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, it's not hard to acknowledge that one of the presiding spirits of early-twenty-first century art is Ray Johnson's. Collagist, painter, poet, and the originator of mail art, Johnson took up the appropiative strageties of Marcel Duchamp and Jasper Johns, infused them with John Cage's ideas about Zen and chance, and energized the mix with his own brand of deadpan Conceptualism. The art he made beginning in the early 1950s until his death in 1995 purposefully merged artist, artmaking, and art object in ways that were once disquieting but are now considered routine.

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.

Kaleidescope Magazine

George Vasey

When Ray Johnson famously committed suicide by swimming out to sea in 1995, he left behind a conflicted legacy. Johnson was a pioneer of Pop, Conceptual and Mail art, yet the artist refuted all of these terms. He was an increasingly reclusive figure who, to paraphrase writer William S. Wilson, ďmade art that was not about social comment but of sociability,Ē exploring new interfaces between his work and its audiences (and collaborators). His methods were temporal as much as they were spatial ó lacking finality, Johnsonís practice embraced contingency and process over a finished product. These strategies resist the exhibition form, and one can see how the intimacy and transportability of the book might offer the perfect platform for his often diaristic work. This year Siglio Press has brought together over 200 selected letters and writings ó most of them unpublished ó for Not Nothing: Selected Writings by Ray Johnson, 1954-1994 and re-published The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson, an artistís book from 1965. Designed by Dick Higgins and envisaged as an experimental solution to compiling and exhibiting Johnsonís works, The Paper Snake offers a selection of elliptical poetry, drawings, collages and rubbings. With introductory essays, and designed with an attuned sensitivity to the original material, the two new publications will introduce a new generation to the restless work of Ray Johnson

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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