Published by Walker Art Center. Edited with text by Fionn Meade, Joan Rothfuss. Foreword by Olga Viso. Text by Carlos Basualdo, Juliet Bellow, Philip Bither, Roger Copeland, Mary L. Coyne, Douglas Crimp, Hiroko Ikegami, Kelly Kivland, Claudia La Rocco, Benjamin Piekut, David Vaughan. Interviews by Victoria Brooks, Danielle Goldman, Aram Moshayedi.
How Cunningham transformed postwar culture through collaboration Renowned as both choreographer and dancer, Merce Cunningham (1919–2009) also revolutionized dance through his partnerships with the many artists who created costumes, lighting, films and videos, and décor and sound for his choreographic works. Cunningham, together with partner John Cage, invited those artists to help him rethink what dance could mean, both on the stage and in site-responsive contexts. His notion that movement, sound and visual art could share a “common time” remains one of the most radical aesthetic models of the 20th century and yielded extraordinary works by dozens of artists and composers, including Charles Atlas, John Cage, Morris Graves, Jasper Johns, Rei Kawakubo, Robert Morris, Gordon Mumma, Bruce Nauman, Ernesto Neto, Pauline Oliveros, Nam June Paik, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, David Tudor, Stan VanDerBeek, Andy Warhol and La Monte Young, among many others. These collaborations bring to the fore Cunningham’s direct impact upon postwar artistic practice. This 456-page volume, published in conjunction with the Walker Art Center and MCA Chicago’s exhibition, reconsiders the choreographer and his collaborators as an extraordinarily generative interdisciplinary network that preceded and predicted dramatic shifts in performance, including the development of site-specific dance, the use of technology as a choreographic tool and the radical separation of sound and movement in dance. It features ten new essays by curators and historians, as well as interviews with contemporary choreographers—Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener—who address Cunningham’s continued influence. These are supplemented by rarely published archival photographs, reprints of texts by Cunningham, Cage and other key dancers, artists and scholars, several appendices and an extensive illustrated chronology placing Cunningham’s activities and those of his collaborators in the context of the 20th century, particularly the expanded arts scene of the 1960s and 1970s. This book is an essential volume for anyone interested in contemporary art, music and dance.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art. Edited with text by Leah Dickerman, Achim Borchardt-Hume. Text by Yve-Alain Bois, Andrianna Campbell, Hal Foster, Mark Godfrey, Hiroko Ikegami, Branden Joseph, Ed Krcma, Michelle Kuo, Pamela Lee, Emily Liebert, Richard Meyer, Helen Molesworth, Kate Nesin, Sarah Roberts, Catherine Wood.
The early 1950s, when Robert Rauschenberg launched his career, was the heyday of the heroic gestural painting of Abstract Expressionism. Rauschenberg challenged this tradition, inventing new intermedia forms of art making that shaped the decades to come. Published in conjunction with the inaugural 21st-century retrospective of this defining figure, this book offers fresh perspectives on Rauschenberg’s widely celebrated Combines (1954–64) and silkscreen paintings (1962–64). It also illuminates lesser-known periods within Rauschenberg’s career, including his work of the early 1950s and that from the late 1960s onward, now compelling and prescient to contemporary eyes. Sixteen short essays by eminent scholars and emerging new writers focus on specific moments within Rauschenberg’s career, examining his creative production across an extraordinary range of media. Integrating new scholarship, documentary imagery and archival materials, Robert Rauschenberg is the first comprehensive catalogue of the artist’s career in 20 years, an important contribution to American cultural and intellectual history across disciplines and a necessary volume for anyone interested in art of the present day. Over the span of six decades, Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) worked in an astonishing range of mediums including painting, sculpture, prints, photography and performance, and became one of the most transformative figures in postwar American culture. Working alone and in collaboration with artists, dancers, musicians and writers, Rauschenberg produced a vast body of work that continues to resonate today.
Leah Dickerman is The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. Achim Borchardt-Hume is Director of Exhibitions, Tate Modern. Yve-Alain Bois is Professor of Art History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. Andrianna Campbell is a Doctoral Candidate, CUNY Graduate Center. Hal Foster is Townsend Martin, Class of 1917, Professor of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University. Mark Godfrey is Senior Curator, International Art (Europe and Americas), Tate Modern. Hiroko Ikegami is Associate Professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University. Branden Joseph is Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. Ed Krcma is Lecturer in Art History, University of East Anglia. Michelle Kuo is Editor in Chief, Artforum International Magazine. Pamela Lee is Jeanette and William Hayden Jones Professor in American Art and Culture, Stanford University. Emily Liebert is Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. Richard Meyer is Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History, Stanford University. Helen Molesworth is Chief Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Kate Nesin is Associate Curator, Art Institute of Chicago. Sarah Roberts is Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Catherine Wood is Senior Curator, International Art (Performance).
Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Raphael Gygax, Heike Munder. Text by Torsten Blume, Eva Díaz, Raphael Gygax, Juliet Koss, Tobias Peper.
In his lifetime, "Xanti" (Alexander) Schawinsky (1904-79) was best known for his work in the theater department at the Bauhaus. Fleeing Germany before the beginning of the Second World War, he landed at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where in the 1930s he developed his theory of the "Spectodrama." Involving multimedia productions examining elementary phenomena such as space, motion, light, sound or color from scientific, technical and performance-based perspectives, the Spectodrama represents an early form of the "happening." Beyond the avant-garde utopias of the Bauhaus and his proto-happening art, Schawinsky also worked as a painter and graphic designer. Protracted legal disputes over the artist's estate meant that Schawinsky's work was until recently almost inaccessible; Xanti Schawinsky is the first survey of Schawinsky's extraordinarily prolific output over the course of five decades, and a long-overdue resource on the work of this key figure.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art. Edited with text by Sarah Hermanson Meister. Text by Elizabeth Otto, Lee Ann Daffner.
Josef Albers is widely recognized as a crucial figure in 20th-century art, both as an independent practitioner and as a teacher at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College and Yale University. Albers made paintings, drawings and prints and designed furniture and typography. Arguably the least familiar aspect of his extraordinary career was his inventive engagement with photography, only widely known after his death, including his production of approximately 70 photocollages that feature photographs he made at the Bauhaus between 1928 and 1932. These works anticipate concerns that he would pursue throughout his career--the effects of adjacency, the exploration of color through white, black and gray, and the delicate balance between handcraft and mechanical production. Albers’ photographs were first shown at MoMA in a modest exhibition in 1988, when the Museum acquired two photocollages. In 2015 the Museum acquired ten additional photocollages, making its collection the most substantial anywhere outside the Albers Foundation. This publication reproduces each of the photocollages Albers made at the Bauhaus, presenting the scope of this achievement for the first time. An introductory essay by Sarah Hermanson Meister situates them within the contexts of modernist photography, the Bauhaus ethos and of Albers’ own practice.
German-born abstract painter Josef Albers laid the foundations for some of the most important art education programs of the 20th century. In 1936, during his time working at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina, he had his first solo exhibition in New York at J. B. Neumann’s New Art Circle. In 1949, Albers left the college and began his famous Homage to the Square series. He taught at various institutions throughout America, including Yale University, New Haven, where he lectured for eight years. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized Albers' traveling exhibition in 1965 and a retrospective of his work was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1971. The artist died in 1976.
Sarah Meister is Curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Published by David Zwirner Books. Introduction by Nicholas Fox Weber. Text by Elaine de Kooning, Colm Tóibín.
Exploring the origins of Josef Albers' groundbreaking Homage to the Square in the exquisite palettes of day and night Using minimal means—paint straight from the tube, applied meticulously with a palette knife—and a focused selection of colors, Josef Albers’ sustained, serial investigation into rhythm, mood and spatial movement is explored in this lavishly produced volume that looks solely at his respective grey and yellow paintings, exploring two distinct color palettes pervasive to his oeuvre. Highlighting the rich diversity of effects Albers drew from a narrow range of colors, this publication centers around the groundbreaking “Homage to the Square (A)” (1950), the inaugural painting in the series that would occupy the artist until his death in 1976. The pairing of two palettes—black, white and grey and an array of yellows—stems in part from Albers’ 1964 series of lithographs, Midnight and Noon, which brought together these two opposing color sets in a single portfolio. Together they address the limitless possibilities the artist found in color and form in relation to light. The impossible simultaneity of “midnight” and “noon” moreover speaks to Albers’ transcending of what he called “factual facts” in favor of the play of perception and illusion possible in art. Opening with an introduction by Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, that contextualizes these works and their color palettes, this volume also includes Albers’ own writing on Homage to the Square. Additionally, Elaine de Kooning’s historic text and Colm Tóibín’s recent writing explore this body of work from different perspectives and time periods. Published on the occasion of exhibitions at David Zwirner’s New York and London galleries in 2016 and 2017, this beautifully illustrated publication looks at one of the most influential abstract painters of the 20th century.
How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)
Published by Siglio. Edited by Richard Kraft, Joe Biel.
Composed over the course of 16 years, John Cage's Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) is one of his most prescient and personal works. A repository of observations, anecdotes, obsessions, jokes and koan like stories, the diary registers Cage's assessment of the times in which he lived as well as his often uncanny predictions about the world we live in now. With a great sense of play as well as purpose, Cage traverses vast territory, from postwar music to Watergate, from domestic minutiae to ideas on how to feed the world. Typing on an IBM Selectric, Cage used chance operations to determine not only the word count and the application of various typefaces but also the number of letters per line, the patterns of indentation and--in the case of Part Three (published as a Great Bear pamphlet by Something Else Press)--color. The beautiful and unusual visual variances become almost musical as the physicality of the language on the page suggests the sonic. This first complete hardcover edition collects all eight parts Cage originally published in A Year from Monday, M and X. Coeditors Kraft and Biel have consulted these publications along with Cage's original manuscripts, and--with the Great Bear pamphlet as a guide--they have used chance operations to render the entire text in various combinations of red and blue as well as apply a set of 18 typefaces to the entire work. Composer, philosopher, writer and artist, John Cage (1912-92) is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. A pioneer in extending the boundaries of music, often composing works through chance operations, Cage also had an extraordinary impact on dance, poetry, performance and visual art.
