Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jungyeon Roh, Today is Sushi Day, screenprint, New York, 2008

I have only just discovered the work of this wonderful New York-based Korean artist and illustrator. Roh was awarded the Creative Quarterly Silver Medal for this humorous book that "...documents a trip taken by a group of female sushi masters to a rotating restaurant where they proceed to teach Americans how to properly eat sushi. Today Is Sushi Day doubles as a guide to the uninitiated sushi eater and a companion to Roh’s other books Buying LeninGood Fortune, and All About The Public Bath. Each book includes 2 postcards." [Printed Matter text]. Beautiful in both its craft and drawings, there's something really refreshing about this artists' book. Individual pages 12" (h) x 9.5" (w), extended 8' long. For further images of this book and the two other accordion books below, check out Roh's website: Yo! Jungyeon Roh Here's an interesting interview with her: CO-OP blog | Jungyeon Roh

All About the Public Bath, 2008

Buying Lenin, 2009

Richard Klein (German, 1890-1967). King Ludwig III of Bavaria ("Bayernthaler") with color illustrations of Bavaria in the First World War and Presentation Box, 1916. Silvered bronze, chromolithographs, and carboard

This rather interesting commemorative accordion is made up of individual miniature prints linked together by a ribbon of backing material. The publication was given as part of a gift of coins by Dr. Andrew Laurie Stangel to the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin. On the right end of the publication is a case for the folded accordion, and separately there is a cardboard box for storage. Approximately 6ft long, and 2" tall.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A.S. Guthrie, Broken Records: 1960-1969, Hong Kong, ed. 500, 2007

A quirky, humorous and smart publication that comes as a double-sided boxed accordion with reproductions of all the 10 45rpm vinyl recordings that form the subjects of this artists' book on one side, and writings about each record on the reverse. Guthrie includes 4 levels of texts for all these records: recording information, a summary of historical events for each year, musings about the record, its authors/singers and history, and a more general discursive section that reflects on the larger cultural moment of these pop records.  

Here's how Andrew Guthrie summarizes this project on the back of the box, "10 random 45s. The Lesser Knowns 1960-1969. Chart toppers and those that missed. An alternative take on the historical record. What's left over after you sweep-up. What you come across in record bins in obscure parts of any country after everything else has been purchased. A personal take on the 1960s, as exemplified by what one has at hand: ten 45s, one for each year of the 1960s chosen for the corner they occupied and now occupy in Pop history. American and British records of no specific style or character that nevertheless tells us something about a time and a place."

Andrew Guthrie is an artist, curator and a part time lecturer at the Hong Kong Art School and with this book he's produced a really fascinating hybrid publication that combines social/political history, personal reflection, and conjecture all spun together in a pomo remix. Priced at $13 this is a must buy for anyone interested in alternative histories of music, offbeat artists' books and aficionados of accordion publications! Individual pages 8.25" x 8.25", extended 6' 10.5"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ian Hamilton Finlay and Gary Hincks, 3 Banners, Wild Hawthorn Press, Scotland, 1991

Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) was a Scottish concrete and visual poet, artist, sculptor, landscape artist, and irrepressible carmudgeon. Through his Wild Hawthorn Press, he published numerous printed works with a variety of collaborators and many of them are still available for purchase (Wild Hawthorn Press). This work includes a text about death by Abraham a Santa Clara, the ecclesiastical name of the German Augustinian monk, Johann Ulrich Megerle (1644-1709). Known for his eloquence as a preacher and "...the impartial severity with which he lashed the follies of all classes of society and the court in particular," (Wikipedia:3/14/12). This description of Megerle resonates with Finlay's own personality and I have no doubt this was one of the attractions of this fellow traveller across the centuries. 

Finlay's work was deeply involved with Neo-classical themes and the more time I spend with his work the richer and more complex his ouevre becomes. This simple and visually powerful piece morphs an agrarian tool associated with nature into a Nazi symbol for a culture of death, both of which complement Megerle's text on the work of the Reaper as well as a pointed contemporary critique that spares neither the lowly nor the mighty. Single pages 8" (h) x 2 7/8" (w), expanded 8" x 11 4/8"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chelsea Ryoko Wong (Zine). Around the World, San Francisco, 2011, ed. 40

This delightful double-sided accordion (leporello) zine contemplates the big and small questions as it traverses the world from Cuba, to Shanghai and ends up in Washington State...Wong's light touch, whimsical illustrations and minimal narrative beautifully matches this publishing format. Photocopied in different colors, page size is 8.5" (h) and 5.25" (w) and 31.5" extended. Check out her other publications and artwork at: Chelsea Wong