CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/5/2021
Starting Friday, March 5, at 2PM, National Gallery of Art presents 'Human Archipelago' authors Teju Cole and Fazal Sheikh in conversation on the Gallery's YouTube page.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/2/2021
Featured spreads are from Gladys Nilsson: Honk! Fifty Years of Painting, a staff-favorite tribute to the singular path of the Hairy Who pioneer. In a published interview, Alison M. Gingeras asks, "Speaking of history, and what I supposed is now being heralded as a 'new' art history, I want to ask you a number of questions related to gender and feminism. When I was in the contemporary galleries at the Art Institute yesterday, I read a wall label that characterized a work as 'gendered.' Forgive me for going right in at the deep end, but how would you feel about someone describing your work as gendered?" Nilsson's reply: "I don’t even know what gendered means! I will tell you an early experience. I guess it was the first Hairy Who show, in 1966, which I had some little watercolors in. A reviewer was describing the work: 'Jim Nutt has this,' 'Art Green has that,' 'Suellen Rocca has this.' I was the last one mentioned: 'and Gladys Nilsson, the most feminine of the group.' That knocked me for a loop. I had never made a judgment like that. It never even occurred to me to say, 'obviously done by some man' or 'oh, that’s a lady’s work.'"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/27/2021
Felicia Davis's 2020 "Fabricating Networks Quilt" (detail: scenes from Pittsburgh) is reproduced from Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, published to accompany the landmark exhibition opening at MoMA this weekend. A collection of 10 case studies on how American architecture can address systemic anti-Black racism, this is essential reading for Black History Month and beyond. "A conjoining of scales, historical research, and projective interventions transcends the limits of architecture to assert one's contribution toward a shared history of belonging and a recuperation of humanity," editors Sean Anderson and Mabel O. Wilson conclude in their Introduction. "In 2020, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic further reified the boundaries inscribed on redlining maps between those who live and those who die, underscoring the precarity of America's social contract. Returning to Du Bois, who writes that the most significant problem of the twentieth century was the 'color line,' what might be said of those traces of the self-governing Black communities of Mound Bayou in Mississippi, Nicodemus in Kansas, Eatonville in Florida, Allensworth in California, and Seneca Village in New York City? We read these place-names and conjure the lives that inhabited the porches and kitchenettes, juke joints and schoolrooms, law offices and churches beyond the line, not because of it. And through these names we are able to retrace histories that speak to human cruelty, unspeakable depredation, and imperial misadventure, while also securing—with unlimited promise—the prospect to think about, design, and build spaces of resistance and refusal, imagination and liberation."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/24/2021
Cy Gavin's 2016 oil painting "Underneath the George Washington Bridge" is reproduced from Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists, a Staff Pick every day, but especially during Black History Month. Gavin writes, "In 2010, when I moved to the city, the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy was at its most robust, accounting for a record 685,724 stops in 2011… After Floyd v. City of New York and a resulting NYPD mandate requiring officers to justify the reason for a stop, that number had dwindled by 2016 to only 12,404—the year I made this painting. In the context of a nationwide discourse on police brutality, stop-and-frisk makes simply walking the streets, parks, or really anywhere police convene feel dangerous—not only for the disproportionate risk that existing has assigned to me, but because of a heightened sense of embitterment from a police force so unflatteringly and publicly spanked in 2013. Blue Lives Matter rallies and an endless stream of inflammatory remarks from the city’s police commissioner at the time seemed only to bolster officers to strut even more menacingly around the streets. In the case of Washington Heights, however, cops skulked along in unmarked cars, often tricked out with chrome rims and booming sound systems or, less commonly, in repurposed yellow cabs, turning on their sirens and lights simply to shock residents into a moment of confused and repulsed acknowledgment. Inhabiting a city that playfully threatens to destroy you at a whim becomes exhausting. The privacy of this location under the bridge allowed me to draw, read, write, and think critically about the world without the crushing awareness of being relentlessly observed. Here, I found I could bring a notebook and plan actionable steps for the future—and I could more readily imagine a future…"
KRISTEN MUELLER | DATE 2/24/2021
Join Artbook Stores at the Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair, February 25–28, 2021, with an Opening starting 4PM EST on Wednesday, February 24, and an event with Johanna Drucker and Susan Bee starting Saturday, February 27 at 3PM EST. Artbook Stores Booksellers will be on live chat every day from fair opening til close.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/23/2021
Tuesday, February 23 from 6–7PM, ICP & Damiani Books present a conversation between internationally acclaimed fashion photographer Erik Madigan Heck and 'New Yorker' writer and curator Vince Aletti on the occasion of Heck’s newest publication, 'The Garden.'
