Published by DuMont Buchverlag. Text by Helmut Friedel, Franz Schuh, Stephan Berg, et al.
Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has continually found inventive and witty answers to the question “what is sculpture?” Over the course of 25 years, Wurm has built up a multifaceted oeuvre that might be described as a research enterprise into the medium's expanded possibilities—but which is a lot more pointedly witty than such a description suggests. He became known to a wider audience in the late 1980s, through his absurdist one-minute sculptures, in which the artist or other performers (often volunteers solicited through newspaper ads) acted out strange feats in unusual settings—diving headlong into a crate, legs flailing, doing push-ups balancing on four teacups, or simply standing with asparagus stuffed in each nostril. Wurm has also garnered acclaim for his fascinatingly grotesque “fat sculptures” of overweight houses and bulging cars. Wurm's humor is akin to Roman Signer or Fischli and Weiss in its swiftness of impact and its almost childlike simplicity. Now among the most popular artists on the international art circuit, Wurm can transform all manner of objects and occasions into sculpture: physical actions, written or drawn instructions, even thoughts. With essays and plentiful reproductions, this hefty volume makes a definitive statement on Wurm's transformations of contemporary sculpture.
Published by Hayward Publishing. Text by Mami Kataoka, Simon Critchley.
What is the role of laughter and humor in contemporary art? In a time of increasing globalization, this book questions whether humor can only be appreciated by people with similar cultural, political or historical backgrounds and memories, or whether laughter can act as a catalyst for understanding that which is not familiar. Do laughter and humor transcend difference and language, or are they dependent on inside knowledge and shared experience? Featuring illustrations of more than 70 video, photographic and installation works, this volume includes many artists who have relocated from their home countries, leading them to exploit the humor that arises out of everyday gaps in translation, or even to use humor to fill those gaps. Artists include Makoto Aida, Candice Breitz, Olaf Bruening, Marcus Coates, Cao Fei, Ghazel, Matthew Griffin, Taiyo Kimura, Peter Land, Julian Rosefledt, Shimabuku, Nedko Solakov, Roi Vaara, Martin Walde and others.
Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited and with introduction by John C. Welchman. Text by Jessica Chalmers, Janet Whitmore, Simon Critchley.
Black Sphinx collects 12 essays on comedy in contemporary art by leading philosophers, art historians and theorists. Philosopher Simon Critchley and art historian Janet Whitmore consider the origins of comedic genres and survey some of the key theoretical articulations of laughter and wit, by Freud, Bergson and others; John C. Welchman focuses on John Baldessari, a touchstone for the revival of humor in art in the 1960s; performer, playwright and former V-Girl Jessica Chalmers and writer and curator Jo Anna Issak, discuss the relation between comedy and gender; finally, artist and writer David Robbins reports on his decade-long investigation into the comedic properties of objects, while video and performance artist Michael Smith reflects on his hilariously awkward and regressive journeys with his alter persona "Mike." Black Sphinx is based on the fourth Southern California Consortium of Art Schools symposium, held at the Hammer Museum.
Published by Blue Kingfisher. Introduction by Yue Minjun. Text by Karen Smith, Feng Boi.
The aggressively smiling faces of the noted Chinese Cynical Realist, Yue Minjun, are instantly recognizable to anyone even remotely interested in the burgeoning contemporary Chinese art scene--his work has set astronomical records at Sotheby's and Christies since it was first introduced, and has been reported upon in magazines ranging from Variety to the Economist. One of China's leading artists, the 44-year-old Beijing-based painter's works are instantly recognizable by the artist's trademark laughing figures--actually the artist himself in various guises. The idiotic laughing figures always have more teeth than one could possibly want, like empty fashion models advertising the latest whitening toothpaste. In this way, Yue transforms himself into an icon for the spiritual emptiness of the contemporary world: While Yue's trademark smile appears superficial, mindless and even ridiculous, it is also deeply revealing and compelling, combining basic elements of propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution with those of modern advertising.
Published by Independent Curators International, New York. Essays by Dominic Molon and Michael Rooks. Excerpt by David Sedaris. Foreward by Judith Richards.
Admit it: you've sometimes wanted to laugh at contemporary art. During the past decade, humor has turned up with increasing frequency in galleries and museums, perhaps as an acknowledgment of the urgent need among artists and audiences alike to laugh at the absurdity of daily existence--and the art world itself. Situation Comedy presents more than 60 works--a selection of video and sound installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs--by younger as well as more established artists, including Tom Friedman, Rodney Graham, Christian Jankowski, Laura Nova, William Pope.L, Richard Prince, Kay Rosen, Erika Rothenberg, John Waters and Erwin Wurm. Employing parody, satire, slapstick and practical jokes, they use the leveling power of comedy to break down barriers of taste and to question authority at every turn.
Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Heike Munder and Felicity Lunn. Essays by Slavoj Zizek and Simon Critchley.
From Dada to Fluxus through Sensation to today, humor is at the heart of much of the most-beloved--and least comfortable--art out there. Humor's ambivalence, its ability to shift between the utopian and the destructive, and its refusal of absolute values, distinguish many of those twentieth century movements that continue to exert an influence. This catalogue of work from more than 30 artists, including Bruce Nauman and Jake & Dinos Chapman, parses humor's mechanisms in works that seduce us with a laugh and then stop us in our tracks with more painful or uncomfortable themes. Deconstructions of the male artist persona by Vito Acconci and Jurgen Klauke use wit to confront taboos head-on, which connects them with the more recent work of John Bock and Klara Liden. Among classic pieces included are Joseph Beuys's Capri Batterie and George Maciunas's Flux Smile Machine.
Published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Edited by Erik Kessels, Ralf Herms.
On the trail of Dada and Fluxus, satire and the grotesque, the new issue of the award-winning Rosebud magazine is titled “Very Funny!” and compiles humorous contributions by designers, photographers, writers and illustrators including Paul Graves, Mike Meiré, Joachim Baldauf, Erik Kessels, Thomas Mailänder, Vikky Wilkes, Jork Weismanna and others into one chucklesome compendium.
Published by Stichting Kunstboek. Edited and text by by Moniek M. Bucquoye, Dieter Van Den Storm.
Featuring work by such off-beat stars as Marcel Wanders, Droog Design, Moooi and Bless for firms like Moss, Mixko, Ligne Roset and Vitra, among many others, Forms With a Smile collects the very best in contemporary Surrealist design--each subtly ironic object a stimulating statement that comes wrapped in a contagious smile. Among the stand-out contemporary design objects collected in this smart, accessible and delightfully sassy compendium are a tablecloth made from ham, cheese, bread and yarn by Kuniko Maeda, a sandbag sofa by Christiane Hoegner, a USB memory stick in the shape of a syringe by Markus Mayer and an old-school overhead fluorescent lamp luxuriantly lined with rabbit fur by Ivan Missine.
PUBLISHER Stichting Kunstboek
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9 x 9 in. / 156 pgs / 250 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 11/1/2008 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2009 p. 198
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9789058562357TRADE List Price: $49.95 CDN $60.00
Published by Kerber. Preface by Christian von Holst. Essays by Andreas Schalhorn, Kassandra Nakas and Ulrich Pfarr.
As its point of departure,Funny Cuts takes, as its point of departure, Pop art's revolutionary referencing of comics and concludes with the most current trends in contemporary art, reflecting in many diverse ways its dialogue with the commercial and trivial picture worlds of comics and cartoons. Pop art artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein were ground-breaking in their provocative confrontation with high and low art using motifs and references from popular comics. In the 1970s, American comics dealt with taboo subjects like sexuality and violence--here, for the first time, the subversive potential and the psychological content of comic worlds were used creatively in in fine art. Within the context of the punk movement, Raymond Pettibon and Mike Kelley were inspired by comics through wall-length drawings that made use of the narrative element of comics on the border between visual art and literature. And internationally today, artists question political and social realities and their own identity through the mythological potential of comics and animations. Presented here are numerous images from roughly 100 artists that visually demonstrate the various ways in which comics have become a form of high art.
Published by Regency Arts Press. Artwork by Sean Landers.
Whether you're a fan of Sean Landers's prolific, varied, purposely self-aggrandizing and simultaneously self-puncturing career or not (and no one is neutral), there's one thing that's indisputable: He's wickedly funny. And nowhere is his humor sharper than in these previously uncollected drawings from 1991-92, in which a cast of art-world strivers, including gallerists, painters and groupies, parade across the page with all their hilarious insecurities on display. The most prominent form in which Landers delivers his witty apercus through these characters is the T-shirt slogan: “I used to show in the 80s”; “I went to Yale too”; or “I emerged as an artist during the Gulf War.” In a drafting style that resembles a cleaned-up R. Crumb and with his trademark hand-lettered misspellings, Landers takes on all art types, exposing the shallowness of the successful artist and the flop, the egotism of the collector and critic, in sometimes bawdy and frequently laugh-out-loud satire. Amazingly, this is a book that would be equally at home in a museum restroom stall or an exhibition vitrine.
PUBLISHER Regency Arts Press
BOOK FORMAT Paperback, 4.5 x 6 in. / 140 pgs / 134 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 6/15/2005 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2005 p. 158
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780974903743TRADE List Price: $25.00 CDN $30.00