Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spin: Turning Records Into Art

"Spin: Turning Records Into Art
April 21st – August 5th, 2018
Curated by Joey Yates

Spin: Turning Records Into Art is a show of artist made records and record covers, alongside recent projects by contemporary artists who make use of the record in their sculptures and installations, including Rutherford Chang, Ajit Chauhan, Jamal Cyrus, David Ellis, Terrence Hammonds, Jennie C. Jones and Cynthia Norton. A substantial portion of the show features records from the collection of Michael Lowe, a Cincinnati based art collector with over 2000 records that is international in scope and reflects the myriad historical relationships between the artist and the record, a range that extends from conceptual works by artists like Joseph Beuys, Lawrence Weiner, and Christian Marclay to albums with iconic images by Jean Michel-Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger and Yoko Ono. Artists from Kentucky are included, featuring album covers by Lexington based artist Robert Beatty, and Louisville artists Kathleen Lolley, Joanne Oldham, Letitia Quesenberry, Jason Noble, Jeff Mueller, and Michael O’Bannon.

Initially designed to function as a protective sleeve, record covers have evolved into a highly sophisticated form of artistic expression. Notwithstanding the value of music videos and the proliferation of merchandise such as t-shirts and posters, records have become less disposable and more established as cultural artifacts and art objects in our current post-media age of music consumption. Musicians and artists alike have long believed that the physical products associated with music listening, from the album cover, the record sleeve and liner notes to inserts and the color of the vinyl, all contribute to a deeper listening experience.

Over the last century the record has become an effective tool for artists seeking new creative possibilities. Artists of the avant-garde in the early 1900’s, most notably the Dadaists and the Italian Futurists, used the record to document their radical ideas, and to disseminate their political and social experiments in sound, language, and music. Spin explores the current intersection of records and visual art, demonstrating the album’s remarkable position as art object and cultural artifact in contemporary artistic practice.

Records produced before the 1940’s commonly came in the form of 10 and 12-inch brittle discs made of shellac resin and played at a speed of 78 revolutions per minute (rpm), otherwise known as “seventy-eights.” Often distributed in card covers, sometimes with a circular cutout that allowed the information label to be seen, they were just as often sold in brown paper bags without any accompanying visuals or materials. In 1940 Alex Steinweiss was working as the art director for Columbia Records designing posters, books and booklets when a creative spark led him to design the first illustrated record cover. By 1948 Columbia had introduced the now standard microgroove 33 1⁄3 rpm Long Playing or LP record format with the new emblazoned album covers firmly positioned as an enduring and integral component to the longevity and collectability of recorded music."

- press release

[pictured above: Rutherford Chang's We Buy White Albums, which now totals 1987 copies of the Beatles' 
eponymously titled double LP. ]

Friday, April 20, 2018

Mona Hatoum | Set in Stone

Mona Hatoum
Set in Stone
Munich/New York City, Germany/USA: Edition Schellmann, 2002
20 x 65 x 14 cm
Edition of 30 signed and numbered copies

Carrara marble, carved typography, string, oak wood shelf.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

turn the page Artists Book Fair and Symposium

The turn the page Artists Book Fair is a two day event held in the Atrium of The Forum building in Norwich City Centre, held on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May. turn the page 2018 will feature work by over 60 individual artists, small & fine presses, independent publishers and artists groups, as well as live music, poetry performances, talks and demonstrations.

