Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hartford: Spring Summer Eighteen, 2018, France

"Hartford was launched in Paris in 1979. Mixing vintage European styles with a more relaxed American aesthetic, the label has gained a cult following for its easy-to-wear pieces, which are perfect for dressing down stylishly. Look out for the linen shirts this season." [source:]

14 pages, each 8" (h) x 5.5" (w), and when extended 3ft 2.5 inches. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

David Eichenberger, Eric Knisley, Mark McMurray, Adam Meuse, Marx Myth, Busytown: An Exquisite Corpse, 2018 [1st printing, ed. 80]

Another smart exquisite corpse from the crew down in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have reviewed two of their accordions previously (see 'Factory' & 'Tunnel', 2017) with an accompanying statement about the books, and their working methods by Eric Knisley. The present publication sees a larger group of 5 artists collaborating on this work. The final drawing is impressive with subtle and staggered transitions that really help to create the sense that this is one long continuous work. Bravo guys!

30 pages, 9"(h) x 6"(w), when open 15ft long, 1st printing, ed. 80. You can order the book here:

End page and publication details

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sara McCall Ephron, Pisschair (2018), Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2018), Outside (2018), New York City.

A series of 3 really lively accordions by this artist, illustrator and teacher living in New York City. I'll let Sara describe her work and interests and how she came to be using the accordion/concertina format in her recent letter to me:

"My personal interest is metaphor, expressed in words and image, exposing the emotional underbelly-the nebulous caldron of subjective reality. The work I am sending you is part of a series of concertina formatted salty/sweet "Zines" or illustrated rantings I've created under the title PISSCAT, the character thread linking all the stories. Pisscat is representative of the underlying Id-pissed on, pissed off, marking territory, homeless disenfranchised. The stories range from psychedelic rantings to political commentary.

I found an amazing printed, Barefooot Press, that both prints and folds these juicy tidbits into gorgeous, full color, double sided, 4x6 card stock accordion books. So, it is finally possible to begin releasing my little PISSCATS into the wide wide world, to find new homes and new spheres of influence. Thank you for adopting one (or two, or three) I hope you enjoy this spicy, slyly subersive diversion from tapping and scrolling, -and making this pussycat purr."

All 3 publications: 10 pages, double-sided, individual pages 6" (h) x 4" (w), when fully opened 3' 4".

Monday, October 1, 2018

Chinese Pillow Book, China, nd (contemporary)

I purchased this "Chinese Pillow Book" on a whim when I came across it for sale on Etsy for $33. What I received was a contemporary pillow book constructed from sturdy pages that features reproductions of 5 paintings illustrating different sexual positions and scenarios, including one threesome. Historically pillow books appear to have been given to future daughters-in-laws by mother-in-laws on their wedding days. The books served as a kind of sexual manual for the new bride. The tradition is a long one and they can be found in India and Nepal as well other countries. Other types of pillow books move beyond being sexual manuals and are created as places of intimacy in which the writers feel safe to reveal deeply private feelings and experiences. 

8 pages, 7.5" (h) x 4.5" (w), when open 28".

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Monica Ursina Jäger, Topographies, Kodoji Press, Baden, Switzerland, 2014, 1st ed.

This is a remarkable publication, not only for its size but for the breadth of its undertaking. I'm going to let the very able description from Printed Matter, where I purchased it, serve as the explanation for this work.