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/22/2021
Kathy Butterly's mighty, yet less-than-seven-inch-tall ceramic, "Pony Boy" (2011), is reproduced from Shapes From Out of Nowhere: Ceramics from the Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection—a new release this week and a surprise staff favorite. Published to accompany the exhibition on view now at The Met Fifth Avenue, this beautifully designed, 272-page volume presents more than 150 works from the esteemed abstract ceramics collection of Robert Ellison—spanning from nineteenth-century visionary George E. Ohr to modern and contemporary masters like Axel Salto, Ken Price, Lynda Benglis and Butterly. "It is indeed extraordinary to see the abundance and variety of contemporary ceramics, and to think that we are now living through one of the greatest periods in the history of this ancient medium," Glenn Adamson writes. "Yet it all started, in a sense, with a gesture of disavowal: a refusal to play by the rules. Out of that single 'no' have come a thousand and more ways to say 'yes.' The title of this book, proposed by Ellison himself, echoes that juxtaposition of negation and affirmation. It suggests an implicit tension between shape—implying a concrete and definitive presence—and nowhere, designating a zone of absence. In the ceramic works of the twentieth century, we can see how empty space was reconceived as a place of discovery. It was there all along, around and inside the vessel. But it took some great potters to make it real."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/20/2021
Panel 58 of Jacob Lawrence's 1940–41 multi-panel masterwork, The Migration Series, is captioned: "In the North the Negro had better educational facilities." In honor of migrants and refugees everywhere, as well as Black History Month here in the United States, we are featuring this MoMA classic today. "We don't have a physical slavery, but an economic slavery," Lawrence said in 1940. "If these people, who were so much worse off than people today, could conquer their slavery, we certainly can do the same… I'm an artist, just trying to do my part to bring this thing about."
KRISTEN MUELLER | DATE 2/18/2021
Saturday, February 27 at 12PM PST / 3PM EST, Artbook Stores and Litmus Press invite you to the Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair book launch, discussion and signing for Fab Fem Collab: Three Artists' Books by Johanna Drucker and Susan Bee. Signed artists' bookplate copies of all three of Drucker and Bee's collaborations are available.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/18/2021
Featured spreads are from Hauser & Wirth's superb new scrapbook-like oral autobiography of Venezuelan-born American painter Luchita Hurtado, who died in 2020 at the age of ninety-nine, having achieved widespread fame only in the very last years of her life. This extraordinary document collects a series of deep conversations between Hurtado and longtime champion Hans Ulrich Obrist, along with an abundance of never-before-seen photographs and artworks, such as self-portraits and erotic drawings. "To have known Luchita Hurtado is to have known a miracle," Obrist writes in his Introduction. "An extraordinary artist with an innate sensitivity to the ever-changing world around her, Luchita—who was also a poet, ecological activist, world traveler, mother and fierce friend—possessed a kind of magic that extended to everything she touched, from her expansive, uncategorizable art work to the pinecones she would collect on walks in her Los Angeles neighborhood. Always responding to the world around her, Luchita mapped a visceral connective tissue between all of us, bridging the gap between self and others, between the future, the present, and the past."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/18/2021
Thursday, February 18 from 7:30–9PM, Harvard University's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts presents a live Zoom conversation between artist Renée Green and art historian Gloria Sutton to celebrate the publication of 'Renée Green: Pacing.'
