Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Richard Long, A Walk Past Standing Stones, Coracle Press for Anthony d'Offay, 1980

This is a really beautiful palm-sized accordion documenting a series of 9 standing stones that Long passed during one of his walk-as-art works in Cornwall, England. Either as documentation of an ephemeral activity, or simply as an artists' book, this small publication exudes a sense of intimacy through these mute signposts while a narrative of distance connects Long's walk and the origins of these stones.

For further information about Long's activities see his site at:richard long Individual page 3.5"(h) x 2 3/8"(w), extended 23.5".

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lewis Koch, Street vendor, Paris, France, 1991, from "Touchless Automatic Wonder." Madison: Borderland Books, 2009.

This street vendor is hawking an accordion postcard strip of scenic views of Paris, and this photograph can be found on Lewis Koch's website Touchless Automatic Wonder  A recent post on this blog has featured Koch's "8 Wisconsin Images" (1977) another accordion postcard strip.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bea Nettles, Seasonal Turns: Four Accordion Books, 1998

An intriguing boxed set of 4 accordions that reference the seasons. Each double-sided accordion has one photograph per page in a loose sequencing that foregrounds both the image's singularity and simultaneously its place within a larger series of images. Single page: 3.5" x 3.5," fully extended 17.5" 

Nicolas Lampert, Seeing Green: Art Ecology and Activism in MIlwaukee, Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, 2008

Catalogue for an art show curated by Nicolas Lampert and exhibited at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee in April, 2008. Includes reproductions of works and short statements by the more than 35 artists from Milwaukee whose works all reflect an engagement with community, the environment and working with the public to foster dialogue and collaboration. Single page: 7" x 11", fulled extended, 35".

Lewis Koch, 8 Wisconsin Images, 1977

Koch created this postcard accordion under the auspices of the Wisconsin Arts Board who hired him and eight other artists to work on a project called "Wisconsin Images." All the photographs were taken around the state and this publication was inspired by his involvement with the theme. All the artists' works also appeared in a book documenting the project titled "Wisconsin Images" (1978) edited by Michael Doyle. Individual cards: 4" x 6", fully extended 43".

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stephen Perkins, I AM..., C-print, 2011

This accordion takes as its inspiration the "I AM A Man" placards carried by striking African-American sanitation workers in Memphis in April 1968 and immortalized in the famous photograph by Ernest Withers. I understand this poster to be a call to be treated with dignity and equality as well as being a proud declaration of humanity.

My use of this iconic text is set within the larger context of the attack on unions, public workers and teachers in the state of Wisconsin by Governor Scott Walker. As a resident of this state and a public worker within the university system, I am experiencing first hand both the ideological and financial repercussions of Walker's radical Republican agenda.

This piece is meant as a statement of pride in being a public servant as well as a message of resistance against the negative rhetoric and extraordinary actions being taken against state workers in Wisconsin.

Individual pages 6" x 4", fully extended 6" x 24"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yves Tanguy, Untitled, 1928, Art Institute of Chicago

Accordion publications share many similarities with folding screens and this one by Tanguy (1900-1955) can be found in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Size: single panel 78.75" x 23.5", extended the combined length of the eight panels is 15' 8". Below is the information on the label accompanying the work. 

Largely self-taught, Yves Tanguy joined the Surrealists in 1925 and quickly developed his own vocabulary of organic, amoebalike shapes that populate dreamlike settings. The Surrealists sought a revolution of everyday consciousness through the critique of reason and the promotion of fantasy and unconsciousness, and many tried to provoke surreal experiences in their works by interweaving the familiar and the unfamiliar. Little information exists about the circumstances of this screen's production, but Tanguy probably made it for a patron's home. Many Surrealists were interested in the decorative arts, and other domestic objects. In this whimsical example, the screen, while retaining its traditional function of closing off the private world, simultaneously opens dream and fantasy up to the public sphere. 

© 2012 Estate of Yves Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Ugo Gattoni, Bicycle, London: Nobrow Ltd., 2012

Another wonderful accordion from the London-based Nobrow press. This drawing, that utilizes the panoramic features of this format, depicts a surreal bicycle race through the streets of London. One odd feature about the figures in the race is that there are only a handful that are recognizably female. Individual pages 13" x 8", the extended 10 pages are 6' 8" long. To browse Nobrow's other 8 accordion (concertina) publications see: Nobrow
Detail of front
 Detail of back
Artist's biographical information on the inside back flap of the folder that encloses the accordion

Monday, September 3, 2012

Alice Tchakedjian, E.C.G. Report, June 12, 2012

My wife recently had to go to Cairo, Egypt to help her mother after she'd had major surgery and upon her return she handed me this 'accordion' (extended: 4.5" x 28.25"). Sadly, Alice Tchakedjian passed away in Heliopolis on August, 1st, 2012. This post is in her memory.  

Deborah Stein, Goat Nurse for the Royal Tot, 1992

A spontaneous and fresh accordion by this former Iowa City artist who found her metier in New York making a cool range of jewelry under the moniker Bonbon Oiseau: Bonbon Oiseau Measurements: 4.25" x 9" (extended)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ian Hamilton Finlay, 3 Posts for a stream (1996) and 3 Homeric Heroes (1998), Wild Hawthorn Press, Stonypath, Little Sparta, Dunsyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

3 Posts for a stream (1996) front cover

3 Posts for a stream (1996) fully extended 13" x 3.25"

3 Homeric Heroes (1998) front cover

3 Homeric Heroes (1998) fully extended 10.5" x 5.25"

3 Homeric Heroes (1998) back
I'm a total sucker for the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) and here are two new accordions that I found on his Wild Hawthorn web site. The work is economical, succinct, and rooted in a larger fascination with the cultural moment of the French revolution as well as world world war II. Symbols, signs, texts, visual and concrete are all intertwined in Hamilton's expanded artistic practice. You can get some of it here: Wild Hawthorn Press - Cards Index

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ian Hamilton Finlay, Evening (1999) and BP (1997), Wild Hawthorn Press: Stonypath, Little Sparta, Dunsyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Two tiny accordions by this important Scottish artist (1925-2006) who published a large amount of printed matter through his Wild Hawthorn Press, and much of it is still available at: Wild Hawthorn Press - Cards Index  Evening: 1.25 x 2", extended 8".  BP: 1.25 x 3", extended 14.75".