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.


Debris Field / Notes for a Poem on the Third World / Soleil Negre

Glenn Ligon, Gregg Bordowitz, Sara Nadal-Melsio

Catalogue of the American artist's exhibition at Galerie Chantal Crousel: the publication presents a series of new works (neon, painting, drawing) inspired by texts by Gertrude Stein and Pier Paolo Pasolini, and by the artist's reflections on language, race and gender. The book includes poems by writer, artist and Act Up activist Gregg Bordowitz, and an essay by teacher and writer Sara Nadal-Melsio.

The publication presents a series of new works by Glenn Ligon, including two figurative neon lights and eleven silkscreen paintings. It also features ten drawings inspired by Gertrude Stein's Three Lives and seven poems from Debris Field, composed by writer, artist and Act Up activist Gregg Bordowitz. Ligon's emblematic and historical work provides an artistic reading on today's social issues in the United States. This new catalogue includes an essay by writer Sara Nadal-Melsio, teacher at Princeton University and NYU and a specialist in questions of intersections between art, philosophy and politics, in militant cinema and in Marxist aesthetics.

Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Galerie Chantal Crousel, from September 8 to October 4, 2018.

Glenn Ligon (born 1960 in New York, where he lives and works) belongs to a generation of artists who came to prominence in the late 1980s on the strength of conceptually based paintings and phototext works, investigating the social, linguistic, and political constructions of races, gender and sexuality. Informed by his experiences as an African American and as a gay man living in the United States, his art is a sustained meditation on issues of quotation, the presence of the past in the present, and the representation of self in relation to culture and history. It incorporates sources as diverse as James Baldwin's literary texts, Martin Luther King's speeches, and Richard Pryor's stand-up comedy routines. The development of ideas around artmaking is central to his aspirations as an artist, both as the conceptual underpinning for his art and as a critique of the society in which we live.

Glenn Ligon has exhibited in numerous institutions around the world. He had two retrospective shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2011) and at the Toronto Plant Power Contemporary Art Gallery (2005). Ligon also participated in the Venice Biennale (2015), the Berlin Biennale (2014), and the Istanbul Biennale (2011). His work is featured in several international collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Tate Modern.

Glenn Ligon: Come Out

Glenn Ligon, Megan Ratner

American artist Glenn Ligon’s latest monumental screen-printed paintings draw upon Minimalist composer Steve Reich’s taped-speech work Come Out.

Ligon’s series recontextualises the phrase ‘Come out to show them’ from the testimony of one of the badly beaten Harlem Six, which Reich isolated for his 1966 work. Whilst Reich repeats the refrain on two channels that gradually become out of sync, Ligon continually superimposes the words onto the canvas to form densely layered landscapes of text. Echoing Reich's music, the artist increases the number of silkscreen layers in each painting until the words verge on abstraction.

Bringing together illustrations of new studies and paintings originally exhibited at Thomas Dane Gallery, London, an essay by Megan Ratner examines the relationship between the paintings, the phrase and history.

Nicolás Guagnini / David Joselit: Session

Nicolás Guagnini, David Joselit

Session is slightly edited transcription of Analysis, a performance by Nicolás Guagnini and David Joselit that took place September 28, 2019 between 7 and 7:50 pm at Bortolami Gallery, New York. Analysis coincided with the artist’s exhibition Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina. Session has been annotated, via footnotes, with intimate and often humorous reflections by Joselit in the role of psychoanalyst.

As with most A.R.T. Press publications, the book foregrounds the conversation form – in this case, by playfully adopting the format of a psychoanalytical session, confounding and challenging the role of artist and analysand, art critic and analyst.

Rachel Harrison / Haim Steinbach

Rachel Harrison, Haim Steinbach

This book compiles, in loose chronological order, some of the many pictures that Rachel Harrison and Haim Steinbach exchanged via text-message between 2008 and 2020. Through humour and visual wit that ranges between incisive commentary and an enigmatic private language, the book chronicles an unfolding friendship, ways of seeing and engaging materiality, the textures of the everyday, and the turbulent social and political events amidst which the conversation occurs.

Part of the Between Artists series by A.R.T. Press.

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.

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.

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.“

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.

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.

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.

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