Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Scott MacLeod, Hem and Maul, photographic negatives, Oakland, 2019, ed. 1

Two rather unique accordions constructed out of old photographic negatives by this multi-media artist from Oakland. Hem doesn't easily give away its secrets as it's kind of hard to read what the image is.  The text in Maul is also hard to read but would seem to revolve around waiting for a train that might or might not arrive.

4 pages, each page 3 3/4" (h) x 2 3/4" (w) when opened 11"

16 pages, each page 1 1/2" (h) x 1 1/4" (w), when opened 20"

Monday, November 4, 2019

Nicolò Degiorgis, La Laguna di Venezia (The Venice Lagoon), Rorhof: Bolzano-Boze (Italy), 2014, ed. 500

Degiorgis is a documentary photographer who runs the Rorhof publishing house with his partner Michele, and the following is their statement for this quite subtle and understated accordion book of 22 postcards of photographs of "The Venice Lagoon".

The city of Venice was founded in the 5th century and spread over 118 small islands. It is worldwide-known for its blend of historical palaces, bridges, squares and local artisan shops. At the far ends of the city one can chance upon a different world ruled by seawater, strands, animals and plants. All together they constitute a unique and fragile ecosystem which past industrial developments and current increase of tourism are seriously putting at risk. Venice and its Lagoon – one of the biggest and most important in the Mediterranean – was declared world heritage site by UNESCO and still remains off touristic routes. Uninhabited islands, small watercrafts, piers, harbours and fishing infrastructures merge with the natural environment and extreme conditions man has to face in this very special place. With this project Nicolò Degiorgis aimes to pay homage to the city of Venice and draw our attention towards its controversies.

Individual cards 3 1/2" (h) x 5 1/2" (w), when fully opened 10 feet 1".

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Miriam Schapiro (1923-2015), Rondo, Bedford Arts, San Francisco, 1989, ed. 80

An interesting, and in my opinion a rather uneven accordion book from this ground-breaking feminist artist who, together with Judy Chicago, founded the first feminist art program at the California Institute of Arts in 1971. The next year they would go on to co-direct Womanhouse, an early and very important installation of work by 28 women artists.

Of this book Schapiro writes in the colophon:  

For RONDO I created a series of dancers who move in a nospace on a nostage against a painted background or backdrop. When the accordion-pleated book is opened to its full extent, all the dancers move out on the first twelve panels. On the return side, I collaged images on a flat plane. Imaginary bouquets, hearts that throb, masks, fans and kimonos are still—not in motion—as if the dancers on the front had caught themselves concentrating on one thought, one image.

14 pages, double-sided, individual pages 12" (h) x 9" (w), when fully open 10 feet 6 inches.

Endnote: for such a beautifully printed accordion as this one, and printed in such a small edition with work by this well known artist, it's rather surprising (if not a bit depressing) to find copies of it for sale on amazon at $5.98!



Colophon Foundry, Visuelt Specimen, offset, London, 2017, ed. 500

A rather different accordion from the London-based Colophon type foundry. Colophon creates, publishes and distributes high-quality retail and custom typefaces for analog and digital media. Since 2009 they've been committed to "...producing fonts that are composed with aesthetic and technological care, prompting a reputable library of new classics that couple typographic history with contemporary sensibilities." [https://www.colophon-foundry.org/about/]

This accordion presents the Visuelt type family that was created originally for the Visuelt Competition with Bielke&Yang (Norway).

8 pages, double-sided, individual pages 9 1/2" (h) x 6.75" (w) and when opened 4' 6".

The accordion with the wraparound cover. 

 Without cover

Back of the wraparound cover

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Circle Walked Casually, Deutsche Bank, Berlin, 2013

This is a really beautifully produced German language catalogue for an exhibition of works on paper from the Deutsche Bank Collection coupled with works from the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, where this iteration of the exhibition was shown. The Argentinian curator for the show was Victoria Noorthoorn.

The show was premised upon a short story "Genealogy" by the Uruguayan magic realist writer Felisberto Hernandez (1902-1964) in which a circle and triangle fall in love and walk along a horizontal line. For Noorthoorn the question that this story posed was "How could a mere line, casually developing, unfolding, growing, speak of our contemporary existence as human beings, of our loneliness, introspection and need for love, of the twists and turns of art as it opens to continual movement, transformation and change?"

The design of the exhibition was the work of the Mexican artist Erick Beltran, and all the works are hung from the ceiling so that they appear to be suspended in pure space, and so the viewer weaves through the white space of the gallery punctuated by these floating artworks. 

48 pages, double-sided, individual pages 11 1/2" (h) x 7 1/2" (w), when fully opened 15 feet.