Published by Walther König, Köln. By Emmett Williams.
A founding member of Fluxus and the concrete poetry movement, Emmett Williams (1925-2007) made several performances and poems that stand today as defining gems of those genres. Among them is the book-length concrete poem Sweethearts, first published by Something Else Press (where Williams was editor in chief) in 1968, and back in print for the first time, still sporting its classic cover by Marcel Duchamp. Sweethearts is an anagrammatic erotic encounter between a "he" and a "she," whose entire vocabulary is derived from the word "sweethearts." The letters maintain the same spacing in every word on each page, lending the volume a flipbook dimension that Williams enhances by organizing the text to read backwards, so that the reader can flip the book with her or his left hand (thus the front cover is on the back, and vice versa). Richard Hamilton described Sweethearts as being "to concrete poetry as Wuthering Heights is to the English novel... compelling in its emotional scope, readable, a sweetly heartfelt, jokey, crying, laughing, tender expression of love."
Published by Ridinghouse. Text by Michael Bracewell, Craig Burnett.
This beautiful catalog showcases works by British artist John Stezaker (born 1949) made between 1976 and 2017—interventions into found images dating mostly from the mid-20th century such as film stills, press and publicity photographs, magazines and postcards.
A sense of romance pervades Stezaker’s imagery, whether in the idealization of scenery on a picture postcard, or created by the highly skilled lighting, posing and preparation of a star for a publicity shot, or the minute and all-encompassing technical precision required to shoot a scene of a feature film.
As demonstrated most dramatically by his Love series (2016), Stezaker’s work seduces and ensnares the viewer’s gaze, arresting their perceptual expectations, accessing and questioning their empathetic sense and triggering lateral associations into memory, desire and unease. This catalog features essays by Michael Bracewell and Craig Burnett.
Art is always a great declaration of love. Consider the tragic images of a crucifixion, the moving embrace of the Sarcophagus of the spouses at the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, the spectral whiteness of Christ's corpse of Mantegna at the Pinacoteca di Brera, the dramatic and secret truth of the Raiser of Géricault, the sweet and silent abandonment of Böcklin's Isle of the Dead, the invading flesh and in the deformed faces of Freud and Bacon, the shocking head of Quinn's son made with his mother's blood and placenta. They are all profound and desperate declarations of love: to the value of sacrifice as a path of salvation, to conjugal life that challenges the transience of time, faith in resurrection and spiritual joys, to the stubborn struggle for an uncomfortable and denied truth, to abandonment and silence of a solitude full of memories, to the joy of a new life that goes through pain to face the world. See it in the evocative scenography of classical Greek theater, in the indescribable face of Santa Teresa wrapped by the marble fluctuations of Bernini, in the soft dialogue of "Quia respexit" between oboe and soprano for Bach's Magnificat, in the young and casual Demoiselles of Picasso's "Rue d'Avignon," in the theosophical balance of the colors of Mondrian or in the atmospheres of a Rothko.
Through the works of the most important artists of contemporary art - among others Robert Indiana, Tom Wesselmann, Andy Warhol, Tracey Moffatt, Francesco Clemente, Marc Quinn, Gilbert & George, Francesco Vezzoli, Vanessa Beecroft - and essays by Danilo Eccher, Federico Vercellone, Pierangelo Sequeri, Mattia Fumanti and Woody Allen, the volume deals with one of the universally recognized feelings which has always been a source of investigations and representations, Love, telling the different facets and infinite declinations. A happy, anticipated, misunderstood, hated, ambiguous, transgressive, childish love that unfolds along an unconventional exhibition path, characterized by visual and perceptive inputs.