Thursday, October 31, 2019

Visionaire, #6, "The Sea," Summer, 1992

Visionaire magazine is one of the activities of the company Visionaire, which describes itself as having been "...established in 1991 with its roots in limited edition publishing which has since expanded into an experiential agency. Visionaire has been collaborating with artists, influencers, and Fortune 500 companies for over 25 years; conceptualizing and producing public art installations, film, immersive and interactive experiences, branded content, and art multiples through the lens of art, fashion, and contemporary culture."

This accordion edition of the periodical is symbolic of the editor's experimentation with format and presentation, with previous issues assembled in folios, boxes and the latest edition's poster issue (#68) available for $1000 as a print edition, or free as a pdf available here: 

Visionaire is a topnotch art magazine that's not been afraid to question our ideas about the periodical — what it is, what it could be, and what it was, and in the process they've created a fascinating series of printed matter works that explore this rich vein. Visionaire is a thoughtful high end product with a lineage that extends to the artists' periodicals Aspen and SMS, with Fluxus floating somewhere in the background. The editors are Cecilia Dean, James Kaliardo and Stephen Gan.

12 double-sided pages, each one 11" (h) x 8 1/2" (w), and when opened 10 feet long.

 Frontispiece page of the issue with contributors and editors names...

back of periodical

Armin Linke, Take Me (I'm Yours), offset, 1995/2017

This is a curious little accordion by this Italian born artist now based in Berlin. Linke is a photographer who is "...primarily concerned with strategies of photographic representation and the intersection of collective memory, history and the archive. Working globally and peripatetically, his practice has centered around the documentation, through large scale-color prints, of the effects of globalization and urbanization, and the consequences of both on local populations." [source:]

This accordion by Linke documents the exhibition and participants in a rather interesting show during its first showing at the Serpentine gallery in London (24, March 1995 - 30, April, 1995). The exhibit continues to be shown in different international locations and one of the last ones, which included Linke's works (and I'm assuming this booklet as well), was at the Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan in 2017. The idea for this exhibition grew out of conversations between the curator, Hans Ulrich Obrist and the artist Christian Boltanski, and they developed a rather unique curatorial approach to this exhibition — visitors are invited to do all the things they don't normally do at an exhibition, such as touch the works, take works home, or help themselves to clothes in the huge piles scattered around the exhibition space. Not only are the visitors actively engaging with the show, but they are simultaneously changing the shape and look of the show as well, with this activity logically leading to an empty exhibition space. As a curator myself, I love the idea of throwing out the rule book for visiting exhibitions, and this booklet by Linke displays visitors to the Serpentine exhibition engaged in doing just that — bravo!

8 pages, one-sided, 5 3/4" (h) x 4" (w), when fully opened 2ft 9".

As an aside to how one is supposed to act at an exhibition, and in contrast to the above theme of taking things away — is its reverse of adding things to an exhibition. I'm assuming this activity has a long and secret unwritten history, but I want to note here my own recent efforts in this regard. A couple of weeks ago I visited an exhibition at a distinguished cultural venue and they had a thematic show of works from their collection. One of the sections opened with a rather interesting work by Gary Simmons, titled "Us and Them" (1991) as below:

Now, I happened to have on my person a number of the small double-sided cards I've been doing since our current president came to power. This particular card has a personal resonance (I'm an immigrant to the USA) and in light of the president's war on immigrants (us and them) I slipped the double-sided card below into the pocket of the bath robe with "Them" on its back. Nobody gets hurt, I inadvertently get into the permanent collection — until of course it's discovered, which I'm assuming might take some time. Here's the card with texts from both sides.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gloria Glitzer (Franziska Brandt and Moritz Grunke), Cosy Complex, offset, first edition, 2019, ed. 220.

Two mini-accordions, held together with an expandable ribbon, make up the Cosy Complex package. Both books combine images of hands playing with silly putty coupled with single words, and on the reverse short texts on colored backgrounds. Frankly, these books are a bit of a mystery to me in terms of what they are about, and the issues they are addressing, and I'm just left enjoying their rather sensuous and enticing imagery and texts, as well as the feel of them in my hands (I wonder if their UV varnish helped that!). The artists write about Cosy Complex stating:

Cosy Complex is a call to be more self-conscious but also asks about the others. What's their work worth and how does it relate to me. Cosy Complex is also dedicated to Jam Rostron and a thank-you for zir great music.

