Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sam Rictus, La Loge de Fer (The Iron Lodge), Le Dernier Cri, Marseilles, France, nd, ed. 200

Strictly speaking this is not really an accordion, however in 2 sections when the folded pages are opened up and they join together, it does create an accordion effect. Sam Rictus is the nom de plume of Samuel Guillet who was born in France in 1980. Introduced to the silkscreen process by the folks art Le Dernier Cri, he's since then produced a number of books and prints in his trademark dense style, all depicting fantastic creatures.  Of his work he says: 
My fascination for the fantastic and the monstrous was expressed by the drawing which allowed me since childhood, to invent my own creatures and mythologies.
My drawings are a series in which the different characters form the bestiary of a dark imaginary world, composed of tribal constructions and architectures, from the depths of the ages, populated by camouflaged fauna, inserted in landscapes whose elements: stone, earth, plant seem to be in fusion. This magma exudes a bustling vitality despite the frozen line of the image and its impenetrable appearance at first glance.
The spectator gradually enters this world of folklore and cults archaic, and distinguishes its composition step by step, as if he were exploring an unknown, wild world…
My subject joins the technique, which is also abundant: I draw improvisation, starting my image at various places on the sheet, without knowing where I'm going, the shapes emerging as the drawn areas meet.

16 double-sided pages, individual pages measure 11.75"(h) x 9.25"(w), and when four pages are opened together the width is 3ft 1".

Juan Yactayo Sono, Coto de Caza (Hunting Reserve), PegueƱo Pato, Lima, Peru, 2017, 1st edition.

Presented in a smart silkscreened box (not like the damaged one I have here!), are 5 double-sided accordions with photographs on each side, 1 small book with short snippets of conversations in Spanish, and a smaller one with the English translations of these negotiations for sex.

Sono is our guide as he takes us into the 'hunting reserve' of illegal cruising places in Lima, where people are engaged in having anonymous sex, and the 5 accordions record the darkened places where these men have these sexual encounters. There's a real charged feeling to these accordions, and the depictions of these darkened places immerse the reader in what Sono describes as places of "pleasure, darkness, fear, tension and loneliness."

In the final page of both books is a statement by Sono that very eloquently summarizes his experiences of these erotic and sexually charged locations:

Perhaps for many people the anonymity of these cruising spots is the only way to come out and interact with other gay people. For others, maybe, it can mean the search for a sexual freedom that is not outside, because outside one must behave in certain ways. Even these places may not be charged with any prejudice, and just be places where you can go to have sex. Regardless of the reasons that attracts us to these spaces, once inside there is no judgement. We are all the same. Finally here I can be whoever I want to be.

The 5 accordions are the same sizes and length, and individually each is comprised of 6 pages with a total of 12 images, and each individual page is 4"(h) x 5.5"(w), and when fully opened each accordion is 2ft 9".

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Horacio Zabala, (Hipotesis),, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2018, ed. 40

Zabala was born in Argentina in 1943, and over the years he's established himself as one of that country's key conceptual artists. This accordion bookwork explores issues and concerns that are key areas of exploration in Zabala's broader image-making practice. Of the larger concerns of the Hypothesis works, Zabala explains below:

The Hypothesis Series is an ongoing investigation into the relationships between monochrome (painting without image or composition) and signs (grammatical or mathematical). Although both are visible presences, my interest is oriented not only towards what is seen, but also towards what is thought of what is seen.

Generally speaking, I am more interested in the relationships between things than things themselves. My preliminary projects arise from the temptation to point out, activate or resolve something about the correspondences, links and analogies between monochrome and signs. [

Furthermore, these punctuated monochromes can only suggest different series and combinations, and the onus is placed on the viewer to make sense of these 'sentences' composed of symbols and signs that reference both logic and reason. 

It took me a little time to wrap my head around what Zabala is doing across this series, but now I can see a beautiful elegance in the interplay between these non-objective symbols and their sequencing, and their presentation in a kind of image sentence. It's worth taking the time to seek out the paintings and sculptural works, that Zabala has created as he explores these themes across different media.

4 pages, single page 9" by 8.25", and when fully open 4' 1.5".

Stephen Perkins, Sampler: Distinct Taupe - Pepper Shake, 2019, ed. 1

I can never resist grabbing extra bunches of these color sample cards whenever I'm buying paints.

9 pages of assorted widths, height 4", when opened 25".

Nando Murio, Casa de Acuario (House of Aquarius), silk-screen, Concordia Publishing, Mexico, 2020. ed. 40

I'm not exactly sure what is going in this rather delicate screen print, but there seems to be a number of primordial figures and creatures moving around in an indeterminate kind of landscape. 

The zodiac element for Aquarius is air, and its symbol is Ganymede, the water-carrier. Ganymede was the son of Tros, who just happened to be the king of Troy. Zeus fell in love with him, and ever since that time Ganymede served as the cupbearer of the gods [wikipedia]. This accordion appears to be illustrating some of the adventures and mis-adventures visited upon our poor hero. Either way a cool accordion by this master printer from Querera, Mexico.

Sixteen pages, single page 6.5" x 3.5". When fully opened 2ft 11".