Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Pyrex, 8 cup Carafe with candle, publicity brochure, c. 1959

A wonderful little accordion brochure that came with some Pyrex ware that I acquired a little while ago. I must admit I didn't give this piece of publicity a second glance, since I was much more enamored by the carafe! So a big thank you to Lillian Sizemore for retrieving this from the trash and saving it for when I would appreciate it!!

A photograph of the 8 cup Carafe with candle is at the end of this post.

5 double-sided pages, each 3.25" x 3.25", when open 1' x 4.25".

8 cup Carafe with candle

Görüş Hakkı, Panorama (The Right of View), Andreas Fogarasi and Sputnik Editions, Milan, 2013, ed. 500

cover with the Panorama in foreground

This accordion is the documentation for an ambitious project that was a large-scale text-based temporary installation, originally sited on one side of the Bosporous in Istanbul (2010), and then moved to the other side (2011), as seen in the above photograph. In the background skyline of this photograph is the medieval conical tower known as the Galata Tower. This tower is well-known for its panoramic view of the city and the Bosporous (see vintage panoramic photo below). Görüş' installation was a large circle of texts imprinted on a continuous panel. You climbed a short stairway to engage with the work, and to read the many texts, interspersed with cut-outs that allowed visitors to see through the work and to different "views" of the city behind it. 

This accordion reproduces all the texts in the work, and collectively they relate both literally and metaphorically, around the idea of "views," and while the texts tackle a wide range of subjects their central core is Istanbul itself. This accordion is like a panorama of the city, and an observation deck from which to get a sense of the long sweep of the city's history.

26 single-sided pages, 5.75" x 8", when fully open 12' 5".

photographs looking up into the work

back cover (the installation is at bottom left)

Basile Kargopoulo (1826-86), "Panorama of Constantinople," c. 1870s

detail "Panorama of Constantinople," c. 1870s

detail "Panorama of Constantinople," c. 1870s

Nick Mauss, Treatise on the Veil, Museum Ludwig, Köln, 2019

This accordion, with its perforated pages, reproduces a series of works that Mauss brought together in his installation as part of the Transcorporealities exhibition that took place at the Museum Ludwig, between Sept. 1, 2019 - Jan. 19, 2020. 

In the statement that accompanies this accordion Mauss writes that he brought these disparate works together in order to create a "...momentary Zusammenhang of artworks that confound representations of the body, the utterance, and the event. Guided not so much by preference or affinity as by surprise, disagreement, and the slow elaboration of delayed consonances. I staged these paintings, sculptures, collages and photographs—and the strong charge between them—as protagonists in a new work."  This certainly explains the disparate imagery contained in this accordion, however, my sense is that it 'read' better when installed in a room where you could move around in, and appreciate the different dimensions of the works and the varied ways in which they engaged with each other. Something is lost in its translation to the accordion format and it feels like a string of disconnected works without any strong formal or thematic connections.

14 double-sided pages with a floating page where the two printed sections are stapled together, individual pages 4.25" x 5.75", and when fully opened with a 2 page cover: 4' 11.5".

reverse side with credits for the works on the other side

back cover

Thursday, October 14, 2021

ll"Editions: The Leporello Series, #1: Heimo Zobering, #2: Micah Lexier, #3: Fiona Banner, Sweden, 2021-

The Leporello Series is a new series of accordion folded artists' books, published by ll'Editions. Inhabiting a space between book and paper sculpture, the leporellos are printed on delicate Mohawk Eggshell paper. Each volume in the series is limited to 250 numbered copies and come in a bespoke rigid box, with the title hot foiled both on its front and on its spine, allowing it to sit comfortably in a bookshelf when not on display.

For The Leporello Series, ll'Editions has invited a select group of international artists to contribute. Each artist is given carte blanche, restricted only by the accordion format and its ten panels (recto).  [ll'Editions statement]

Leporello #1, Heimo Zobernig, 2021
10 single-sided pages, individual pages 5.5" x 4", when opened 3' 4"

As with all the leporellos from the ll'Editions series the presentation is really excellent. The care taken in the creation of this 'bespoke' box, and its role as a holder and protector of the work is first class, and it feels nice to hold!