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/15/2021
Self-taught artist Horace Pippin's 1945 painting "Holy Mountain III" is reproduced from On Edward Hicks, Sanford Schwartz's illuminating study of the Quaker minister and ornamental sign painter Edward Hicks's most iconic work, "Peaceable Kingdom," and its many permutations. (Hicks painted more than sixty versions of the painting over the course of his lifetime, and it was adapted by many other artists, including Pippin, since the first iteration sometime around 1820.) "Presenting a dream of friendliness and serenity yet often tense and unsettling—and starring, as it were, an almost all-animal cast yet clearly about human experience—Edward Hicks’s many paintings entitled 'Peaceable Kingdom' might be called inside-out masterpieces," Schwartz writes. "In pictures set at the edge of a wood, we see an assembly of wild beasts, including a bear and a wolf, and of tame, or farm, animals, including a kid and a cow. They are living as a group, as the words 'peaceable kingdom' would suggest, in a domain where predators and their prey have come to coexist.
But the scenes, where the animals are often jumbled together, seem as much to show a peace conference that has only just gotten underway after a recent ceasefire. Harmony is less in the air than something unexpectedly realistic and psychological."
KRISTEN MUELLER | DATE 2/14/2021
Sunday, February 14 at 2PM PST / 5PM EST / 10PM GMT, Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore, Sharjah Art Foundation and Mörel Books invite you to a special online book launch, discussion and signing for 'Art in the Age of Anxiety,' edited by Omar Kholeif. Kholeif will be in conversation with Trevor Paglen, with special guests Lynn Hershman-Leeson and Saira Ansari.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/14/2021
This June 2, 1943, Dorothy Wilding portrait of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, and Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, captures that ineffable thing about one of the greatest and perhaps most tragic loves of the twentieth century. Taken seven years after the Duke abdicated the throne rather than "discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love," it is not only a portrait of passion, but of monumental sacrifice and exile, reproduced from Love Stories: Art, Passion & Tragedy, our Valentine's Day Staff Pick. "While they remained loyal to one another until their deaths," Constantia Nicolaides writes, "questions abound about Edward’s real motivations for abdicating, and whether Wallis truly loved Edward or intended for their relationship to progress so far. Indeed, she reportedly remarked: ‘You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance.'"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/12/2021
Friday, February 12 from 5–6PM EST, the Parrish Art Museum presents Senior Curator Corinne Erni and museum strategist and author András Szántó in a live-stream conversation as they discuss his new book, 'The Future of the Museum: 28 Dialogues.'
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/12/2021
"Couple walking" (1979), by Roy DeCarava, is reproduced from Black History Month Staff Pick Soul of a Nation, back in stock this week! In the chapter "Notes on Black Abstraction," Mark Godfrey notes that DeCarava photographed many of his subjects from behind or on the side. "While he was taking these photographs, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand were being feted for the sharpness of their portraits: indeed it is impossible to call to mind their work without remembering the idiosyncratic facial expressions of the subjects. So why did DeCarava photograph his subjects from behind? Arguably his intention was to eschew character studies and instead to photograph abstract concepts: community, resilience, family love and tenderness, romance, dignity, elegance. These images constitute [a] kind of Black abstraction."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/11/2021
Thursday, February 11 from 6–7PM, MCA Chicago invites you to celebrate 'Carolina Caycedo: From the Bottom of the River' with a lively conversation between the artist, exhibition curator and editor Carla Acevedo-Yates and Wayuu filmmaker David Hernández Palmar.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/11/2021
Thursday, February 11, from 10:30–11:30AM, the CAA, Artbook | D.A.P. and Hatje Cantz invite you to join us for the virtual panel, "Reconstructing Aby Warburg's 'Bilderatlas Mnemosyne'" with 'Aby Warburg: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne' editors Roberto Ohrt, Axel Heil, Bill Sherman and Claudia Wedepohl.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/10/2021
