Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy My Oppressor, My Love, Feb. 17- May 13, 2007, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

This accordion served as the invitation for an exhibition preview party for the first full-scale U.S. museum survey of Kara Walker's work that ran from Feb. 17 - May 13, 2007 at the Walker Art Center. This publication treads an interesting line between being publicity for the show and a work in itself. 5.75" (H) 17.5" (L)

The Walker Art Center developed a very rich educational website to go with this exhibition and it can be accessed at: Kara Walker | Main | Home Page browse

Sol LeWitt, Tilted Forms: Wall Drawings, Westfalischer Kunstverein, Munster, Germany, 1987

This accordion documents a Sol LeWitt mural installation that covered four walls of a gallery in the Westfalischer Kunstverein, in Munster, Germany between June 11 - July 27, 1987. The last two images above show the mural in-situ. The curator Marianne Stockebrand, concerned about documenting this temporary work writes in this catalogue about her choice of the accordion format, "The reason that we nevertheless ventured to reduce the wall-drawings to the size of a book is our conviction that this marvellous (sic) painting (which was painted over at the end of the exhibition) should be preserved at least in this way. We hope that with the folding leporello, we have found a form which comes up to the character of the exhibition."  9.25" (H) 166.6"/13.85' (L)

Borja de Pedro, Inner Travel, Barcelona, Spain, 1989

Interesting offset printed bookwork with an intriguing wraparound cover for this continuous watercolor artwork. Borja describes Inner Travel as "...a journey, all of 225 centimetres long, that Borja de Pedro undertakes on paper and by way of colour; setting out from under the trees, with his dog, crosses the heart of the forest, that measures 12,5 x 9 x 3 centimetres when folded." 4.9" (H) 88.5" (L) In 2008 this Spanish artist achieved some local notoriety in Kyoto, Japan when he created a portrait of Ghandi using a bicycle as a paintbrush, further info and image at: MAHATMA GANDHI COMMUNITY FORUM • View topic - Gandhi painting in Kyoto by Borja de Pedro (video)

La Jicara, #0, 1992, Taller Lenateros, Chiapas, Mexico [edition of 200]

It's rare to find an art journal published in an accordion format but this totally unique silk-screened and double-sided publication is rare in more ways than one. La Jicara (the Gourd) is published by indigenous Maya women in San Cristobal, Chiapas, to promote Mayan culture, and its format embodies both pride, and resistance as it's modeled on the codices created by the women's Maya ancestors that were all but destroyed by the Conquistadors and priests during the Spanish conquest. This periodical is only one of a number of publications produced by Taller Lenateros (The Woodlander's Workshop) which was founded in 1975 by an expatriate American, Ambar Past to promote Amerindian culture. The full range of their beautiful artists' books, prints and other publications can be seen, and purchased at:Taller leƱateros - papel hecho a mano.

I'm uncertain as to whether La Jicara is still being published but their current catalogue lists #8 (1998). In the summer of 2003 in Oaxaca I had the memorable experience of finding an almost complete set in the public art library near the main church.  8.5" (H)  88" (L)

Friday, April 29, 2011

NOVA Broadcast 5: The Dead Star, William Burroughs, editor/publisher Jan Herman, 1969

6 double-sided pages stapled inside the cover comprise this broadside with cut-up texts, stories, & images of mobsters and other desperadoes.  Number 5 in a series of 6.  8" (W) 27" (H). For further information about the publisher see: RealityStudio » Jan Herman as Publisher of Nova Broadcast Press

Carl Andre, Three Works on Land, Artists Representing Environmental Arts (A.R.E.A.), New York, 1979

Nine unperforated postcards documenting 3 different outdoor works by Carl Andre that were installed on the grounds of two psychiatric centers in New York (Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Wards Island and Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, Queens Village). Postcards fold into frontispiece with title and dates. 5.5" (W) 36.5" (L)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Warja Lavatar, Le Souverain et son Bouffon: Ballade 3, Les Amis de Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1988

Warja Lavater (1913-2007) was a Swiss illustrator and designer who adopted the accordion format for all her artists' books. A neglected contemporary of Edward Ruscha, she published her first artists' book (William Tell) in 1962, the same year Ruscha published his first (26 Gasoline Stations). 1.75" (H): 23.73" (L)

The text below is from a press release from Printed Matter (New York) for an exhibition of Lavater's works that runs from 
April 23rd, through May 28, 2011.

