CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/7/2015
Featured image is reproduced from Hollywood Boulevard: 1969-1972, the refreshing new photography collection by Dennis Feldman, who captured the seedy side of this most famous of streets before going on to a noted career as a director and screenwriter. Of the photo project, he writes, "I’m driven to photograph places where, as they say, 'the veil between the seen and the unseen is thinnest.' …On Hollywood Boulevard you could see the cracks in the performance: the face through the mask—the truth through the pretense—the doubt through the confidence—the little boy or girl in the adult they became. That’s what I mean by the veil was thinnest. Hollywood is a notorious heartbreaker where only a few dreams come true. And so, over time, most people on the Avenue found themselves all dressed up with nowhere to go... except home if there still was one."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/6/2015
In his surprising new photobook, a real treasure on our list, Greg Reynolds describes finding an old box of pictures he made in the 70s and 80s, back when he was a still practicing youth minister in denial about his homosexuality. "... As a boy, I had grown up in a Southern Baptist family in Kentucky. This born-again Christian world was as normal to me as bacon and eggs for breakfast. A missionary gave me a 35 mm camera in 1978 and I started to take pictures. They were not meant to be seen by anyone other than my friends and family. I photographed out of curiosity and the desire to capture a moment. Without my knowing it at the time, I realize that these pictures were my first artistic body of work. Looking at the images today, I see all my longing and wishes expressed, things I could not say in words. To others, I appeared the model Christian, an evangelical poster boy. I prayed and read my bible, went to church and refrained from sex. But all through these days, I had a secret that I could not admit to others nor to myself. I loved but was not in love with the girl whom I thought I should marry and I was in love with my best friend with whom I never would have a relationship..." Featured image is "Greg, Hitchhiking, Yucatan, Mexico." To read Reynolds' complete text, continue to the blog.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/5/2015
New from Siglio! Richard Kraft: Here Comes Kitty released this week to great advance press, including Megan N. Liberty's long review in Hyperallergic. "Richard Kraft’s Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera explodes off the page. Kraft, a multidisciplinary artist, pastes images of Hindu gods next to exercise diagrams and drawings of monkeys and elephants into bars and restaurants — all superimposed on a pre-existing 1960s Cold War–era comic. Equally bizarre and juxtaposed fragments of text, composed by Danielle Dutton, accompany the images. The effect is seductive. To use the words of Dutton, 'It’s something about being read to as a child, where you are starting to fall asleep, and the same book has been read to you over and over, and these familiar images keep coming up, and there is a tug of the narrative, but you’re falling asleep at the same time.' Kraft’s collages and Dutton’s textual 'interpolations' tug at the edges of the reader’s imagination and memory." Also fascinating is poet Ann Lauterbach's long interview with the artist.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/4/2015
"For a brief but intensely fertile period during the early 1970s, Robert Overby produced an evocative, sensual, and contradictory series of sculptures that conflated architectural elements with references to the human body," Robin Clark writes in Mousse Publishing's outstanding new monograph, Robert Overby: Works 1969-1987. "The resulting 'body of work' constitutes a thematic exploration of both the body and work—the process and labor required to make objects that refer eloquently to the passage of time, complete with insistent desire, rueful humor, and an inevitable sense of loss." Rubber Sock, 18 February 1971, is a "cast-rubber object pigmented the peculiar pink that was once known as 'flesh' in the color spectrum of Crayola crayons. The impression of a small article of clothing discarded by Overby’s young stepdaughter, Rubber Sock inspired four major casting projects concerning latex and architecture, each with its own unique character and narrative."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/3/2015
"Space No. 9 (Study for RTO)" (1969) is reproduced from Robert Overby: Works 1969-1987, Mousse Publishing's excellent new survey of the increasingly prominent artist who died, in 1993, both supremely disappointed with and inveterately resistant to the meager attentions paid by the art world in his lifetime. Essayist Terry R. Myers writes, "I'm convinced that his work will never fit quite right into history, and I think this is how it should be. In some ways he's now getting what he wanted all along: work that quickly became and will remain a perpetual irritation, an itch that won't be scratched away, even if and when the latex rubber, in what have become his most celebrated works, turns—paraphrasing a postcard he prepared but never sent in response to John Weber's cancellation—from dust to mud."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/2/2015