Featured spreads are from In Search of African American Space: Redressing Racism, the recent release from Lars Müller Publishers. A 256-page anthology drawing on architecture, performance art, history and visual theory, this well illustrated volume explores the creative relationship between the African diaspora and social space in America. "If the African American experience emerges from the structure of slavery," editor Jeffrey Hogrefe asks in his Introduction, "how does architecture speak to that experience, and how can the African American person respond to such an architecture that traditionally serves to fortify the state? This is a question that we ask in the face of escalating state violence toward Black people, which is occurring at the same time as the emergence of a Black aesthetics that has repositioned blackness as central to a politics of transformation… For the most part, architecture has been designed to regulate, survey, punish, and erase the Black person, which is why, until recently, the African American experience of space has remained largely outside of the study and practice of architecture. This is remarkable, considering that slavery, a key material practice in the European colonization of the western hemisphere, was carried out in the carceral spaces of the slave ship, slave plantation cabin and urban 'slum/ghetto.' From these architectural typologies, African Americans have self-fashioned other uses and meanings by appropriating space for resistance through everyday practices."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/8/2021
Titled "A Passion Like No Other," this mesmerizing 2012 oil painting by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is reproduced from Fly In League With The Night, published to accompany the first major survey of the artist's work, on view at Tate. Featuring 120 color reproductions and texts by Isabella Maidment, Andrea Schlieker, Elizabeth Alexander and Yiadom-Boakye, who is also a gifted writer, this is a must-have book for all home, academic, gallery and museum art libraries, as well as one of our top Black History Month Staff Picks for 2021. "In Yiadom-Boakye’s mode of portraiture, fictionalized subjects of even temperament are the unwavering coordinates within which she quarries states of quiet conviviality and contemplation," Andrea Schlieker writes. "Their gaze elicits empathy, their very lassitude relays an urgent call: in a world dominated by an inflation of images, words and noise, of continually expanding metropoles, ever greater pressures of work and the increasing velocity of life, it becomes both psychologically and politically important to assert these spaces of stillness and repose, places in which people are doing nothing. The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze spoke of the importance of 'providing little gaps of solitude and silence… because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying.' Yiadom-Boakye paints these 'little gaps of solitude and silence' and distils profound emotions into a single glance or small gesture brimming with eloquence. She posits tranquility as a form of resistance, serenity as meaningful act."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/6/2021
Featured spread is from Black History Month Staff Pick Get Out, the complete annotated screenplay by game-changing (and Oscar-winning) filmmaker Jordan Peele, featuring not just copious annotations by Peele himself, but deleted scenes and an essay by noted novelist and scholar Tananarive Due. "So why do Black people love horror so much?" Due asks. "As Get Out shows us explicitly, horror is an excellent mechanism to visualize, confront, and try to overcome racial trauma… 'Get Out is a documentary,' Peele famously tweeted. Like all great art, it's powerful because it's so true."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/3/2021
Featured spreads are from Black Art Notes, a new release this week from Primary Information and a Staff Pick for Black History Month. An awesome and highly-relevant facsimile edition, this 80-page staple-bound paperback (with gatefolds) collects eight essays and an appendix written in response to the Whitney's 1971 Contemporary Black Artists in America exhibition, which was famously boycotted by a consortium of artist-members of the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition who had, in fact, initiated the show nearly two years prior. Edited by artist and organizer Tom Lloyd, Black Art Notes features writings by Amiri Baraka, Melvin Dixon, Jeff Donaldson, Ray Elkins, Babatunde Folayemi, Francis & Val Gray Ward and Lloyd himself. His Introduction, "Black Art—White Cultural Institutions," ends with a statement that is equally timely today. "Art, as far as possible, should be inter-connected with political and social action. Community art groups, dance workshops, storefront theatres, film workshops are springing all over the country. Artists are more and more gearing and investing all or part of their creative energies in social action agencies, mental health programs, drug addiction centers and youth organizations. This turning into the community indicates a certain awareness of others in the group—something which has been previously negated. Furthermore since many of these depend essentially on neighborhood funding there is no requirement to support the establishment values of the dominant culture.
