The A.R.T. Library Program distributes books on art and culture to public institutions nationwide, free of charge. Public libraries, schools, prisons, and reading centers are welcome to place annual orders.


Charles Seliger: Ways of Nature

Charles Seliger

In Ways of Nature, Charles Seliger (American, b.1926) presents nineteen paintings on Masonite completed between 2006 and 2008. The artist’s works are all dense, small-scale, organic abstractions that celebrate the structural complexities of natural forms—both real and imagined. In the accompanying exhibition catalogue, Michelle DuBois writes, "In each and every painting, he represents and enacts the struggle for control between chaos and order as it occurs in nature, and as it unfolds in the creative process he personally undergoes when creating a painting. Charles Seliger’s paintings about what lies below or beyond the visible in nature are fundamentally about the nature of his own subjectivity and creative process."

Like many artists of his generation, Seliger was deeply influenced by the surrealists’ use of automatism, and throughout his career, he has cultivated an eloquent and poetic style of abstraction that explores the dynamics of order and chaos animating the celestial, geographical, and biological realms. Attracted to the internal structures of plants, insects, and other natural objects and inspired by a wide range of reading in natural history, biology, and physics, Seliger creates abstractions that pay homage to nature’s infinite variety. His paintings have been described as “microscopic views of the natural world,” and although the characterization is appropriate, his work does not directly imitate nature so much as suggest its intrinsic structures.

Born in New York City and raised in Jersey City, Seliger spent his teenage years making frequent trips back across the Hudson to Manhattan’s many museum and gallery exhibitions. Although he never completed high school or received formal art training, Seliger immersed himself in the history of art and experimented with different painting styles including pointillism, cubism, and surrealism. In 1943, he befriended artist Jimmy Ernst and was quickly drawn into the circle of avant-garde artists championed by Howard Putzel and Peggy Guggenheim. Two years later, at the age of nineteen, Seliger was included in Putzel’s groundbreaking exhibition A Problem for Critics at 67 Gallery, and he also had his first solo show at Guggenheim’s legendary gallery, Art of This Century. At this time, Seliger was the youngest artist exhibiting with members of the abstract expressionist movement, and he was only twenty years old when the Museum of Modern Art acquired his painting Natural History: Form within Rock (1946) for their permanent collection. Shortly after, in 1950, Seliger obtained representation from Willard Gallery. While exhibiting there, he formed close friendships with Mark Tobey, Lyonel Feininger, and Norman Lewis.

By 1949, Seliger had his first major museum exhibition at the de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, and since then, he has had over forty-five solo exhibitions at prominent galleries in New York and abroad. In 1986, Seliger was given his first retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which now holds the largest collection of his work. In addition to the Guggenheim, he is represented in numerous museum collections, including the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. In 2003, at age seventy-seven, Seliger received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s Lee Krasner Award in recognition of his long and illustrious career. In 2005, the Morgan Library and Museum acquired his journals—148 hand-written volumes produced between 1952 and the present. Scholars like Michelle DuBois—who is completing the first doctoral dissertation on Seliger, “The Structure of Becoming:” Charles Seliger’s Complex Expressionism — now have access to his introspective writing, which covers a vast range of topics across the span of six decades.

Burgoyne Diller: The 1960s - Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings

Burgoyne Diller

Burgoyne Diller: The 1960s - Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings features the geometric abstractions of American artist Burgoyne Diller (1906-1965). This catalog documents an exhibition of his major paintings, sculpture and drawings from the 1960s - the most fertile period of Diller's career.

During the 1960s, Burgoyne Diller re-emerged on the New York art scene. Despite his failing health, Diller worked tirelessly to advance his pictorial ideas, intentionally employing a limited range of forms to express himself. In 1962 Diller introduced a new format in his "first theme" paintings consisting of white, black, yellow and blue squares arranged on a grey field. Furthermore, his most well known paintings of geometric forms on solid black backgrounds were completed during this period. Although Diller had been creating wooden sculptures since the 1930s, in 1963 he made a major breakthrough by using the manmade material of Formica, which reflected light and gave his sculpture a serene quality.

Toward the end of his life, Diller intended to move beyond Formica by transforming his designs for sculpture into granite, but his death in 1965 prevented that. Even though Diller's bold plans were never realized, his commitment to abstraction made him a model for a generation of abstract artists, while his elegant geometric abstractions served as a bridge between modernism and the work of Minimalist artists such as Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt and John McCraken.

This fully illustrated color catalogue includes an essay by Barry Schwabsky, a regular contributor to Artforum, and the author of The Widening Circle: Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Opera: Poems 1981-2002 (Meritage Press, 2003).

Burgoyne Diller: Collages

Burgoyne Diller

Burgoyne Diller: Collages documents an exhibition consisting of forty-three collages from 1935 through 1965. The collages reflect Diller’s evolution from pure Neo-Plastic compositions of the 1930s to his final studies for minimalist sculpture executed during the 1960s.

Burgoyne Diller was a pioneer of American abstraction and is among the most significant American artists devoted to geometric abstraction. Burgoyne Diller’s earliest abstractions pay homage to Neo-Plastic aesthetics in the tradition of Piet Mondrian, but in the 1940s his work evolved into a very personal, spiritual, and more simplified geometric expression of line and color. As a result, Diller is the vital link between American abstraction of the 1930s and minimalism of the 1950s and 1960s epitomized by artists Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly and Myron Stout.

