RAY JOHNSON 1954-1994

Edited by Elizabeth Zuba. Text by Kevin Killian.

SIGLIO

ISBN: 9781938221040 | US $45.00

Pub Date: 7/31/2014
Active | In stock


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