At their website ( the artists describe Gloria Glitzer as an artist' group, a publisher, an avatar of the artists Franziska Brandt and Moritz Grunke, both from Germany. Founded in 2007, Gloria Glitzer develops, creates and publishes artzines and artist' books and understands publishing as an artistic practice. In the following text they describe their approach to books:

Books are alternate space, under aesthetic and social aspects. With self-publishing as we understand it we are able to undermine the presets of exhibiting and collecting structure and their dependencies and to bypass the gatekeeping of the art market. And because our books are alternate spaces we can define our very own values and social communities in it. In our books we test concepts and ideas without waiting for permission or invitation. We understand our publications as a form of taking responsibility of our ideas and their circulation.

Both books are made up of 7 double-sided pages, individual pages are 4 3/4" (h) x 3 1/4" (w), and when fully opened the books are 30" wide.
This image from the artists' website

back cover

back cover

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

NY Art Book Fair, Sept., 20-22, Moma PS1, 2019

It was hot, it was crowded but there was lots of great stuff, including an elaborate installation of Le Dernier Cri's poster works and their books.  I walked away with a bunch of artists' accordions as well.

art-blogarte, Leandro Katz (2018), Diego Melero (2017/18), Alberto Mendez (2018), Carla Ray (2017) and Alejandro Thornton (2017), Argentina

I was at the 2019 New York Art Book Fair the other month and came across this one table which had a bunch of really cool accordions, and of course I snapped them up for the blog.

I'd never heard of this organization from Argentina before, but on their web-site they state that:

The civil association arte-blogarte is a non-profit entity with legal status since 2009. We embrace the idea that art is as attractive and captivating as it is deeply useful and necessary. We seek in the creators the material of our continuous improvement. Our main interest is the ideas and the ways in which they crystallize in the culture of our time.

On their table were the following series of accordions by a group of well established experimental Argentinian artists. All the accordions have a uniform length of 39 1/4" with individual pages 5 3/4" high and 4" in length. All appear to have been screenprinted. 

It's a fascinating grouping of works all of which are exploring the intersection of language, visuality, performativity, and the political in a variety of really interesting ways. 

Leandro Katz (b. 1938)

 10 pages, one-sided, unbound, signed, 2018, ed. 40

Diego Melero (b. 1960)

8 pages, one-sided with attached covers, signed, 2017/18, 
ed. 40

Alberto Mendez (b. 1966)

10 pages, double-sided with loose boards, signed, 2018, ed. 40.

Carla Rey

8 pages, one-sided with attached covers, signed, 2017, ed. P/9.

Alejandro Thornton (b. 1970)

10 pages, one-sided with loose boards, signed, 2017, ed. 40.

Hunt, Clifford and Stephen Perkins, Copy 9, mixed media, 2019

Another work where I sent Clifford an accordion and he sends it back to me with his additions. See next entry for a new accordion by Clifford himself.

4 double-sided pages, single page 9"(h) x 7.25" (w), when fully opened 2ft 4.5".

Monday, October 28, 2019

Clifford Hunt, There W All, mixed media collage, 2019

I've featured a couple of other accordions by my mate Clifford on this blog and we've also collaborated on some together. But this one was waiting for me after I was away from home for a couple of days. Both Clifford and myself are interested in visual poetry and word play, and this accordion is a testament to Clifford's longtime explorations in this area.

6 pages, double-sided, single page 6.5" (h) x 3" (w), when opened 15". 

Alden Viguilla, Bestiary (nd), and It's Raining Cats and Dogs (nd)

Two quite different accordions by Viguilla that complement the 3 others that I have featured in this blog. The first one here, Bestiary, which Viguilla describes as "a collection of mythical beasts risographed in blue and gold," is a curious 2-sided accordion that displays the typical muted colors of the risograph process, coupled with Viguilla's simplified forms & features of the "beasts" showcased.

8 double-sided pages, individual 5" (h) x 4" (w), and when fully open 2' 6", edition of 100.


Viguilla describes his little accordion book as a "4-color mini silkscreen accordion book handprinted on Canson Edition printmaking paper and a 2-color chipboard cover." This is a fun book with a light touch and all of it nicely enhanced by the rich colors of the screenprinting process.

6 pages, individual pages 3 3/4" (h) x 3 (w), when fully open 18", edition of 30.