During the late-1920s, at the age of twenty-two, Burgoyne Diller moved from Michigan to New York City, where he began studying at the Art Students League. In 1934, he became employed as an easel painter by the Public Works of Arts Project (PWAP) and in 1935, he was appointed to the influential position of Director of the New York City WPA/FAP Mural Division. In 1937 he was one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists group, although his official affiliation with this group was short lived. From 1946 until his death in 1965, Diller was a professor at Brooklyn College, where he taught with Ad Reinhardt. Through his lifelong roles as a mentor, Diller influenced countless artists and played a vital role in encouraging the public to embrace abstract art. As Diller expressed, abstraction was "the ideal realm of harmony, stability and order in which every form and spatial interval could be controlled and measured."

In 1990 the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted a major retrospective of Burgoyne Diller. He is represented in numerous museum collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Betye Saar: Colored - Consider the Rainbow

Betye Saar

In Colored: Consider the Rainbow, Betye Saar (American, b.1926) presents thirty recent assemblages and collages that are among the finest works of her career. These new autobiographical works portray the tangled roots of her ancestry and deal with her interpretation and perception of prejudice, often among African-Americans themselves, in reaction to the blending and merging of skin colors and cultures.

The work in Colored: Consider the Rainbow, engages one of the most painful and systematically damaging pathologies of slave-plantation culture known as the "Skin Game." Through the medium of collage, Saar describes "how our past has programmed us to judge ourselves and each other by skin color as well as class and occupation. By defining who we are by the color of our skin, by calling each other names from rude insults to terms of endearment, is in a way, a continuation of slavery. In reality, all the things that hold us together as African American are as varied as the things that make us unique." Colored: Consider the Rainbow also addresses the difficult and conflicted relationships that African Americans have with the attitudes, language and character of calling each other names based on skin color. In the catalogue essay, Dr. Leslie King-Hammond states that this practice “continues to debilitate and sabotage African Americans’ sense of integrity, dignity and personhood. In addition, this type of verbal classification and name-calling undermines the dominant culture’s ability to confront its own racism, it perpetuates attacks on the humanity of African Americans, and it impedes the full partnership of African Americans within the democratic ideals of the United States.”

Betye Saar is an artist who has worked as a visionary, a healer, a resistance fighter and a maker of objects and images that embody the power, spirituality and beauty she sees in the ethos of African-American culture. Born in Los Angeles, she graduated from the University of California and continued graduate studies at California State University at Long Beach, the University of Southern California and California State University at Northridge. Saar is known for her multimedia collages, box assemblages, altars and installations consisting of found materials. In her work, Saar voices her political, racial, religious and gender concerns in an effort to “reach across the barriers of art and life, to bridge cultural diversities and forge new understandings.” Saar has received numerous awards of distinction including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1974, 1984), a J. Paul Getty Fund for the Visual Arts Fellowship (1990) and a Flintridge Foundation Visual Artists Award (1998). In 1994, Saar, along with artist John Otterbridge, represented the United States at the 22nd Biennial of Sao Paulo in Brazil. A role model for generations of African-American women, Saar has raised three daughters, two of whom (Alison and Lezley) are also accomplished artists. Saar continues to work and live in Los Angeles.

This catalog includes an essay by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond.

Sigmar Polke: Windows - Fenster - Grossmuenster Zürich

Sigmar Polke

In fall 2009 Sigmar Polke (1941–2010) completed a series of twelve windows for the Grossmünster cathedral in Zurich, setting new standards for the mutual relationship between art and church. One group of seven Romanesque windows shows luminous ‘mosaics’ of thinly sliced agate, some of it artificially colored, to produce pulsating blocks of back-lit color. For the remaining five windows, Polke designed images of figures from the Old Testament, based on medieval illuminations, which have themselves undergone transformation in the course of their long journey through time. Polke’s figures now appear as radiantly contemporary icons created in colored glass, using a variety of traditional and customized techniques devised especially for this project.

With contributions by Gottfried Boehm, Jacqueline Burckhardt, Bice Curiger, Ulrich Gerster, Regine Helbling, Claude Lambert, Käthi La Roche, Katharina Schmidt, and Marina Warner.

Parkett

Various

Parkett provides a one-of-a-kind, one-stop survey and archive on and with contemporary artists from around the world. Its 101 publications were published from 1984 - 2017 and include direct collaborations with compelling contemporary artists. In total 270 artists’ portraits have been published, each comprising of three to five texts by renowned authors and curators. All collaborating artists also created an editioned artwork, whose form could take any shape; from prints, sculptures, installations, media works, to paintings and drawings.

Parkett discovers art from the inside out, it does not report on art from the outside in; each volume focuses on several of the world’s most inspiring artists, from El Anatsui to Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Cao Fei, Tracey Emin, Anish Kapoor, Yang Fudong, Gerhard Richter, Beatriz Milhazes, Danh Vo, Trisha Donnelly, Urs Fischer, Theaster Gates, and many more, who actively participated in creating the publication down to the selection of the visuals and the page layout.

Grímsey

Cole Barash

"As the sun fell in the west, Grímsey seemed to emit a vibration, a faint buzzing that can only be felt at certain times in that far-removed place. Its tune, persistent and dense, wove through living rooms and careened over the harbor like a slow pull on a cello. It’s a pulse that can only be sensed, if even for a fleeting moment, during periods of change. The first time, for a young boy, with his father on a fishing boat. Or the loss of a brother, his memory now living in photographs and within the folds of a sweater tucked away in a closet. Or, perhaps, the first sunset alone at the northernmost tip of the island, a place the locals call The Foot. A swooping hook of land that curves down to the water, revealing caves that always seem to be whispering—telling, with a slow exhale, the secrets of the island."

