Contemporaneous Extension

Salubrious Searches
September 19, 2013, 10:00 am
Filed under: Ramblings

In my excitement revolving around the NYABF (see last post) and my upcoming column for Whitehot Magazine, I have been looking more thoroughly into zines, artists’ books, art magazines, and the publishers/artists who support them.


Monsters and Madonnas (ICP Library Blog): Written mostly by Matthew Carson, librarian and archivist at ICP, Library interns, and independent scholars. In addition to featuring event and gallery announcements, there are regular features on artists in the collection and publishers that are in town. Some highlights recently include:

 – A profile of Nell Dorr, a friend of Steiglitz and Steichen in the 1930s who first toyed with the pliable medium. She was a featured photographer in MoMA’s ground-shifting Family of Man photography exhibition in 1955. The article includes a timeline and bibliography. (Image below is sourced from the article)

– Photographs by Brian Paumier, a recent ICP grad who recently published an artist book entitled Acto de Fe: A Soldier’s Manda (Image sourced from the website)

Artists’ books from the ICP Bard class of 2013, which was on display at the library. Two of my favorites were Lynley Bernstein and Winona Barton-Ballentine.

Booktrek – Selected Essays on Artists’ Books since 1972:  This forthcoming title from D.A.P is a a puppy in the window, a deliriously relevant example of the universe showing me a source of knowledge that I just want to absorb like a sponge. It is a collection of essays by Clive Phillpot, former Librarian at the Museum of Modern Art who fabricated plans to acquire artists’ books as an important genre the museum needed to preserve. He defined the artist book as “books or booklets produced by the artist using mass-production methods, and in (theoretically) unlimited numbers, in which the artist documents or realizes art ideas or artworks.” Phillpot is speaking at the NYABF on Thursday evening as their keynote opening speaker. Details here.

Franklin Furnace: SERIOUS artists’ book and performance art organization started in April 1976 that has since sold its archive to MoMA, a deal that was labored by Phillpot. Although their office is in Brooklyn, many of the physical copies have been submitted to the museum already. Most of the archives is available online here.

Stephen J. Bury: All-around badass who is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian at the Frick Art Reference Library and aids the organization of the conference portion of the NYABF. He has published Artists’ Multiples, 1935-2000  and is working on a re-edited version of Artists’ Books: The Book as a Work of Art, 1963-1995.

Craig Dworkin: Another all-star in the field of publishing. He is a writer and editor who has taken the pains to publish “digital facsimiles of the most radical small-press writing from the last quarter century” and “carefully selected new works of book-length conceptual unity” on his website, Eclipse. He has also written several books on breaking out of the constraints of the poetry genre, including No Medium and Language to Cover a Page: The Early Writings of Vito Acconci.  His book Against Expressionism: an Anthology of Conceptual Writing can be found on Ubuweb here. He teaches at the University of Utah in the English department.

Andrew Roth and PPP Editions: Roth began publishing titles as far back as 1996, focusing on artists’ books and rare photographic books. He also has a gallery in New York. Although many of the books he has produced are editions that may now be out of print, the most recent titles are nothing to shake a stick at. There seems to be more of an emphasis at this point, after over 15 years of publishing, to anthologies and I am not mad it.  In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955 was published in 2010 in tandem with Phil Aarons, and is in my cross-hairs. Nearly 60 publications from around the world are spotlighted, with essays by scholars like Vince Aletti and Neville Wakefield, to name a few, and full historical timelines and bibliographies. The most recent title, Paperwork: A Brief History of Artists’ Scrapbooks, is a collaboration with Alex Kitnick, an assistant professor at Bard and a writer/editor/curator. I love this summation of 3 books he published, complete with anecdotes and inspiration.

Cover of Rimbaud in New York, 2004. Text by Tom Rauffenbart and Andrew Roth. Original essay by Jim Lewis. Edition of 1000 copies. (Out of print)

Cover of Rimbaud in New York, 2004. Text by Tom Rauffenbart and Andrew Roth. Original essay by Jim Lewis. Edition of 1000 copies. (Out of print)

*** Roth, Kitnick, Phil Aarons, and Leigh Ledare will be discussing the volume at the New York Public Library on September 25, 2013. The talk is moderated by Christophe Cherix of MoMA’s Prints and Illustrated Books department. Information here.***

This Long Century: All I needed to hook me was the above piece, and the About statement — “THIS LONG CENTURY is an ever-evolving collection of personal insights from artists, authors, filmmakers, musicians and cultural icons the world over. Bringing together such intimate work as sketchbooks, personal memorabilia, annotated typescripts, short essays, home movies and near impossible to find archival work, THIS LONG CENTURY serves as a direct line to the contributors themselves.” (Just FYI, ‘contributors’ is spelt incorrectly on the website)

Drinkollage: Like beers? Like to collage? Get in on this! The crew will be at the NYABF on Saturday evening from 8-9 pm doing their thing. The results of the earliest sessions are currently published in a zine, completed in May 2013 and available at several spots in and around Brooklyn.


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