Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Kanzaka, Sekka, A Flight of Butterflies, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thames and Hudson, 1979

This is a beautiful facsimile of a book in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the original was printed in April 1904 by the Japanese publishing house Yamada Unsodo, illustrated with woodblock prints by Kanzaka Sekka.

Reproduced in the introduction to this new version is a preface by Yoshi Zo that was printed in the the original version, and he includes the following text in his introductory essay:

Suddenly I heard someone approaching. I had been dreaming; there were butterflies come from the mist, and I was sleeping among the violets. The evening sparrows were singing. I went home, and there I had a visit from Sekka. He told me that he had recently painted one thousand butterflies. He asked me to write a preface, and so I wrote about my dream.

This is a beautiful reproduction of the original work. One curious feature of this facsimile is that instead of utilizing one long piece of paper, each individual page is glued at the edge with the preceding page, and as a result you cannot fully open the pages, which really hampers the unfolding of this accordion, and achieving the full effect of this wonderful format.

One-sided, individual pages 10"(h) x 7.25"(w), for a total of 58 pages and when fully opened 35ft 1/2".

Taly Levi, Three Accordions, digital prints, 2020

Three cute little accordions from this young book and multidisciplinary artist from Israel. 

Title: Little People 1, 2020


8 pages, individual pages 2.75"(h) x 2"(w), when opened 1ft 4".

                                          Title: Little People 2, 2020

8 pages, individual pages 2.75"(h) x 2"(w), when opened 1ft 4".

Title: The Three of Us, 2020

8 pages, individual pages 2.75"(h) x 2"(w), when opened 1ft 4".

Speaking of Book Arts: Oral HIstories from UW-Madison, Feb., 1 - April 19, 2020, Chazen Museum, Madison, WI

I just couldn't resist including this piece of publicity for a recent exhibition of book arts at the Chazen museum here in Madison. Naturally, the reason for its inclusion is the placement of a cool accordion by Kathleen O'Connell (Meditation in Traffic, 2014, letterpress) in the center of the piece of publicity.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Faye Morehouse, How to Befriend a tiger, nd

Just the title of this work is enough. The final result is beautifully understated and just right.

5 pages, individual pages 3.75"(h) x 2.25"(w), when open 11.25".

Creepy-Crawlies, Candlewick Press, 2012.

Another winner from Candlestick Press that complements their Dinosaurs accordion that I featured a little while ago on this blog. This one does not disappoint with its eye-catching graphics, its wonderful opening-up with all the animals popping out in perfect unison, and coupled with the craft and skill of the expert paper-maker and constructor — bravo!

14 double-sided pages, 4.25"(h) x 4"(w), when opened 4ft 11.5". 

Ágnes Eperjesi, Viewer - Image, b/w photographs, Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center, Budapest, 2019

This piece by Ágnes Eperjesi was one of a number of works in a powerful show at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography gallery in Budapest titled "Euforia?: Stories of a System Change From Hungary," (Dec. 17, 2019 - Feb., 23, 2020). The exhibit featured works that responded to the new environment that was created after the 'fall of the wall,' and it's a fascinating array of different ways that people experienced it.

Under the Socialist regime in Hungary, both men's pornographic and erotic magazines were banned. The artists' father often made trips to the West where he purchased erotic magazines, which his daughter inevitably found in his hiding places. Of their production and circulation the artist writes:

"My father carefully locked away his collection from prying eyes, but others straight out made reproductions of them typically in a DIY artisanal manner, and that is how these pictures entered and then circulated in the secondary market. The images were photographed individually, and then scaled down in at-home labs, and eventually glued one after the other in a folded leaflet-like fashion. The images, reduced to the size of a cigarette box, fit in a back pocket or a wallet. Their distribution, just like that of the pornographic photos back in the first decades of the 1900s, took place informally through personal channels."

Despite the sign at the beginning of the exhibition stating that no photographs were permitted, i couldn't help making snaps of this really interesting work, and in particular the way the works were displayed so that only interested people were able to the see the true contents of these 'works.'

Of the pieces in the display case the artists states that the case "contains two homemade calendar cards with photo-montage kiosk pictures that were legally trafficked back in the day, as well as three reproductions of western pornographic magazines made with photographic techniques and informally distributed around 1970."(1)

1. Artists' quotes taken from artists' statement accompanying the work.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Lillian Sizemore, Quel Amor, sticker and digital prints, 2020

On February 14th this year my partner, Lillian Sizemore, surprised me with this beautiful handmade accordion celebrating some of the moments in our love affair. Perhaps more significantly, this same date also celebrated our third year anniversary. Three years earlier on February 14th Lillian, had rather reluctantly come to an opening for the gallery that I have in my house, the show was called "Girls, Girls, Girls" and it celebrated women, as well the huge women's demonstrations that had just taken place on January 21st, 2017 against the incoming regime in the Whitehouse. We got talking, and we've never stopped!

Individual pages 2"(h) x 2.5"(w), 26 pages, and when opened 2ft 8.5".

detail from the back side

detail from the back side

detail from the back side