Rugby

Daniel D'Ottavio

In 2008, the New York Athletic Club Rugby Team won the coveted Rugby Super League Championship. During this historic season, Daniel D'Ottavio followed the team's home games at Travers Island, photographing the action on the field and on the sidelines with only a handheld medium format camera.

The result is no ordinary sports photography. If you seek out rugby photography, you will find many images that depict the game as we - the spectators, the outsiders - see it. Instead, Daniel's images show us the game as the players see and experience it.

Daily, In A Nimble Sea

Barry Stone

Daily, In A Nimble Sea is an anagram of Bailey Island, Maine, where a tiny stretch of coastline is incessantly transformed by the interactions of fog, sun, and tides. When the tide goes out, a rocky field of seaweed is revealed. To walk across it is to traverse the ocean floor in the open air. It is a magical place, and for seven summers the artist has watched his children grow and change against this backdrop. Photographs put up a feeble defense against the passage of time: the still image halts the waves from breaking, only to paradoxically heighten our awareness of their inevitable movement forward.

These pictures were made with a digital camera. The code of a digital photograph also forms a kind of picture, expressed as a field of symbols. Like an anagram, these symbols can be rearranged and purposely disordered, resulting in gestural aberrations or glitches in the original image. The resulting images represent a fantasy of fatherhood, endless horizons, and malleable realities.

Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990–2001

Godzilla: Asian American Art Network, Howie Chen

Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990–2001 is a comprehensive anthology of writings, art projects, publications, correspondence, organizational documents, and other archival ephemera from the trailblazing Asian artist collective. Edited by curator Howie Chen, this publication includes full essays and contextual material detailing the critical genealogies embodied by the group as well as its wide-ranging activities.

The collective known as Godzilla: Asian American Art Network was formed in 1990 to support the production of critical discourse around Asian American art and increase the visibility of Asian American artists, curators, and writers, who were negotiating a historically exclusionary society and art world. Founded by Ken Chu, Bing Lee, and Margo Machida, Godzilla produced exhibitions, publications, and community collaborations that sought to stimulate social change through art and advocacy. For more than a decade, the diasporic group, having grown from a local organization into a nationwide network, confronted institutional racism, Western imperialism, anti-Asian violence, the AIDS crisis, and representations of Asian sexuality and gender, among other urgent issues.

Godzilla created a social space for diasporic Asian artists and art professionals, including members Tomie Arai, Karin Higa, Byron Kim, Paul Pfeiffer, Eugenie Tsai, Alice Yang, Lynne Yamamoto, among others. Envisioning a lateral and porous network, Godzilla was independently run by successive steering committees that included Diyan Achjadi, Tomie Arai, Todd Ayoung, Monica Chau, Debi-Ray Chaudhuri, China Blue, Allan deSouza, Skowmon Hastanan, Arlan Huang, Michi Itami, Jenni Kim, Franky Kong, Jeanette Louie, Yong Soon Min, Helen Oji, Sanda Zan Oo, Athena Robles, Carol Sun, Eugenie Tsai, Lynne Yamamoto, Rubina Yeh, and Charles Yuen.

Editor: Howie Chen
Designer: Ella
Managing Editor: James Hoff
Copy Editor: Allison Dubinsky

Note(s): Work(ing) Process(es) Re: Concerns (That Take On / Deal With)

Dara Birnbaum

Originally created in 1977 as a single handmade copy, Dara Birnbaum’s Note(s): Work(ing) Process(es) Re: Concerns (That Take On / Deal With) gathers writings, working drawings, photographic documentation, and ephemera from the artist’s earliest video and installation works. The publication was originally produced by Birnbaum and exhibited in Notebooks, Workbooks, Scripts, and Scores at Franklin Furnace in 1977. The book’s vinyl cover and section dividers, hand-folded pages, and color images have all been reproduced, and Alex Kitnick provides a new introduction.

Note(s) provides a rare look into Birnbaum’s early investigations of video art and its relationship to television. Her work of this period orchestrates a complex circuit of viewership and representation, in which her interest in psychoanalytic concepts—projective identification, regression, resistance, and intersubjectivity—are analyzed in tandem with the formal and interpersonal politics of image making. These investigations lay the groundwork for the artist’s breakthrough works, such as Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman and Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry, in which she appropriates popular television programs to critique the language and images of networked television.

Featured works include Back Piece (1975), Attack Piece (1975), Mirroring (1975), Liberty: A Dozen or So Views (1976), Relationship Perspectives: Perspective Relationships (1976–77), America: Land of Contrasts (A Day of Awakening) (A Shot in the Dark) (1976–77), Pivot: Turning Around Suppositions (1976), and Lesson Plans to Keep the Revolution Alive (1977).

Dara Birnbaum was born in New York City in 1946, and studied architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Recognized as one of the first artists to manipulate television footage to “talk back to the media,” Birnbaum enlists video technology and mass media images to deconstruct and redefine cultural, personal, and historical mythologies. Drawing from critical theory, literature, and feminist thought, Birnbaum matrixes film techniques such as dramatic wipes and layered images onto works that are deeply introspective and experiential. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at MoMA PS1, New York (2019); National Portrait Gallery, London (2018); the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (2018); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); and the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2006).