Entry to the book fair is free and entrance to the symposium is ticketed. Details can be found at and, or by contacting

“Taking over the directorship of turn the page has been a wonderful and exhilarating challenge. The fair has long been one of my favourite events in the UK art book arts scene and having the chance to contribute to the development of the fair is a joy. I am thrilled beyond imagining to be exhibiting work by Audrey Niffenegger, I have long been a fan of her work and the chance to share it at the fair is a privilege. The artists, artists groups and publishers exhibiting at the fair this year represent some of the most exciting book artists working within the UK today and I am sure everyone visiting the fair will thoroughly enjoy and be inspired by the event.”
 - Rosie Sherwood, artist/publisher and newly appointed Creative Director of the fair

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Robert Gober | Heat

Robert Gober
New York City, USA: The Library Fellows of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989
33.7 x 23.5 cm. 
Edition of 140 [+10 AP] signed copies

A collaboration between Gober and author Joyce Carol Oates, Heat is a pair of white leather diaries housed in a purple linen covered box. The diaries feature genitalia endpapers and the text of a 3000-word story about the murder of two eleven-year-old identical twins, Rhea and Rhonda Kunkel. The text is reproduced in the artist's handwriting. 

A year and a half ago Christies sold one of these for $375 US, less than a third of the low estimate ($1500 - $2500). 

Monday, April 16, 2018


[Various artists]
New York City, USA: Tanam Press, 1980
307 pp., 14 x 22 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

A collection of short stories by artists: Michael Meyers: "A Smaller History," Reese Williams: "A Study of Leonardo," Jenny Holzer & Peter Nadin: "Living," Laurie Anderson: "Dark Dogs, American Dreams," Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: "Exilee Temps Morts," Mike Roddy: "Frost Fun Fiction Fall Forest," and Richard Nonas: "Montezuma's Last Dead Breakfast in Mexico".

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jacob Wren | Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART

Jacob Wren
Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART
Toronto, Canada: Book*hug, 2018
304 pp., 8×5.25 inches., trade paper
Edition size unknown

On Wednesday, April 25th, from 7 to 9pm, TYPE Books will host the book launch for Jacob Wren's new title Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART. The event will feature readings from the book by Wren, Shannon Cochrane, Alexandra Rockingham Gill and Simone Moir.

"Written, among other things, to celebrate PME-ART’s twentieth anniversary, the book begins when Jacob Wren meets Sylvie Lachance and Richard Ducharme, moves from Toronto to Montreal to make just one project, but instead ends up spending the next twenty years creating an eccentric, often bilingual, art. It is a book about being unable to learn French yet nonetheless remaining co-artistic director of a French-speaking performance group, about the Spinal Tap-like adventures of being continuously on tour, about the rewards and difficulties of intensive collaborations, about making performances that break the mold and confronting the repercussions of doing so. A book that aims to change the rules for how interdisciplinary performance can be written about today.

Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed, and Polyamorous Love Song (a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the 2016 ReLit Award for Fiction, and one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2014). His most recent novel Rich and Poor, was a finalist for the 2016 Quebec Writers’ Federation Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En français comme en anglais, it’s easy to criticize, Individualism Was a Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I’ve Ever Written. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art. Connect with him on his blog ( or on Twitter @everySongIveEve."

- publisher's blurb

TYPE Books is located at 883 Queen St. West, in Toronto.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Printed Matter have just announced the dates for the NY Art Book Fair, and are now taking applications from exhibitors.

The thirteenth annual fair will take place at MoMA PS1, from September 21st to 23rd, 2018, with a preview on the 20th from 6 to 9 pm.

For more information, visit the website, here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Concrete Poetry: A World View

Mary Ellen Solt [ed]
Concrete Poetry: A World View
Bloomington, USA: Indiana University Press, 1970
312 pp., 26 x 22.5 cm., hardcover
Edition size unknown

A global survey of concrete poetry with contributions by Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, Edgard Braga, Pedro Xisto, Claus Bremer, Max Bense, Hansjörg Mayer, Franz Mon, Ferdinand Kriwet, Ernst Jandl, Di[e]ter Roth, Ladislav Novák, Öyvind Fahlström, Pierre and Ilse Garnier, Henri Chopin, Julien Blaine, Jean-François Bory, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Adriano Spatola, E. M. de Melo e Castro, Salette Tavares, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Dom Sylvester Houédard, John Furnival, Robert Lax, Emmett Williams and Sold herself, who also provides the introduction.

Available here for $90. US, or on Ubuweb, here, as a PDF.