Printed Matter is pleased to announce the opening of Warja Lavater: Bookworks 1951-1991 from the Estate of Tony Zwicker, an exhibition of work by the Swiss artist and illustrator. The show brings together over 50 items on loan from the collection of Tony Zwicker—a longtime patron, collector and friend of Lavater—and represents an appreciable portion of the artist’s output over the course of a prolific career. The broad selection of material includes rare and small-run artists’ books, as well as original drawings, posters, prototypes and related ephemera. The exhibition runs Saturday, April 23rd, through May 28, 2011, at the Printed Matter storefront.

Well known for her leporellos—extravagant accordion-fold books—Lavater created a wonderfully imaginative body of work that moves fluently through materials and mediums. Done in ink, watercolor, dry point, lithography, linoleum-block printing and with blind embossing, many of her book-sculptures are double-sided and uniquely shaped, sometimes featuring unconventional material like burlap and plastic baubles. Several of the works have been created on paper hand-made and hand-dyed by the artist.

Exploring the fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Andersen, Lavater produced a series of books that abstract and distill the original story into movements of color and form. Characters and objects are translated into dynamic symbols (a legend on the first page of each book lays out the equivalencies—Little Red Riding Hood is, for instance, a little red dot) and the familiar story emerges through her arrangement and repetition of these shapes. The result is a playful Structuralist reading into representation and the nature of storytelling— a Borgesian map as rich and strange as the world it describes.

This collection of rare and original works, exclusively from the estate of Tony Zwicker, is being made available for purchase as a single offering. A limited number of individual items are also available. Please consult the website or if you would like to see a checklist or receive additional information on the material.

Warja Lavater (September 28th, 1913 – May 3rd, 2007) was born in Winterthur, Switzerland. She worked as an artist and illustrator noted primarily for her work in the artists’ books genre, creating accordion fold books, book sculptures, and miniature books in a range of materials. Lavater opened her own studio for applied design in Zurich in 1937. Her early works were published by the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Paris-based publisher Adrien Maeght. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

George Maciunas, Expanded Arts Diagram, nd

George Maciunas, Fluxus' obsessive impresario was constantly drawing up plans for different projects, one diagram was a map that showed the different artists, movements and media that constituted the expanded arts of the late '50s to the mid-60s.

R. Clarke-Davis, A Grand Day Out, circa 2008

Eighteen black & white photographs make up this urbanesque derive with final photo of female companion.  3" (H) 4' 2" (L)

Sir John Soane's Museum, The Leporello Card, London, nd

An accordion that attempts to reconstruct the incredible interior of Sir John Soane's home-based museum in London.  8" H: 24" W. 
While you're not actually allowed to take photos in the museum I did manage to take a couple of snaps on one of my visits. It's an incredible place and really worth the visit and it also has a really great selection of paintings by Canaletto that are set amongst all the architectural artifacts that are spread all over the house.

James Jean, Rift, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010

A beautifully printed two-sided accordion by this award-winning illustrator. The color side incorporates two distinct stories interspersed across the book's 16 pages. Reproduced on the reverse is the preparatory drawing for the front. 6" H: 4' 6" L.

Sam Durant, 7 Signs; removed, cropped, enlarged and illuminated (plus index), Matrix 147, exhibition brochure, Berkeley Art Museum, 2002

Accordion gallery or exhibition catalogue? One side reproduces 7 of Durant's works, and the reverse has exhibition checklist and essay. 8." H: 3' 3" L. 

Sampling/Christian Marclay, SF Museum of Modern Art, 2002, exhibition card

An exhibition brochure with checklist, and brief essay about the four-channel video projection, "Video Quartet," that had been commissioned for this exhibition. 5.5" H: 26" L.

In the Spirit of Fluxus, Walker Art Center, 1993, exhibition card

Publicity for "In The Spirit of Fluxus," a large exhibition of Fluxus works at the Walker Art Center, Feb-June, 1993.  The text is from a history of Fluxus by one of its participants, Dick Higgins (1938-98). 5" H: 21" L.

Erica Van Horn, Italian Lesson Italian Lesson No. 13: Identificazione, Coracle Press, England, 1994

This double accordion publication opens up to form two hands, each of the 10 pages have original finger & thumb prints and underneath are the names of each finger in Italian.  3.25" (h) and 20" (w).