Liturgy

Flora Yin-Wong

Liturgy is a journey into the uncanny realm of the senses that dives into histories of perception and intuition. The artist Flora Yin-Wong deploys a variety of images and texts to explore issues related to cosmic principles, conspiracies, and parallel universes. The result is a constellatory work filled with religion, dreams, and fragmented memories and knowledge that also gestures at the artist’s own history. The book’s chapters—Rituals & Fire; Omens; Hexagrams / Oracles; Curses; Gods & Creatures; Places Doors to Hell / Ghost Cities; Paradoxes; Sound Phenomena; Reality—function like a secret dossier inflected with flights of fantasy, speaking to systems of faith and language and its corruptions.

Divining inspiration from meditation, oracles, curses, hexagrams, Cantonese traditions, and superstitions, Liturgy interweaves textual and visual collage to create a multi-layered tonality. Reflected here is the multidisciplinary artist’s interest in the web between fiction, memory, rituals, and incantation, as well as her approach to sound.

Flora Yin-Wong is a London–born, Chinese-Malaysian writer, producer, and DJ who has released material on the labels Modern Love and PAN. Her sonic work uses traditional instruments, software processing, and text-based storytelling, and has been performed at venues including ISSUE Project Room (New York), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Volksbühne Theater (Berlin), and Berghain (Berlin).


Co-Published with PAN
Managing Editors: James Hoff and Bill Kouligas
Designers: NMR
Copy Editor: Allison Dubinsky

Theatre

Dan Graham

Theatre is an artist book that documents seven early performances by Dan Graham taking place from 1969 to 1977 with notes, transcripts, or photographs for each work. Originally published in 1978, and produced here in facsimile form, the publication focuses on several key works that interrogate or undermine the psychological and social space created by, or between, individuals inside the performance venue.

Like most of Graham’s work, they also serve as a critique of cultural norms, with many of the performances utilizing quotidian, social acts that are amplified over time. For example, in Lax/Relax (1969), Graham’s subversion of West Coast new ageism, the artist chants “relax” in sync with a recording of a woman saying “lax” in a meditative manner, which implicates the audience into a group breathing exercise or hypnosis over the course of 30 minutes.

Throughout the ’70s, the artist engaged in a series of works that subverted the prescribed roles of the audience and performer by creating conditions in which each simultaneously functions as both (creating a type of feedback loop). Remarking on another work form this period, Graham once stated, “It begins with Minimal Art, but it’s about spectators observing themselves as they’re observed by other people.”* This paradigm is extended even further in Performer/Audience Sequence (1975) and Performer/Audience Mirror (1977), in which the artist performs by describing the audience as well as himself, creating conditions whereby the audience is performing for the artist as well as themselves.

Like (1971), Past Future Split Attention (1972), and Identification Projection (1977) are also featured in the publication.

Dan Graham is an artist based in New York. Since the 1960s, he has produced a wide range of work and writing that engages in a highly analytical discourse on the historical, social, and ideological functions of contemporary cultural systems. Architecture, popular music, video, and television are among the focuses of his investigations, which he articulates through essays, performances, installations, videotapes, and architectural/sculptural designs.

Camino Road

Renée Green

First published in 1994, Camino Road is artist Renée Green’s debut novel—a short, ruminative work infused with semantic ambiguity and the dreamy poetry of the quotidian. Republished here in a facsimile edition, the book ostensibly traces its protagonist Lyn’s journeys to Mexico and her return to attend art school in 1980s New York, but what emerges is more an intertextual assemblage of the moments between drives, dreams, and consciousness. Lyn does her Spanish homework and makes note to read Anna Kavan and Cortázar; she watches Fellini; she dreams about the Mediterranean Sea. Much like Green’s multimedia installations encompassing the sonic, spatial, and visual, Camino Road is richly layered—part intellectual genealogy, part fictional personal memory, and part cultural criticism.

Green has described the book as a “self-conscious homage to or parody of the ‘road novel,’ ‘bohemia,’ and artist-rebels.” “I’d been thinking about the beat generation, figures like Jack Kerouac, Burroughs, etc.—the mythic construction of the artist personality as rebel and how females, and myself in particular, entered into that,” she said. “These ‘beat’ sources seemed to form a typical American introduction to the idea of bohemia and of being an artist.”

Originally created as part of Green’s contribution for the group exhibition Cocido y crudo/The Cooked and the Raw at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, the text is written in both English and Spanish, and accompanied by an appendix of photographs and ephemera tracing Madrid’s La Movida, a Spanish countercultural moment from the 1980s. The book was published through Green’s production company, Free Agent Media (FAM), which since 1994 has been circulating and exhibiting media, printed matter, and time-based projects.

A unique treatise on the circuits of exchange in gender, politics, and art, Camino Road can also be read as a variation on the classic Bildungsroman genre. “I don’t feel developed in any area,” thinks Lyn at one point. “It’s very difficult being young and incomplete.” Importantly, she also muses, “I want to be swallowed by another language.”

Renée Green is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. Via films, essays and writings, installations, digital media, architecture, sound-related works, film series and events, her work investigates historical circuits of relation and exchange, the gaps and shifts in what survives in public and private memory, both remembered and invented. Her exhibitions, videos, and films have been seen throughout the world in museums, biennales, and festivals. Major surveys of her work have been staged at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, and her writing has been published in journals including October, Frieze, Spex, Sarai Reader, and Collapse. A collection of her writings from 1981 to 2010, Other Planes of There: Selected Writings, was published by Duke University Press in 2014. Green is also a Professor at MIT’s Program in Art, Culture, and Technology, School of Architecture and Planning.