In a society where racist institutions are inhumane and unresponsive to the free expression of other cultures the Black aesthetic will assert itself inspite of all the obstacles of alien culture."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/2/2021
Featured spreads are from new release, EECCHHOOEESS, a book we are delighted to have on our list for numerous reasons. One, this is a superb facsimile—clothbound and jacketed, unabridged and more or less identical in design to the original—and we love such careful and respectful reproductions. Two, it brings back into print a book that very few have seen: a 1971 collection of avant-garde, visually kinetic poetry by Umbra member, Norman H. Pritchard. Three, this is the first volume published by DABA, a new press for artist’s books, art and experimental writing founded by the artist Adam Pendleton. And finally, this book draws attention to an important contributor to twentieth-century black history whose work has long been neglected.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/1/2021
Featured spreads are reproduced from Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition, one of our Staff Picks for Black History Month 2021. Featuring mostly anonymous turn-of-the-century photography and Du Bois' groundbreaking infographics, this book is an historic must. "Du Bois is known as one of America's greatest intellectuals—a wordsmith, a scholar, a poet, a polemicist—but this stunning book reminds us that he also had a powerful visual imagination," Kwame Anthony Appiah writes. "His work at the 1900 Paris Exposition, intently taking on stereotypes of Negro backwardness, shows a profound engagement with the image. Nobody knew better than he how images could bamboozle; nobody knew better how images could enlighten…"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/30/2021
Featured spreads—showing Heloisa Schneiders da Silva, Feliciano Centurión and Madelen Cendoya in the studio they shared with Ana López (1988) and the crocheted work on blanket, "Medusas (Jellyfish)" (1994)—are from Feliciano Centurión, the first major monograph on the queer, Paraguayan-born artist who died of AIDS-related illness in 1996. "Blanket:" Centurión wrote, "everyday object, easily available, warmth, shelter, protection. Affective, sensorial support. The painting is another emotional charge, that translates feelings.
Removed from its everyday context, the blanket becomes a support for painting, in itself an artistic object that, hanging on the wall, can make us recall ancient tapestries.
It is essential that we 'choose' the materials with which we work. Our consumer society offers us an infinite selection that we can 'appropriate' to make 'new objects' with which we can live.
But once we decontextualize them, assemble them, paint them, or assail them, they reveal that they passed through our feelings. Consummated love.
The eclecticism of our times, whose diversity of languages and information demand a deeper engagement from us, allows us to 'appropriate' with complete freedom so that we can express ourselves.
I embrace the everyday, the banal, the ironic, the playful, happiness, and amusement. Images from dreams, from the everyday, obvious, with a taste of kitsch, all of which confirm to me that painting is simply an act of faith."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/28/2021
Featured image is reproduced from Karl Blossfeldt: Variations, Lars Müller Publishers' 416-page new release investigating how the Berlin artist, sculptor and teacher's turn-of-the-century plant photographs were disseminated in the popular media of the time, from magazines, to art and pattern books. "In the late 1920s a German book of plant photographs with the suggestive title Urformen der Kunst became an international bestseller," author Ulrike Meyer Stump writes. "Albert Einstein owned a copy, as did Kandinsky, Klee, Calder and Henry Moore. The producer of these highly successful botanical images, Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932), trained as a sculptor and taught “Modeling after Living Plants” at the School of Applied Arts in Berlin from 1899 to 1930. He began photographing plants in the late nineteenth century as illustrations, patterns, and as teaching material for his classes, producing thousands of photographs in a highly uniform manner over the decades. A handsome selection from this voluminous material elegantly printed in photogravure was published in 1928, shortly before his retirement. With this publication, which was followed by countless new editions over the years, Blossfeldt the sculptor became world-famous as a photographer… This book traces the paths that Blossfeldt’s legendary plant motifs described—as specimens, illustrations, patterns, analogies, models, and abstractions—from their creation to their entry into the canonical history of photography, with occasional excursions into their reception in more recent art and design."
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How did the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. influence Bernard Lumpkin, whose collection forms the basis of the best-selling survey, 'Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists'? The story goes back to Lumpkin's father, Oscar James Lumpkin Jr., pictured here with Sarah Benzaquen, Bernard's mother.
This week, Ridinghouse releases 'The Outwardness of Art: Selected Writings of Adrian Stokes,' the first comprehensive selection of writings by the noted British art theorist known for his synthesis of aesthetics and psychoanalysis. Edited by Thomas Evans, it is the first broad introduction in almost half a century.
We will miss Carolee Schneemann, fearless performance artist, painter, filmmaker, feminist and innate breaker of taboos. She died this week at the age of 79. In memoriam, we present an excerpt from 'Carolee Schneemann: Uncollected Texts,' published by Primary Information.