Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Antonio Frasconi, Kaleidoscope in Woodcuts, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968

A lively and wonderfully compact accordion that serves as a mini survey of Antonio Frasconi's (1919-2013) wood cut prints up to 1968. Twenty-six prints are reproduced here with each receiving a two-page spread. Born in Argentina, but by nationality Uruguayan, his parents were Italian immigrants who moved to South America during WWI. In 1945 Frasconi moved to the USA and soon established a reputation for himself, later becoming a professor at the State University of New York at Purchase. An illustrator for many books this accordion is one of a number he created during his long career. An earlier accordion titled "A Sunday in Monterey" (1964) was published by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. The book featured here was published to celebrate Frasconi's selection by the Republic of Uruguay as its representative at the 34th Biennale in Venice, 1968.

Frasconi often tackled themes of social justice and politics, and a later series that took 10 years to complete was titled "The Disappeared" and addressed the disappearances that took place under the various Uruguayan dictatorships. Individual pages for this book are: 5 2/8" x 2 1/8," and fully extended 10' 3.25"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Correspondence Art of Ray Johnson, (exhibition catalogue), Ernst Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary, 1997

A smart little bi-lingual catalogue for a guest curated show in 1997 by Artpool Archives at the Ernst Museum, Budapest, a couple of years after Ray Johnson's death in 1995. Artpool is a fascinating archive with a rich history of documenting alternative artists' projects since its founding in 1979 by György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay. For more info: Artpool

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Judy Pfaff, Esopus, #14, "Projects" issue, Spring 2010

These works were installation artist Judy Pfaff's contribution to this issue of Esopus which featured 12 artists' projects. Pfaff's two double-sided accordion fold pages/inserts have become detached from the magazine and here they've been arranged on each side of the front cover of issue #14. The original pages were constructed of 3" x 4.5" color photos taped together. Subjects vary from flowers, fancy ceilings to installation shots from one of her works. Each page 11 1/2" x 9", fully extended 30".

Ben Patterson, Methods & Processes, (1962) reprinted by Editions Insertain Sens/Chateaugiron, FRAC Bretagne, 2011

This is a reprint of a rather odd publication from 1962, in which Patterson sets up a variety of situations and issues instructions for the reader to perform. Its all pretty serious stuff until you get to, "cover shapely female with whipped cream lick...topping of chopped nuts and cherries optional." Those Fluxus boys sure knew how to put together a recipe. Single page 10 3/4" (h), x 7.5" (w), fully extended, 4' 4 1/2" (w) 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Derek Sullivan, Albatross Omnibus (exhibition catalogue), The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 24 Sept. - 20 Nov., Toronto, Canada, 2011

Albatross Omnibus is a fascinating catalogue/artists' book for Derek Sullivan's 2011 exhibition at Toronto's, Power Plant. On one side of this 26 ft long double-sided accordion are reproductions of his artworks and images of the gallery's accordion shaped walls on which they were hung, and on the other side are the titles of the artists' books that Sullivan made for this exhibition. Situated somewhere between catalogue, artists' book & printed matter exhibition, this publication plays a number of games that comment on aspects of the book as well as the context of the exhibition — the original and its simulation, the spaces & shapes of display, texts and reading, context and framing, and the influence of historical antecedents. 

In the original exhibition the first room was dissected by an accordion shaped wall with works on both sides. In the second room 52 limited edition artists' books were hanging from the ceiling accompanied by stepladders available for viewers to have a closer 'reading' of the books. Over the course of 52 days Sullivan made each book available for sale in the gallery's bookshop for one day only, and unsold copies were withdrawn from sale at the end of the day. 

This publication comes in a slip case with a small brochure of texts by Gregory Burke, AA Bronson and Kathleen Ritter. Burke's and Ritter's writings are particularly useful in opening up Sullivan's rich vein of inquiry. There's also a very interesting interview with Sullivan, and a discussion of Albatross Omnibus, by Saelan Twerdy in C Magazine (Canada), #113, July, 2012. Individual page size: 9 1/4" x 6", 26ft fully extended.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Four Vacation Postcard Accordions

Four vacation postcard accordions, two featuring buildings in Istanbul, another from Lisbon and the other Salamanca, Spain. This genre of accordion publication probably qualifies as one of the most ubiquitous uses of the accordion format. The strip of memento pictures to take home, or even better tearing the perforation and sending one on its way. 

Japanese screen, 17th century, Chazen Museum, Madison, WI, USA

Scenes of Kyoto in Spring, Japanese 17th century, ink, color washes, gold leaf on paper over wood frame. John H. Van Vleck Endowment Fund purchase, 1995. Chazen Museum, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA. Size, circa 4' x 12'