Try Saying You’re Alive!: Kazuki Tomokawa in His Own Words

Kazuki Tomokowa

Kazuki Tomokawa has lived many lives: poet, self-taught guitarist, actor, day laborer, basketball coach, painter, bicycle race tipster, and incomparable drinker among them. Above all, he is a legend of Japan’s avant-folk music scene and his searing lyrics and raw, unvarnished vocals have influenced generations of musicians since his mid-1970s debut, when his unique sound brought him to prominence in the turbulent worlds of Tokyo’s underground film and music. Here, in his contemplative and utterly original style, the “screaming philosopher” charts the last six decades of his life, reflecting on everything from keirin to nuclear disaster to his own itinerancy, all the while providing an unfiltered view into the explosive cultural zeitgeist of postwar Tokyo. Originally printed in 2015, this translation is the first of Tomokawa’s writings to ever be published in English, and is accompanied by Blank Forms Editions’ reissue of Tomokawa’s first three solo records from 1975–77: Finally, His First Album, Straight from the Throat, and A String of Paper Cranes Clenched between My Teeth. Try Saying You’re Alive! is a memoir like no other, delivered with the incisive tongue and stubborn charm of one of Japan’s most singular living musicians.

Kazuki Tomokawa (b. 1950) is a prolific singer-songwriter from Hachiryu Village (now the town of Mitane) in the Akita Prefecture area of northern Japan. Since his first release in 1975, he has recorded more than thirty albums. The 2010 documentary about his life, La Faute des Fleurs, won the Sound & Vision award at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, and that same year saw the Japanese release of the book Dreams Die Vigorously Day by Day, a collection of his lyrics spanning forty years. His most recent albums are Vengeance Bourbon (2014) and Gleaming Crayon (2016), both on the Modest Launch label.

Damon Krukowski is a musician and writer based in Cambridge, MA. His most recent book is Ways of Hearing (MIT Press, 2019) and his latest album is Damon & Naomi’s A Sky Record (20|20|20, 2021).

Daniel Joseph is a translator, editor, and musician. He holds a master’s degree from Harvard University in medieval Japanese literature, and recently contributed translations to Terminal Boredom (Verso, 2021), a collection of stories by science fiction pioneer Izumi Suzuki.

Partners – A Biography of Jerry Hunt

Stephen Housewright

In Partners, writer, librarian, and teacher Stephen Housewright paints an intimate portrait of a lifetime spent with Jerry Hunt (1943–1993), a Texas-born artist and musician with an astonishing mind and a mystifying practice. Hunt was a singular figure in the world of new music, and one of the most radically unorthodox artists of his generation. His remarkable yet underknown work incorporated motion- and sensor-activated technologies, readymade props, eccentric choreographies, and sixteenth-century astrology into performance and composition. While he orbited avant-garde worlds in the United States and Europe, his personal life, spent largely on a ranch in rural Texas, remained elusive.

In this memoir-cum-biography, Housewright narrates a life spent together, beginning in high school as a closeted couple in East Texas and ending with Hunt’s battle with cancer and his eventual suicide in 1993, the subject of one of his most harrowing works on video, How to Kill Yourself Using the Inhalation of Carbon Monoxide (1993). Including private correspondence with, and thrilling anecdotes about, Hunt’s friends, family, and art world peers, Partners is an essential introduction to Jerry Hunt, and one that only Housewright could share.

Self-published online in 1995, and now printed for the first time by Blank Forms Editions with a new introduction by Hunt’s close collaborator Karen Finley, Partners is the first installment of Blank Forms’s extensive program dedicated to Jerry Hunt. This program includes the first-ever exhibition surveying the artist’s career, Jerry Hunt: Transmissions from the Pleroma, opening at Blank Forms in early 2022; a deluxe LP boxed set and reader; the first vinyl pressing of Hunt’s final record, Ground: Five Mechanic Convention Streams (1992); and the special anthology Blank Forms 08: Transmissions from the Pleroma.

DUETS: Frederick Weston & Samuel R. Delany

Frederick Weston, Samuel R. Delany

Frederick Weston and Samuel R. Delany come together for a wide-ranging dialogue, reflecting on their overlapping histories in Times Square, the deep impact of AIDS on their creative practices, and the ever-changing intersections of race, sex, language, and art.

With additional contributions by Bruce Benderson, Svetlana Kitto, and Tavia Nyong’o.

DUETS is a series of publications that pairs artists, activists, writers, and thinkers in dialogues about their creative practices and current social issues related to HIV/AIDS. These engaging and highly readable conversations highlight the connections between communities of artists and activists. Drawing from the Visual AIDS Artist Registry and Archive Project, this series continues Visual AIDS’ mission to support, promote, and honor the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS movement

Punk Picasso

Larry Clark

Larry Clark’s opus Punk Picasso ­ — whose title references David Denby’s review of Bully: “as the camera wanders-grazes-among naked thighs and tattooed torsos, this punk Picasso combines the multiple desires of lover, artist and voyeur” — displays in scrapbook format a loose chronological overview of the celebrated artist’s provocative career.

The material presented ranges from family snapshots (his American Indian great grandfather, his father playing golf, a portrait of his mother as a professional photographer with Rollei and flash in hand, Clark with his son’s soccer team); unpublished images from Tulsa and 42nd St.; photographs from the set of his first film Kids and his new film Ken Park; clippings from reviews of exhibitions and films; correspondence; transcribed stories; Roger Maris ephemera; portraits of skateboarders; River Phoenix (images appropriated from Teen Magazines); Clark’s lover Tiffany and their dog Snappy; “Page Six” from the New York Post headlining: “Larry Clark stands up for U.S.”; and reproductions of phonograph records that act as soundtrack to the visual narrative.

