Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Karola Grässlin, Astrid Ihle, Fabrice Hergott. Text by Alexander von Grevenstein, Karola Grässlin, Fabrice Hergott.
This first book in a two-volume set contains documentation of works from 1971 to 1978 by the key Polish-born, Paris-based Minimalist and Conceptualist, André Cadere--who died in 1978 at the age of 45. (The second volume, sold separately, is a catalogue raisonné.) Best known for his 1970s Barres de bois rond, wooden bars made of painted cylindrical segments, Cadere regularly upended the status quo by bringing his staff-like sculptural works to openings for other artists that he admired or was close to, such as Robert Ryman or Barnett Newman--whether he was invited to do so or not. The bars inevitably conveyed such strong presence that they intervened with the shows, simultaneously disturbing and initiating discussions on the system of art. This invaluable reference book is divided into historical exhibition views, invitation cards designed by Cadere and photos and stills of his cult-legendary performances.
The Swiss collaborators Fischli & Weiss have said of this early series of color and black-and-white photographs, "Balance is most beautiful just shortly before it collapses." Indeed their tense arrangements of household miscellany often look on the verge of falling, or are caught in the process. The only texts included with them are associative titles, including Natural Grace, (a spatula on a plate on a wine bottle on an apple on a cup), The Fart (chairs on Coke bottles and aerosol cans), and Invisible Power, (showing one end of a paper construction held aloft by the breeze from a small fan). Many of the constructions appear under several titles, in several styles: Completion, when shot in grainy, starkly lit black-and-white, becomes Honor, Courage, Confidence, and in close-up, Can I , May I, Do Anything? On the page, these often elaborate and expansive objects acquire an incidental quality that makes them both more real and more transient. Ultimately, the only evidence of their existence is these images. While a small selection of these works appeared in the artist's book Quiet Afternoon, most have never before been published in any form.
Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co.. Essay by Joan Simon.
Ann Hamilton: An Inventory of Objects is a major new publication of the work of one of today's most important and influential artists. The book is a comprehensive catalogue of Hamilton's object-based work from 1984 to 2006. The more than 130 color plates document photographs, sculpture, video, audio and language pieces (both unique and editioned), as well as multiples and prints. Many of the objects relate to the large-scale installations for which Hamilton is internationally known. Each object in the inventory is accompanied by a text by Joan Simon, who also contributes a significant new essay setting Hamilton's objects in critical context. The complete inventory of Hamilton's objects made over the past 20-plus years is reproduced in this essential publication, which also contains an extensive biography, bibliography and index. The book, designed by the Swedish designer Hans Cogne in conversation with Ann Hamilton, is a beautiful object in its own right and evokes many of the conceptual qualities of Hamilton's art.
Published by FUEL Publishing. Edited by Vladmir Arkhipov. Foreword by Susan B. Glasser.
The clever, bizarre and poignant DIY housewares that fill the pages of Home-Made: Contemporary Russian Folk Artifacts have stories to tell. They communicate the textures of the lives of ordinary Russians during the collapse of the Soviet Union, they highlight alternatives to factory design and disposable goods, and they speak volumes about what goes on in other people's homes--how they spend and scrimp, how they make do. Home-Made highlights the best of the everyday objects made by ordinary Russians during and around the time of the Soviet Union's decline. Many were inspired by a lack of access to manufactured goods. Among the hundreds of idiosyncratic constructions for inside and outside the home are a back massager from a wooden abacus, a television antenna from unwanted forks, and a tiny bathtub plug from a boot heel. The author is himself a self-taught artist: he began exhibiting his own objects and installations in 1990, and collecting and cataloging these everyday, utilitarian objects handmade from modern materials a dozen years ago, in 1994. He accompanies each invaluable artifact with a photograph of the maker and his or her story. Foreward by Susan B. Glasser of the Washington Post Foreign Service.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Essays by Christine Hopfengart, Alexander Klee, Felix Klee, Osamu Okuda, Tilman Osterwold and Eva Widerkehr.
Between 1916 and 1925 Paul Klee (1879-1940) made some 50 hand puppets for his son, Felix, of which 30 are still in existence. For the heads, he used materials from his own household: beef bones and electrical outlets, bristle brushes, leftover bits of fur and nutshells. Soon he began to sew costumes. These characters and small works, do not pretend to be great art, but at the same time, they are superbly imaginative, sweetly reminiscent of Klee's relationships with his family, and beautifully illustrative of the artistic and social developments of the time. Readers will see the chronological proximity of Dada and Kurt Schwitters's collages in Klee's Matchbox Ghost; the German National caricatures one of the era's more ominous political types. An introductory essay tracks the work's links to other avant-garde puppetry and to Klee's sculptural works, and notes his connections to the theater. For their part, Klee's son Felix and his grandson Alexander tell the story of how the figures were created.