Published by Siglio. Edited by Elizabeth Zuba. Text by Kevin Killian.
Ray Johnson (1927–1995) blurred the boundaries of life and art, of authorship and intimacy. Correspondence is the defining character of all of Johnson’s work, particularly his mail art. Intended to be read, to be received, to be corresponded with, his letters (usually both image and textual in character) were folded and delivered to an individual reader, to be opened and read, again and again. Johnson's correspondence includes letter to friends William S. Wilson, Dick Higgins, Richard Lippold, Toby Spiselman, Joseph Cornell, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Robert Motherwell, Eleanor Antin, Germaine Green, Lynda Benglis, Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Christo, Billy Name, Jim Rosenquist and Albert M. Fine, among many others. The subjects of his correspondence ranged from the New York avant-garde (Cage, Johns, de Kooning, Duchamp) to filmmakers such as John Waters, philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and writers such as Gertrude Stein and Marianne Moore. This collection of more than 200 selected letters and writings--most of which are previously unpublished--opens a new view into the sprawling, multiplicitous nature of Johnson’s art, revealing not only how he created relationships, glyphs and puzzles in connecting words, phrases, people and ideas, but also something about the elusive Johnson himself. In a 1995 article in The New York Times, Roberta Smith wrote: "Make room for Ray Johnson, whose place in history has been only vaguely defined. Johnson’s beguiling, challenging art has an exquisite clarity and emotional intensity that makes it much more than simply a remarkable mirror of its time, although it is that, too."
Long out of print and unavailable to wider audiences, The Paper Snake is an essential work in Ray Johnson’s oeuvre and the second title published by Dick Higgins’ 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 artist’s 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 Johnson’s 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.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edited and with text by John Elderfield. Text by Jim Coddington, Jennifer Field, Delphine Huisinga, Susan Lake.
Published in conjunction with the first large-scale, multi-medium, posthumous retrospective of Willem de Kooning's career, this publication offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the development of the artist's work as it unfolded over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. The volume presents approximately 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, covering the full diversity of de Kooning's art and placing his many masterpieces in the context of a complex and fascinating pictorial practice. An introductory essay by John Elderfield, MoMA's Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture, provides an in-depth exploration of de Kooning's development, context and sources, theory of art and working methods. Sections devoted to particular areas of the artist's oeuvre provide an illustrated chronology of the period and a brief introduction, as well as detailed entries on groups of works. With lavish, full-color documentation, this landmark publication is the most complete account of de Kooning's artistic career to date. Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1904, and moved to the United States in 1926. His early figurative painting slowly gained attention, and his black-and-white abstractions of the late 1940s made him a leader among the New York Abstract Expressionists; but the early 1950s Woman paintings made him famous for the violence of their depiction. De Kooning moved to Long Island in 1963, working in both abstract and figurative styles through the 1980s. He died in 1997.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.. Edited by Nicola Del Roscio. Text by Laszlo Glozer, Thierry Greub, Simon Schama, Kirk Varnedoe.
Recognized as one of the greatest and most idiosyncratic artists of the postwar era, Cy Twombly left behind an oeuvre of incredible versatility, sensitivity and originality upon his death in 2011 at age 83. Working in the immediate aftermath of Abstract Expressionism, Twombly developed an intensely personal scription consisting of scrawled letters and words, in an effusive, calligraphic mark-making that suggests a kind of painted poetry. Working across painting, drawing, sculpture and photography with a restless energy, Twombly incorporated the gods of Ancient Greece, the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé and the history, culture and mythology of the Occident into his art. The Essential Cy Twombly, edited by Twombly's longtime collaborator Nicola Del Roscio, is the ultimate overview of his work, presenting the most important paintings and cycles of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs from Twombly's diverse oeuvre. The most accessible survey of his work to date, this volume includes essays by Laszlo Glozer, Thierry Greub, Kirk Varnedoe and Simon Schama. Edwin Parker (Cy) Twombly (1928-2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia. He lived and worked in New York in the early 1950s (where he met Robert Rauschenberg, with whom he was to have a long personal and artistic relationship) and studied at the legendary Black Mountain College in North Carolina before traveling around North Africa, Spain and Italy and ultimately settling in Rome before the end of the decade, just as the art world was shifting its center of gravity to New York. Best known for his paintings and drawings, often executed on a massive scale across multiple canvases, Twombly also made sculptures and photographs.