Punk Picasso gathers together scraps of evidence that chart the life of the artist and his creations, which in Clark’s case, are inseparably entwined.

Copied

Claire Lehmann

Exhibition catalogue. Text by Claire Lehmann.

“In the traditional matrix of an original and a copy, proximity to the touch of the maker’s hand is everything. The assumption here is that an original work—imbued directly with the value of its maker’s labor—accumulates value, while a copy of the work is bereft of its singular emanations, though it may serve as a vehicle to distribute its ideas. Or, to leave aside economic terms and look to philosophical ones, at one time it was widely held that originary Form was ideal, transcendent, and celestial, whereas the copy (its terrestrial version) must be limited, even degraded, by its material nature. Presently, we tend to think of this binary in reverse: an immaterial copy derived from existing form—digital pixels or coded information calculated from material instantiation—persists untainted, capable of generating nearly identical physical manifestations. Such dematerialization of information has changed the ease with which certain types of copies can be made; even as Walter Benjamin famously mourned mechanical reproduction’s leaching away of aura, he also recognized the emancipatory potential of such technologies, particularly the “revolutionary use value” that widely distributed images might possess.“

Robert Adams: Commercial/Residential

Robert Adams

Robert Adams’s “Commercial /Residential” features a portfolio of 40 vintage photographs from 1968 to 1972.

The unique prints on view were originally part of a larger portfolio which Adams published as The New West in 1974. These 40 images were not included in that publication and are presented here for the first time, sequenced in a new series titled “Commercial/Residential.” This new book is a companion volume to
Eden (also available through the A.R.T. Library Program), which Andrew Roth published in 1999. Together, they chart the chronology of Adams’s formative work.

“Commercial/Residential” presents two parallel and fundamental themes: the evolution of private and public space in the American west. The Commercial portfolio of 20 images is organically constructed, documenting the expansion of undeveloped landscape in Colorado as civilization encroaches on nature. The images in the Residential portfolio are witness to the ways in which men and women personalize the new, the unknown, making it their own. Through light and a masterful ease with the medium, Adams evokes the drama in the ordinary. The pictures seem without author, as natural as a passing glance, as familiar as a snapshot.

From Commercial/Residential:
“At about the time I took the pictures I read an interview with Raoul Coutard, Jean-Luc Godard’s cameraman. In it Coutard noted with gratitude that ‘daylight has an inhuman faculty for always being perfect.’ It is one of the mercies, I believe, by which each of us is allowed to live.”

Viscidity - Boris Mikhailov

Boris Mikhailov

The photographs featured in Viscidity by Boris Mikhailov were completed and sequenced in Kharkov in 1982 but only now published as a book. Reproduced at their original scale, we have added translations from the Russian to English. In addition, the book features “I was walking through a field,” an original bilingual essay by Mikhailov illuminating the history of the work and written specially for this edition.

One of three early and critical image-text works, Viscidity was completed after Horizontal Pictures and Vertical Calendars (1978-1980) and shortly before Unfinished Dissertation (1984). As Mikhailov states: “At first the texts tautologically repeated what was visible in the image, as though they were simply drawing attention to the photograph (the first book)… gradually the texts changed and became poetic and deeper (the second book)… then I added quotations in addition to my own reflections on photography (the third book).”

Viscidity was produced during a time of “deep political stagnation. Nothing is happening — nothing at all is interesting … There was a kind of certainty that society was at the threshold of something unknown, something everyone was anticipating. Many people felt this way.”

Mikhailov is best known for provocative self-portraits and politically charged color photographs, from the earliest works in Red Series (1968–75) to the gut wrenching yet seductive images of the homeless in the Soviet Union, published in Case Studies (Scalo, 1999). A prolific and experimental artist, Mikhailov’s work rests naturally beside the most respected conceptual artists of his generation. Photographs from Viscidity have been exhibited widely throughout his career, most importantly in 2004 in the critically acclaimed exhibition and accompanying catalogue at the Serralves Museum in Portugal by Margarita and Victor Tupitsyn, Verbal Photography: Ilya Kabakov and Boris Mikhailov and the Moscow Archive of New Art.

Toledo Múltiple

As Mexico’s most prolific and influential graphic artist, Francisco Toledo has been exploring the fantastical and expanding the expressive range of his printmaking over more than 50 years. This exhibition catalogue encompasses a wide range of Toledo’s work, revealing the progression and creative process evidenced in his printmaking. The catalogue also includes 21 works by both Mexican and foreign printmakers as part of Toledo’s collection for the Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca (IAGO). These works have been influential in developing Toledo’s creative vision and serve to contextualize the medium in a global art history. Curated by Fernando Gálvez de Aguinaga.

Francisco Toledo: Toledo Múltiple was organized by the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Tradition Transformed: Contemporary Korean Ceramics

Tradition Transformed: Contemporary Korean Ceramics assembles 29 Korean ceramists whose pieces incorporate traditional techniques with new influences and innovative methods to create sculptural works that express the inventive and modern spirit of the Korean people. The 87 enchanting pieces in the exhibition are both large- and small-scale and date from 1998 through 2006, with many created especially for the tour. The artists in the exhibition range in age from 30 to 60 and come from many regions and schools, providing works that spotlight the distinct trends in contemporary Korean ceramics. Despite the differences in artistic approaches, the works reveal the adventurous spirit of Koreas ceramic tradition, 5,000 years after it began.

The Home is Where the Heart Is

Archival catalog from a 1997 exhibition at the New York gallery White Columns.

