CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/3/2015
This Thursday, the Guggenheim mounts 'Paul Chan: Projections for New Lovers,' the artist's installation for the Hugo Boss Prize 2014 and the first launch platform for Badlands Unlimited's new erotic book series, 'New Lovers.' Chan's 2014 artist's book 'New New Testament' has also won two important international book awards.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/3/2015
Stéphane Sédnaoui's 1994 portrait of Björk is reproduced from MoMA's extraordinary, slipcased, M/M-designed exhibition catalogue/artist's book, published on the occasion of the museum's highly anticipated Björk exhibition, which opens this week. In one of five enclosed booklets, Björk's correspondence with Timothy Morton, known for his writing on object oriented philosophy and ecology, is published as a back-and-forth stream. He writes, "we’re carving out new hope spaces. sadness, longing, hope, susceptibility, laughter. good ecological recipes. then how about this: between music and words you are allowing the unspeakable to manifest
i like this word unspeakable
it feels ego-puncturing yet beautiful yet weird yet fascinating yet spooky yet physical nonhuman yet human. like bataille’s idea of spirituality
when one feels prana it is like that. the rushing quality and the tendrils climbing up quality and the hairs on one’s body waving like coral quality."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/3/2015
"Lichtenstein Hot Dog Graphite Tire" (1966) is reproduced from Sturtevant: Drawing Double Reversal, the new JRP|Ringier release documenting the first large-scale exhibition ever devoted to the artist's drawings. The organizers write, "Over the past 50 years, Sturtevant developed what is perhaps the most radical oeuvre of her generation, an oeuvre distinguished by rigorous and unwavering conceptual thought. Concerned with more than the mere contemplation of art, she aimed for a change in attitude. She irritated and provoked art appreciators and the art world alike by replicating the original works of contemporary artists, which she used—surprisingly soon after the 'original'—as a source and catalyst for 'expanding and developing current aesthetic ideas, examining the concept of originality and exploring the relationship between original and originality, as well as accessing space for new thinking.' (Sturtevant)"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/2/2015
Here is an artist's book for artists, a burst of color after an especially colorless cold-spell. Iranian-born, Zurich-based photographer Shirana Shahbazi's vibrant and engaging 256-page story features not a word of text; each and every spread juxtaposes two images that converse. This is a book to collect, and to give.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/2/2015
"At a time when many artists seem intent on endless production, as if part of the meaning of their work resides within supply and demand, or repetition, whether intentional or compulsive, Tomma Abts understands that art takes time," Bob Nickas writes in the Aspen Art Museum's new book of Abts' drawings. "This is one subject of her work, even if never directly rendered. What she does show us, what she very often outlines and delineates and shadows for added emphasis, is that a painting or a drawing is a representation of itself, of having been made. When we consider her works on paper, they compel us to ask: What does it mean to draw? What is a drawing? And to what in this world are we drawn? In the work of Tomma Abts, there is a purposeful and continuous circling around an activity, to create and regard an image that might otherwise elude being fixed, not so easily articulated yet pursued nonetheless, an image of the process of thought, the triangulation of the hand and the eye and the mind." Untitled (2012) is reproduced from Tomma Abts: Mainly Drawings.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/28/2015
Man Ray's 1948 oil painting, "Julius Caesar"—produced during his decade-long exile in Hollywood, precipitated by the German occupation of Paris—is from Ray's Shakespearean Equation series, in which Ray drew upon his own pre-war photographic studies of mathematical models and appropriated titles from Shakespeare. Essayist Andrew Strauss writes, "The Shakespearean Equations reveal Man Ray at the height of his creative powers, employing a unique set of artistic skills that transcend media. His experience as a photographer allowed him to see the mathematical models in the Institut Poincaré as more than the mere visualization of abstract formulae, but as harboring a potential to be read anthropomorphically. His skill as a painter gave him the tools necessary to transform these images into a series of highly provocative paintings, and perhaps most importantly, his instinct to avoid convention gave him the liberty to assign each work with the title of a play from Shakespeare. Ultimately, he leaves the burden of interpretation with his viewers, an invitation that some might consider his ultimate Surrealist act."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/27/2015
In the Guggenheim's definitive catalogue for the current, critically acclaimed On Kawara retrospective, Anne Wheeler writes, "In 1965, following abandoned sculptural experiments in his new studio at 401 East Thirteenth Street in New York, Kawara returned swiftly and definitively to painting. Confronting
the expansive space, the artist began working on a group of monochrome canvases in various sizes that deepened his explorations of language. Some works featured messages coded in systems of Kawara’s own invention: geometric shapes, circles, and rectangles on an implied grid that, according to the artist, no one was ever able to decipher. Others bore simple English words such as ART, MOONSTONE, CIPHER, and UNTITLED, or epigrammatic phrases like GO HOME AND CRY ON YOUR PILLOW.
Kawara ultimately destroyed most of these paintings." Featured image, of these untitled paintings in the artist's studio, 1965, is reproduced from On Kawara - Silence.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/26/2015
"Proportion. Scale. Form. Palette. Surface.
It is tempting to see the work of Christina Ramberg in formal terms, almost as if she were an abstract painter," John Corbett writes in the Introduction to Corset Urns & Other Inventions. "This is the case in no small part because of her inventiveness, the distance she was able to push an image in one of her delicate but forceful works, and the elasticity and pure plastic creativity of her paintings and drawings... Fetish. Kink. Fabric. Hair. Skin. The other side of Ramberg’s work emerges from her choice of topic and the way she mined it. For much of her tragically truncated career, which spanned less than 25 years (from 1967 to the late 1980s), she painted images of women’s bodies, hairdos, and underwear. With a curious rather than jaundiced eye, she considered the history of form in ladies’ fashion and hair dressing, studying anything and everything from canonical paintings to commercial shops. She arrived at a peculiar, highly personal vision of bondage and lingerie, imbued with a critical stance but unwilling to mount the soapbox. Indeed, one of the most engaging and complex aspects of her work is its ambivalent position on the potential erotic content of the images...." >>> more
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/24/2015
Frank Horvat's 1958 photograph of Bettina Graziani, early press secretary, model and muse to Hubert de Givenchy, is reproduced from Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza's stunning new catalogue to the first exhibition ever devoted to this legendary designer. The show was curated by Givenchy himself, alongside Eloy Martínez de la Perla, who concludes his essay, "An artist sees himself in his work; he prolongs himself through his art and provides answers to anyone who comes to gaze at it. Halfway between the purity of form and ornamental ecstasy, Givenchy infused each of his creations with his delicacy, with his singular poetry, confronting the past, the depths of his soul, his highly personal pantheon of myths... >>> more
EMMY CATEDRAL | DATE 2/23/2015
For those who couldn't make the NYPL panel, 'Trends in Art Book Publishing,' our own Emmy Catedral contributes a review with links to the podcast and panelist Lisa Pearson's galvanizing originating text, 'On the Small and the Contrary', which should be read by anyone interested in passionate publishing.
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."