"For several years Monica Ursina Jäger has been drawing built and natural landscapes inspired by Modernist-style architecture. Her precise works, using media including ink and pigment transfers, combine hope and downfall: on one hand designers’ aspirations, and fantasies, for the future; on the other the dystopia of failure. In creating these works Jäger has assembled a huge stock of images of buildings and environments, both her own photographs and images found in print and online, including rendered as well as completed constructions. Topographies, which is created in collaboration with Winfried Heininger, consists of one, extremely long, accordion-folded image created from hundreds of collaged images from this working archive.
Topographies reproduces the nearly 12 meter long collage one-to-one. The reader can turn the pages to follow the image, as if with a filmic tracking shot, or they can open the publication to its full extent and examine it in a less linear fashion. Whichever way they view it, the route is through man-made, forested and barren landscapes, some sites iconic, some prototypical, with an emphasis on the architectural ambitions of the 1960s. Our viewpoint moves from afar, to close up, the scenes largely in black and white with accents of color that emphasize the chill of the dystopian environments. With few signs of human life, Jäger captures the temporality of the most solid concrete and steel buildings. Like the fictional visions of Cormac McCarthy, this could be a past we have escaped or a future we would like to avoid.
Another landscape running along the back of the image that also frames the collage complements Jäger’s: a dazzle pattern. Dazzle is a form of camouflage used principally in World War I that works on the principle of applying a bold graphic pattern to an object so that discerning its contours becomes difficult, particularly when the object is in motion. The pattern used for Topographies was created by recording forms generated by applying such a pattern to a fictional, rendered landscape. The result is a structure that is impossible to read, which irritates the eye. Bleeding over onto the front of the image, it is one of several factors that destabilize the reading of the landscape. Jäger’s environment is a montage of proximities that become increasingly unlikely the more one observes, while the dazzle pattern echoes this narrative incongruity in visual form.
Monica Ursina Jäger (born 1974) is a Swiss artist, who gained her MA Fine Art at Goldsmiths College and lives and works in London and Zurich. She has participated in important group shows and exhibited widely throughout Europe and beyond. Recent exhibition venues include the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum Thun, Essl Museum - Kunst der Gegenwart, Arroniz Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico and Galeria Pilar, Sao Paulo among others. Her work is part of many private and public collections. This is her first publication with Kodoji Press."
52 pages double-sided, 12"x8.5", and open at 36' 10".

Nina Perkins, Dad, c. 1998

There's a first time for everybody and an accordion no less!

4 pages single-sided, 4.75"x4.5", opened 18".

Catherina Campillay, Ojetos Descontinuados (Discontinued Objects), Amistad, Santiago, Chile, 2017, ed. 32

A fun little text-based accordion that taxes my Spanish translations skills with the tone of the book clear from the first discontinued object being "we run out of the clock batteries they no longer sell."

This book was published by Amistad "...which is a collaborative and feminist micropress from Chile, that wants to do great things with small formats. We publish zines about writing, photography, art and drawing, experimenting with different materials and production processes. We seek to generate friendly encounters to collaborate, experiment and discuss. Each publication is the result of affective interactions between authors and collaborators working within different disciplines." Find them here: 

11 pages, single-sided, 1"x2.5", when open 12.5"

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Manzanna, Ingrid Kita and Livia Vigano, Piqui publishing, Brasil, 2016

A really delightful series of double-sided mini-accordions from Piqui publishing, which was created in 2011 by Livia Viganó and Taís Koshino who now have a catalogue of over 20 publications. I have reviewed another of Piqui's mini-books on this blog, Taís Koshino's, Umbeagle (2013) and these three new double-sided accordions, each featuring a different artist, contain the same light touch coupled with a whimsical and playful approach to the accordion format.

Manzanna, Doispasso (two step), 2016
8 pages double-sided, single 2"x2.5" and open 16"

Ingrid Kita, Tresteza (sadness), 2016
8 pages double-sided, single 2"x2.5" and open 16"

Livia Viganó, Quatrompete (Four Quarter), 2016
8 pages double-sided, single 2"x2.5" and open 16"

Sandra Haar, snapshots, Printer's Ink, Toronto, Canada, 1996, ed. 200

Finally, an erotic accordion! Coming enclosed in a light blue ribbon which sets the reader up to 'undress' the book before they can even look inside. Enclosed are 8 erotic line drawings depicting the artist in a variety of poses as she masturbates. On the border of 8 pages are two stories describing erotic encounters in which power is used as an aphrodisiac. These stories are accompanied by black & white photographs of the artist in a variety of poses as she plays with her genitals. 

Sandra Haar has made issues of sexuality and representation a continuing theme in her works and career, and this book is no exception. There's a strange intimacy in reading and witnessing someone make themselves so vulnerable and in speaking so openly about such deep desires. I think this is a brave accordion book.

16 pages, one-sided, each page 5"x7", and opened 6' 8".