In recent years, there has been much discussion surrounding the American family and the preservation of “traditional family values.” Coinciding with the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and Pride Week, this exhibition explores the shifting definitions of “family” and the role it plays in the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Themes explored include Love, Relationships and Marriage; Identity; Legacy and Heritage; Religion; Discrimination and Oppression; and Utopia.

Participating Artists: Elliot Bassman, Joan Bobkoff, Martha Burgess, Cathy Cade, Lenore Chinn, Tee Corinne, Joyce Culver, Joe De Hoyos, Mary DeVincentis, Donald L. Downs, Joy Episalla, Carlo Ferraris, Philip Friedman, Tomas Rodriguez Gaspar, Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry, Maria Elena Gonzalez, Barbara Hammer, Harmony Hammond, Peter Harvey, Daniel Heyman, Edith Isaac-Rose, Leigh Kane, Mary Klein, Jenny Laden, LeRoy King of Art, Jackie Lipton, Jim Long, Meredith Lund, Cyndra MacDowall, Marcelo Maia, Max Carlos Martinez, Christina Mazzalupo, Susan McKenna and Elizabeth Hynes, Ann Meredith, Laura Migliorino, Eric Rhein, Matthew Snow, James Michael Steven, Ho Tam, Steed Taylor, Timmy, Arthur Tress, Caroline Vaughan, and Ellen Wertheim.

Robert Kipniss: Paintings and Poetry, 1950-1964

Robert Kipniss

Robert Kipniss: Paintings and Poetry, 1950-1964

Robert Kipniss

This intriguing monograph of painter and printmaker Robert Kipniss is an intimate look at a memorable period in his life and career. Robert Kipniss: Paintings and Poetry, 1950-1964 is the result of many arduous months of revisiting his more-than-half-a-century-ago writing, poems that were stashed away and essentially forgotten. "Some of the poems are straightforward, some are infused with surreal irony, and some are angry," says Kipniss in his candid Preface. Thoughtful and articulate from conception to completion, his never-before published poems are choreographed with his early paintings in this contemplation of the influential and foundational years from 1950 to 1964. "When I stopped writing [in 1961] my vision was no longer divided between word-thinking and picture-thinking: these approaches had merged and in expressing myself I was more whole," reflects Kipniss in his retrospective musings.

Readers of this elegant volume are all the richer for catching a glimpse of a personal segment of this accomplished artist's history. Kipniss elaborates, "The most significant insight that arose in this undertaking... came when I began to collate reproductions of my paintings of the 1950s. I could clearly see that my work in the two mediums were from very differing parts of my psyche, and that while they were both in themselves completely engaged, they were not in any way together." This written and visual account of previously unpublished poems and early paintings, which were critically acclaimed, are accompanied by two astute and illustrative essays that further enlighten.

Robert Kipniss (born Brooklyn, New York, February 1, 1931) is an American painter and printmaker. His mature paintings, lithographs, mezzotints, and drypoints share stylistic characteristics and subject matter and typically depict trees seen close up or at varying distances in fields. Other works show one or more houses in a landscape or town setting. Some are interiors with a view toward a window or with a still life set close to one, frequently with a landscape beyond. No human figures are present, and all forms are reduced to essentials. The time is often dusk or nighttime. Kipniss' use of exceptionally subtle black and white tones or, less often, lightly toned hues creates an overall atmospheric effect. His works have been described as conveying solitude and inward experience. Kipniss often uses the subject matter of a painting in a lithograph or mezzotint, sometimes with variations. His paintings date from the early 1950s. His main body of prints are lithographs and mezzotints, the former dating from 1968 into 1990, the latter since 1990.

The Heart of Creation: The Art of Martin Ramirez

Elsa Weiner Longhauser, Roberta Smith, Russell Bowman, Stephen Martin

"Martín Ramírez (1895–1963) created nearly 300 drawings of remarkable visual clarity and expressive power within the confines of DeWitt State Hospital in northern California, where he resided the last 15 years of his life. Ramírez has been codified primarily as a “schizophrenic artist”; [yet...] Ramirez’s works are understood—and appreciated—for the complex, multilayered drawings that they are." – The Folk Art Museum

This catalog documents an exhibition of Ramirez's work held at the Goldie Paley Gallery, Sept. 6-Oct. 18, 1985, and at other museums. Includes contributions by Elsa Weiner Longhauser, Roberta Smith, Russell Bowman, and Stephen Martin.

Common Practice, Basketball & Contemporary Art

From David Hammons' Higher Goals and Robert Indiana’s Mecca Floor to the more recent works of Nina Chanel Abney and Titus Kaphar, basketball has proven an especially popular sport in art. Whether in the depiction of players, abstract use of motifs, or as a means of examining social inequality and political justice, this collection takes readers on a journey to understand the game of basketball, not only as a physical activity played between a series of lines, but also as a reflection of a greater human experience.

Gathering work by more than 250 artists from the 20th century to now, this volume reveals a little-discussed point of overlap between art and sport, in part to be found in the titular phrase “common practice”—“practice” in the sense of “to perform an activity or exercise regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.” This book argues that the need to rehearse, discover and explore through the act of doing makes these two very different ideas of perfecting one’s craft very similar.

Artists include: Nina Chanel Abney, Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, Salvador Dalí, Elaine de Kooning, Keith Haring, David Hammons, Barkley Hendricks, Robert Indiana, JR, KAWS, Titus Kaphar, Jacob Lawrence, Roy Lichtenstein, Sharon Lockhart, Robert Longo, Claes Oldenburg, Paul Pfeiffer, Alex Prager, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Faith Ringgold, Lorna Simpson, Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei and Wendy White.