Featured image is reproduced from Sophie Calle: Suite Vénitienne, releasing today from Siglio press. Printed on Japanese paper with a die-cut cover and printed edges, this beautifully produced artist's book (first published in 1988 and long out of print) was designed in collaboration with the artist and documents in images and diaristic texts Calle's dreamlike surveillance of Henri B., a man she followed from Paris to Venice, trailing him for two weeks. On Friday, February 22, 1980, Calle wrote, "11:20 a.m. Piazza San Marco. I have my picture taken in front of the church by a local photographer. In a blond wig, my outstretched hand full of seeds for the pigeons, strangers watching me pose: I’m ashamed. What if he saw me? I wander listlessly along the streets. I’m weary. The afternoon slips away like this, forlornly, absentmindedly. Did my adventure with him come to an end because he discovered me, because he knows?"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/30/2015
Featured image is panel 58 of The Migration Series, Jacob Lawrence's 1940-41 multi-panel masterwork. All of the panels were captioned so as to tell the story of the Great Migration of American blacks from the rural south to the north and west; in this case, "In the North the Negro had better educational facilities." Jodi Roberts writes, "Reaching with arms stretched high to write numbers on a large clean chalkboard, these three girls embody the aspirations of thousands of Southern migrants. Their bright dresses and adequately supplied classroom suggest that these students enjoy a standard of living comfortable enough to let them focus on school work. Lawrence's picture of an education-focused childhood in the North contrasts sharply with his depiction of underage labor in panel 24, in which barechested children work in cotton fields under the sun."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/29/2015
In the April/May issue, Sarah Nicole Prickett writes "A new book of Iannone's works on paper begins with a reprinting of the series "An Icelandic Saga," 1978-86, which tells of the meet-cute as if it were myth and continues nonchronologically through the now octogenarian's oeuvre, collecting the more memorable proofs of her love for what she, like Tibetan Buddhists and Heideggerians, calls the 'ecstatic unity' of prima fascie opposites.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/29/2015
Featured image is panel 52 of The Migration Series (1940-41) by Jacob Lawrence. His eerie caption: "One of the largest race riots occurred in East St. Louis." Jodi Roberts writes, "The violence, aimed principally at African-American communities, left dozens dead and hundreds injured, and created a fortune in property damage; whole swaths of the city were burned out. Fearful for their lives, more than 6,000 black residents of East St. Louis fled. The uprising spurred protests across the country. In a speech in Harlem, the black activist Marcus Garvey called the riot a 'massacre that will go down in history as one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind for which any class of people could be held guilty.' On July 28, 10,000 people joined a silent march down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, holding signs demanding justice and equal rights for blacks across the nation."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/28/2015
Featured image is panel 15 of The Migration Series, Jacob Lawrence's 1940-41 masterwork comprised of 60 small tempera paintings captioned sequentially to tell the story of the Great Migration - the early twentieth-century mass movement of southern blacks to the north and west - in Lawrence's own words; in this case, "Another cause was lynching. It was found that where there had been a lynching, the people who were reluctant to leave at first left immediately after this." Published to accompany the MoMA exhibition opening this week, this volume reunites the two long-separated halves of the landmark series, which belong to the permanent collections of both MoMA and the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.
Lisa Pearson of Siglio writes on publishing as "An act of resistance to the literal, the authoritarian and the facile... and as a testament to the 'book' as refuge, dissent, beacon, and nexus."
"Paging through a book is like closing a door behind you that simultaneously opens another onto a new room -- all the while keeping the previous room available, just behind the now-closed door of the turned page. Here I am in the hallway of the introduction..." -- excerpt from Sharon Helgason Gallagher's remarks at the New York Public Library panel discussion The Future of the Art Book
What are the kinds of books we ought to be publishing today as exemplars of the book for the future? What is the enduring legacy of "bookishness" that we want to -- may I say "ought to" -- transmit to the future? What kinds of meaning are and can be transmitted uniquely in the book form? What is the "bookishness" of the book that does not survive conversion, translation, adaptation, or reformatting as a digital publication? And what kinds of books even posses this quality?
Tonight, TamTam Books launches Gilles Verlant's authoritative new biography of the legendary French pop star, Serge Gainsbourg. Below is an excerpt: Verlant's chapter on Gainsbourg's passionate but short-lived love affair with screen legend, Brigitte Bardot.
"ONE DAY Schindler was looking at the floor plan of a house that had just been developed in quarter scale from the rough plan he had made directly on the surveyor’s eight-scale contour map."