"The term "concrete poetry" is now being used to refer to a variety of innovations and experiments following World War II which are revolutionizing the art of the poem on a global scale and enlarging its possibilities for expression and communication. There are now so many kinds of experimental poetry being labeled "concrete" that it is difficult to say what the word means. In an article in THE LUGANO REVIEW (1966), the English critic Mike Weaver, who organized The First International Exhibition of Concrete and Kinetic Poetry in Cambridge in 1964, distinguishes three types of concrete poetry: visual (or optic), phonetic (or sound) and kinetic (moving in a visual succession). And he sees individual poems within these three classifications as related to either the constructivist or the expressionist tradition in art. The constructivist poem results from an arrangement of materials according to a scheme or system set up by the poet which must be adhered to on its own terms (permutational poems). In the expressionist poem the poet arranges his material according to an intuitive structure. Weaver's definitions and classifications are most clarifying when applied generally; but when we are confronted with the particular text or poem, we often find that it is both visual and phonetic, or that it is expressionistic as well as constructivist. It is easier to classify the kinetic poem because it incorporates movement, usually a succession of pages; but it is essentially a visual poem, and its words are, of course, made up of sounds. We need only to look at Emmett Williams kinetic book SWEETHEARTS to see that it is possible to incorporate everything we have said about concrete poetry in this paragraph in one poem. Often concrete poems can only be classified in terms of their predominating characteristics."
- Mary Ellen Solt, Introduction

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bruce Nauman | LA AIR

Bruce Nauman
New York City, USA: Multiples, Inc., 1970
[12] pp., 30.4 x 30.4 cm., staple-bound
Edition of 1200

In 1970, Multiples Inc. released the seminal boxed work Artists & Photographs, which included Mel Bochner's Misunderstandings (A Theory of Photography), Christo's Packed Tower, Spoleto, Italy 1968, Jan Dibbets' Perspective Correction 1967, Tom Gormley's Red File Cabinet, Dan Graham's Two Parallel Essays, Douglas Huebler's Location Piece #2 : New York City – Seattle, Washington, Allan Kaprow's Pose,  Michael Kirby's Pont Neuf, Sol LeWitt's Schematic Drawing for Muybridge, Richard Long's Rain Dance, Robert Morris's Continuous Project Altered Daily, Ed Ruscha's Babycakes, Robert Smithson's Torn Photograph, Bernar Venet's Exploited, Andy Warhol's Portraits, Robert Rauschenberg's Revolver, and Dennis Oppenheim's Flower Arrangement for Bruce Nauman. 

Nauman's own contribution was a response to his earlier artist book, Clear Sky (see below). Whereas the former contained full-bleed images of various shades of blue, this title features color-field-like planes of indigo, crimson and yellow-green, suggesting the toxicity of the air in Los Angeles, where the artist had recently relocated.

Nauman's signature appears PRINTED on the verso.

LA Air is currently on sale at Printed Matter, for $540 US, here. High resolution images of each page can be seen at the Harvard Art Museum site, here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bruce Nauman | Clear Sky

Bruce Nauman
Clear Sky
New York City, USA: Castelli Gallery, [1968]
[12] pp., 12 x 12 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

Nauman's second book (after Pictures of Sculpture in a Room) contains neither words nor images. Many critics have suggested that while Ed Ruscha was busy documenting Los Angeles buildings, pools and parking lots, Nauman trained his camera upward, to the LA sky (in this and the follow-up, LA Air). While it's true that Nauman's next outing would be a direct response to Ruscha's bookworks (Burning Small Fires), Clear Sky is reportedly made without a camera. The full-bleed images of varying hues of blue are simply ink, not photographs of the sky as suggested in the title.

"Clear Sky was a way to have a book that had only coloured pages- pictures of the sky. I like that idea that you were looking into an image of the sky, but it is just a page: you're not really looking into anything - you're looking at a flat page. LA Air was the same idea, but it was also a response to Clear Sky using polluted colours instead."
- Bruce Nauman, 1989