Black & White: Muses, Magic & Monotypes

Susan Forrest Castle, Philip Eliasoph, Anthony Kirk

For many, the name Richard Segalman conjures up a vision of light-infused paintings of women gathered on a beach, gazing out the window of a New York City brownstone, or dressed in costumes from another era. But just as Edgar Degas, approaching his 60th year, surprised gallery goers with an exhibition not of ballerinas or race horses, but of highly atmospheric monotype landscapes, so too does Segalman surprise us with this exceptional collection of monotypes he began to produce in 1993, at nearly 60.

Segalman’s shift into this medium is powerfully conveyed through his arresting black-and-white prints that range from anonymous crowds on Coney Island beaches or New York City streets to a solitary figure in private contemplation. This monochromatic focus makes perfect sense: his first gallery appearance in New York—a sold-out show that gave him the courage to embrace the artist life—consisted entirely of black-and-white charcoal drawings, several stunning examples of which open this book.

In addition to writing for Sotheby’s, the Guggenheim Museum, and numerous individual artists, Susan F. Castle has written on art, architecture, and garden design for a variety of national publications. She also created, wrote, and coproduced Quilt, a multimedia online show.

Philip Eliasoph, PhD is Professor of Art History at Fairfield University, Connecticut and is the founder and on-stage host/moderator for the university’s popular public affairs series, Open VISIONS Forum.

Anthony Kirk, master printer, teacher, and artist, has organized surveys of prints by Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, and Robert Kipniss, and has curated exhibitions of Eric Aho, Wolf Kahn, Emily Mason, and Michael Mazur

Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane

Dean Daderko, Elisabeth Lebovici, Anne Tronche, Barbara Clausen

Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane considers the works of two pioneers of performance art. Jonas (born 1936) and Pane (1939–1990) lived and worked in the United States and France respectively. Each artist worked multidisciplinarily, producing sculpture, drawings, installations, film and video in addition to live actions. Notably, Jonas and Pane have been lauded for their foundational work in performance, a field in which both of these artists blazed trails.

Published to accompany an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Parallel Practices explores the trajectory of these artists’ practices to reveal shared and complementary aspects, as well as to highlight the significant divergences and differences that characterize each artist’s work. It includes texts by curator Dean Daderko, Elisabeth Lebovici and Anne Tronche and Barbara Clausen.

The Quick and the Dead

Peter Eleey, Olaf Blanke, Ina Blom, Peter Osborne, Margaret and Christine Wertheim

Artists have always used their imaginations to see beyond visible matter—to posit other physics, other energies, new ways of conceiving the visible and new models for art but the past century has seen an explosion of such investigations. In the fashion of a Wunderkammer, The Quick and the Dead takes stock of the 1960s and 70s legacy of experimental, or research art by pioneers like George Brecht, who posited objects as motionless events and asked us to consider an art verging on the non-existent, dissolving into other dimensions, and Lygia Clark, whose foldable sculptures sought to dissolve the boundary between inside and outside, each a static moment within the cosmological dynamics from which we came and to which we are going.

In a series of encounters with art made strange by its expansions, contractions, inversions and implosions in time and space, The Quick and the Dead surveys more than 80 works by a global, multigenerational group of 50 artists, scientists and musicians — among them James Lee Byars, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, Harold Edgerton, Ceal Floyer, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pierre Huyghe, The Institute for Figuring, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Stephen Kaltenbach, On Kawara, Christine Kozlov, David Lamelas, Louise Lawler, Paul Etienne Lincoln, Mark Manders, Kris Martin, Steve McQueen, Helen Mirra, Catherine Murphy, Bruce Nauman, Rivane Neuenschwander, Claes Oldenburg, Roman Ondák, Adrian Piper, Roman Signer and Shomei Tomatsu, among many others. Includes reprints of texts by diverse luminaries such as John McPhee, Jalal Toufic, Oliver Sacks, Allan Kaprow and Robert Smithson.

Christina Kubisch: Cross-Examination (Sound + Light)

Elsa Longhauser, Helga de la Motte, Wendy Steiner, Kubisch

Christina Kubisch: Cross-Examination (Sound + Light)

Elsa Longhauser, Helga de la Motte, Wendy Steiner, Kubisch

Christina Kubisch (born 31 January 1948) is a German composer, sound artist, performance artist, professor and flautist. She composes both electronic and acoustic music for multimedia installations. She gained recognition in the mid-1970s from her early works including concerts, performances and installations. Her work focuses on synthesising audio and visual arts to create multi-sensory experiences for participants. She focuses on finding sounds and music in unusual places that participants would normally not think of as somewhere to experience sound.

This exhibition catalog documents a show that ran January 17 through March 24, 1996. Introduction by Elsa Longhauser. Essay by Helga de la Motte and with a conversation between Wendy Steiner and Kubisch.

Basel School of Design

Basel School of Design

Armin Hofmann (HonRDI) (29 June 1920[1] – 18 December 2020) was a Swiss graphic designer. The Basel School of Design and Its Philosophy: The Armin Hofmann Years, 1946 - 1986. He began his career in 1947 as a teacher at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel School of Art and Crafts and became the head of the graphic design department at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel (Basel School of Design). He was instrumental in developing the graphic design style known as the Swiss Style. His teaching methods were unorthodox and broad based, setting new standards that became widely known in design education institutions throughout the world.

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