Heimo Zobernig (b. 1958) is an Austrian artist who is a Professor of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Working across a range of media, books and printed matter have constituted a large part of his oeuvre since 1980. As can be seen with this work his material is language itself, and this piece explores this through the visual and verbal play between a minimum of words.

All the accordions in this series are held safely inside their respective boxes
 through a smartly designed interior.

front cover

back cover

Leporello #2, Micah Lexier, 2021
10 double-sided pages, individual pages 5.5" x 4", when opened 3' 4"

Micah Lexier is a Canadian artist currently living in New York. I'm going to excerpt below the excellent introduction to this work from the ll'Editions website:

"A number of years ago Micah Lexier purchased a small paperback publication about the game of dominoes. The very end of the book consisted of a series of pages that reproduced a complete set of twenty-eight domino tiles. The images were printed on right-hand pages, four to a page, while the left-hand pages were blank. The idea was that you were supposed to cut these images out of the book and glue them to empty matchboxes to create your own do-it-yourself set. That sequence of pages, combined with the quality of their reproductions, was the inspiration for Lexier's leporello. To that, he added two favourite print techniques - perforations and die-cut holes - to create a set of ten domino tiles. Lexier chose the denomination of each tile and its order in the leporello so that none of the thirty-four die-cut holes line up with each other, allowing each hole to be misread as a printed white domino dot."

front cover

reverse side

back cover

Leporello #3, Fiona Banner, 2021
10 single-sided pages, individual pages 5.5" x 4", when opened 3' 4"

In 2009 Fiona Banner completed a work titled "Portrait of an Alphabet," in which she photographed herself in a photo booth holding up large sheets of paper, each with individual letters of the alphabet. This work is a reworking of that work, and every now and then you can see a hand holding the edge of the sheet and the spell is broken.  ll'Editions suggests "the work can be seen as a form of self-portrait. A portrait of the artist as a typeface."

front cover

Tomi Um, Good Morning! Monday Morning, Strane Dizioni, Barcelona, 2019, edition 300

This is a fun accordion from this Brooklyn illustrator who states that this book shows "What Monday morning sometimes looks like in Brooklyn, NY."

8 double-sided pages with wraparound cover, individual pages 12.5" x 9" and when fully open 6ft.

reverse side

back page

David Sandlin, Pur-Ton-O-Fun-Co. Scatalog, Vol. 1, 2011; Vol. 3, 2015; and Vol. 4, nd; screenprint, New York City

Pur-Ton-O-Fun-Co. Scatalog Volume 1, 2015

reverse side of work

back cover

Pur-Ton-O-Fun-Co. Scatalog Volume 3, 2015

back cover

Pur-Ton-O-Fun-Co. Scatalog Volume 4, nd

back cover

These are three really wild and gritty silkscreened accordions that reveal the underlying simplicity of the accordion format as a simple sheet of printed and folded paper. There's a real sense of tactility and 'thingness' as you hold these lively and energetic works in your hands.

Sandlin was born in Belfast in 1956 to an Irish mother and an American father who was an army veteran from rural Alabama. In 1972 at the height of the civil unrest in Northern Ireland the family moves to the USA to Birmingham, Alabama. Later, Sandlin attends the University of Alabama, Birmingham and soon after graduating in 1979 he moves to New York where he's remained ever since. 

All three of these works are hilarious takedowns of the Protestant philosophy (Puritan-Ton-Of-Fun-Co) and the characters are all haunted & tortured in varying degrees by the temptations of the devil and his invitation to a life of sinfulness. This is rich material and Sandlin's developed a really edgy style that increases the torque and effect of these works' messages, all of which are dashed through with a refreshing dose of humor. A similar aesthetic can be seen in the many artists' books that Sandlin has published with a similar biting and critical point of view.

In a statement from 2008 Sandlin addresses the themes in his work, "My obsession with exploring American Puritanism was already full-blown by the time I went to college, where I'd go to sleazy country music clubs...and see people who would just go absolutely crazy drinking and carousing on Saturday night, then get up and go to some little Baptist church the next morning and get born again." 

All three publications consist of 9 silkscreened single-sided pages, with individual pages measuring 9.25" x 7" for Vols. 3 & 4, and for Vol. 1, 9" x 6.5". When opened up the first two works measure 5' 3" and Vol. 1, measures 4' 10.5" . Note: Vol. #1 has work on both sides of the piece, while the other two are both one-sided.