Published by University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Artwork by Paul Kos. Contributions by Constance Lewallen. Text by Charles Desmarais, Ron Meyers, Rachel Teagle, Beatriz Colomina, Kevin Consey.
Born in 1942, Paul Kos has been a highly influential artist in the Bay Area for well over three decades. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he was one of the major figures on the early Conceptual art scene, notable especially for his early experimental video works and seemingly simple but technically innovative sculptural installations, which generally featured evocative audio or video components. He was one of the first to incorporate video into interactive installations. The artist's best-known work is arguably the sublime “Chartres Bleu,” a 1986 video installation that re-creates in full scale a stained-glass window from the Chartres cathedral in France. Each of the 27 vertically stacked video monitors duplicates an individual leaded glass panel. The brightness of the images stimulates the light changes in a normal day, accelerated to 12 minutes. Depending on the light, the narrative scenes are clearly readable or, when brightly illuminated, dissolved into abstractness. Everything Matters, published on the occasion of an exhibition of Kos's work at the Berkeley Art Museum, is the first major volume on his work.
Published by Granary Books/Coracle. Artwork by Paul Etienne Lincoln.
The Purification of Fagus Sylvatica Var Pendula is emblematic of Paul Etienne Lincoln's inquiry into the origin and production of memory--and our ethereal relationship to that intangible evidence of our consciousness. In this pursuit Lincoln has employed diverse forms and themes, ranging from examination of historical figures to detailing anything from New York City infrastructure to “household” machines that dispense gin-and-tonics (mixed at varying strengths). Comprised of photographs, diagrams and text, The Purification records the series of experiments and performances which detail the afterlife of a specimen of local vegetation. The book begins: “Situated at the perimeter of Weeping Beach Tree Park in Queens, New York, was a small pavilion looking on to a stump of the oldest Weeping Beach in America. In 1847 Samuel Bowne Parsons, a Quaker and a nurseryman, purchased a shoot of Weeping Beach, Fagus sylvatica var pendula, in Belgium while traveling in search of unusual plants. On his return to the United States he planted the shoot at the site of the stump, then part of Parson's Nurseries. Every Weeping Beech in America is descended from this one tree. Regrettably, the stump is all that remains, as shortly after this venerable tree's 150th anniversary in 1997 it died and was cut down. The tree had, however spawned seven progeny, which still grow in a circle around the original beech.” Over the past two decades, Lincoln has committed himself to creating complex installations, recordings and documentation on a wide range of subject matter. The Purification follows Lincoln's investigation of the Weeping Beech as a way of detailing the process of examination and history writing which is ever shifting and defining the world around us.
Children, art lovers, philosophers and comedians have all found delight in the work of Swiss artist Roman Signer (born 1938), the Buster Keaton of contemporary art. Using constituents such as water, fire, air and earth, Signer makes a playground of the whole world, devising absurdist experiments in all kinds of environments, from desolate landscapes to biennals. This excellent retrospective from DuMont assesses the artist's career across several decades, thematizing the work through its use of balloons, attache cases, kayaks, sound and paint. Each of these sections is embellished with a discussion between the artist and author Rachel Withers, who also analyses Signer's time sculptures through the writings of Henri Bergson and Gaston Bachelard, and explores the singular humor of his work.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited by Ingrid Pfeiffer, Max Hollein. Text by Laurence Madeline, Angela Lampe, Ulrich Lehmann.
Beautiful as the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table is the most famous formulation of the Surrealist effect, penned by the Comte de Lautréamont in the 1860s and adopted as a rallying cry by André Breton at the inception of the Surrealist movement. Lautréamont's vivid simile lent itself both to poetry and to visual art, and the Surrealist artists were quick to grasp that an entirely new kind of sculpture could be made from such potent combinations of commonplace objects. Duchamp's Dada-era objects, Freud's theories of the fetish, the "uncanny" and sexual symbolism and the popularity in Europe of African votive objects supplied further stimulus, and soon Breton, Man Ray, Salvador Dalí and even Picasso had populated this infant genre with a whole slew of disquieting (and sometimes fun) inventions--May Ray's 1920 "Cadeau" (a clothes iron with tacks attached) and Dalí's 1936 lobster telephone are two instantly recognizable examples. Younger recruits to the Surrealist cause, such as Hans Bellmer, Isamu Noguchi and Meret Oppenheim developed the possibilities of the genre even further, and Oppenheim's 1936 "Fur Cup" must be today the supreme instance of the Surrealist object. Surreal Objects is the first publication to exclusively address the Surrealist object. Surveying works by over 50 artists and writers--among them such familiar names as Breton, Dalí, Duchamp, Magritte, Man Ray and Picasso, and less-known artists such as Antoni Clavé, Leo Dohmen, Wilhelm Freddie and Conroy Maddox--it provides a definitive treatment of one of Surrealism's most characteristic yet neglected themes.
Published by DuMont. 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.