Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NPR: 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women

Earlier today, NPR posted Turning the Tables, a list of the "150 Greatest Albums Made By Women". Alongside the expected choices (Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith, Beyoncé, etc.) and some deserving but easily overlooked records (The Slits, MIA, ESG, etc.) were five disks that could be considered "artists' records":

Dolmen Music by Meredith Monk at #147

"With her voice, in its infinite permutations — gorgeous slides, ululations, breaths, cries, howls, drones — [Monk] navigated a landscape that seemed both familiar and strangely unfamiliar."

Plastic Ono Band by Yoko Ono at #136

"Jarring, experimental and stunning, Ono's album sounds like a head-on collision between her avant-garde art and Lennon's rock and roll (with touches of free jazz by way of an Ornette Coleman quartet on "AOS"). Yoko's voice is a powerful instrument, and it's honed to near perfection on this album; it ricochets with pre-punk raw aggression and incorporates hetai, a vocal style from Japanese kabuki theater."

Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros (with Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis) at #128

"Throughout her long and distinguished life, Pauline Oliveros abided by the philosophy and practice of deep listening, which is still actively studied by many people today. The album Deep Listening, made with the trombonist and composer Stuart Dempster and the vocalist and composer Paniaotis, was a signpost for a different way of making music. By playing inside of a massive underground cistern, they were able to craft an entirely unique sound on the album. The huge cistern they used at Fort Worden in Washington was effectively an instrument of its own. It supplied massive reverb — an astonishing 45 seconds of reverb, in fact, meaning that the notes they played seemed to hang in midair and stay there. Additional notes would then add to these notes, combining and recombining to create great big clouds of sound."

The Litanies of Satan by Diamanda Galas at #111 

"The album, which clocks in at twenty-eight spine-jolting minutes of Galás's wheezing, whispering and rhythmic wailing that can be heard into the next lifetime, is one of the most singularly influential avant-garde recordings to make its way out of hell and into our world. Artists including PJ Harvey and Zola Jesus have been shaken by The Litanies of Satan, thanks to Galás's stupefying vocal acrobatics — which suggest anything is possible if you dare to pick up a microphone and start screaming."

Big Science by Laurie Anderson at #80

"Big Science is simultaneously silly and prescient, and takes a refreshingly wry attitude to technology's perils compared to today's often obvious commentary on the subject."

Read the full article at NPR.org, here.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jonathan Monk | Accidental Purchase #1, 2014

Jonathan Monk
Accidental Purchase #1, 2014
Book mounted on wood in acrylic glass
43.94 x 41.91 x 3.81 cm.
Unique work

"I collect books by artists.

This is something I am passionate about and it has become some kind of addiction. The search to find something more obscure to add to my collection often leads to slightly extreme measures. But I do try and focus on specific artists – my collection is not all encompassing.

One artist I'm fascinated by is Richard Prince. His books follow a not so traditional trajectory – repetition is a constant. The same book can appear in a number of different guises. Different covers, different languages, and different sizes.

I was fascinated to discover a series of Richard Prince books on American Muscle cars from the 1960's and 70's – they appeared to fit nicely into his overall production... and I'd never seen anything like it before - so I ordered them. They arrived beautifully packed from a small town in the middle of America – it felt like Christmas...

Once opened it became clear that these were not a publications by the artist Richard Prince but by a Chevrolet expert also named Richard Prince. Mistaken identity filling the shelves. These books became the first Accidental Purchases."
- Jonathan Monk

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Henri Chopin | Typewriter poems

Henri Chopin
Typewriter poems
Köln, Germany: Edition Hundertmark, 1982
[16] pp., 20.5 x 14.6 cm., staple-bound
Edition of 500 signed, numbered and dated copies

Available for $75.00 from JN Herlin Books, here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dave Dyment | Decade

Dave Dyment
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2017
28 x 13 cm.
Edition of 3 signed copies

My contribution to the MKG127 anniversary exhibition (see earlier post, and visit the gallery here) is a 14-volume mix tape of songs whose titles contain measurements of time, for example:

Two Weeks by FKA Twigs
14 Days by Life Without Buildings
48 Hours by The Clash
24 Hours by Joy Division
16 Minutes by Belleruche
17 Seconds by The Cure
7 Seconds by Neneh Cherry
5 Seconds by Twin Shadow
etc. etc.

Combined, the titles add up to exactly ten years.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jake and Dinos Chapman | Bring Me the Head of...

Jake and Dinos Chapman
Bring Me the Head of... 
London, UK: Karsten Schubert, 1996
VHS, 30 min
Edition of 200 signed and numbered copies

A thirty-minute film in which two porn actresses pleasure themselves using the head of gallerist Franco Toselli, whose nose has been replaced with a phallus (see previous post).

"I like the way pornography is like an industrial process of the thing which is the most unmechanical and unindustrial: the sexual act or the acts around the sexual act. Constantly in our work there is an attempt to make an object and run around the other side to watch it, in the same way as anyone else would watch it. That is the most infantile aspect of our work. It is a reflective narcissism. We like to be spectators of our own work. The video is the same thing. We wanted to submit this head to the people who made the video and say ‘We want you to neutralize this object’."

- Jake Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman | Bring Me the Head of...

Jake and Dinos Chapman
Bring Me the Head of...
Self-published, 1994
40.7 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm.
Edition of 15

In 1994, the Milan gallerist Franco Toselli was slated to exhibit the Chapmans’ sculpture Mummy and Daddy Chapman, produced the year before. When Toselli received the work - two mannequins with genitalia sprouting from various parts of their bodies - he refused to show it.

As revenge, the Chapmans remodelled the head of ‘Daddy Chapman’ and substituted a dildo for his nose. The work was cast in fibreglass and resin, painted and given a wig.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Again and Again

[Klein and Co.]
Again and Again
Toronto, Canada: MKG127, 2017
[unpaginated], 18.5 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm., boxed
Edition of 500

Michael Klein opened MKG127 ten years ago last month, and this gorgeous catalogue (and its accompanying exhibition) celebrates the gallery's milestone.

Housed inside a screen-printed clear box are single-fold booklets for each artist represented by the gallery, an accordion-fold timeline of every exhibition and project from the last decade, and a booklet of texts. The latter includes an interview with Klein by Robert Enright (whose previous interview subjects include Christo, Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, composer Gavin Bryars, filmmaker Peter Greenaway, etc. etc.), alongside personal essays by Sky Glaboush, Dan Adler, Elle Kurancid, Christina Ritchie and myself.

I confess to having had some serious skepticism about the project (the potential for navel gazing in an anniversary publication typically overwhelms), so consider this my volte-face. The title certainly includes some (earned) love and affection, but never tips over into outright sentimentality, and giving each artist their own brochure allows them to present their own work (sometimes documentation, sometimes an artist project for the page) on its own terms. Despite the fast turn around, nothing in the book feels hurried, which is a testament to Kleins Michael and Lily, and to Alex Bowron, who were responsible for wrangling the two dozen or more participants.

The project is beautifully designed by Emma Wright, and features a cover graphic by Laurel Woodcock. The book is dedicated in her memory.

Visit MKG127 here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Richard Long | River Avon Book

Richard Long
River Avon Book
Bristol, UK: Self-published, 1979
[34] pp., 15.8 x 14.2 x 1 cm., slipcase
Edition of 106

"I think the first mud work on paper was River Avon Book of 1979, where I had the idea to make this book with the pages dipped in muddy water. So I got all these sheets, quite big sheets, and after they had been dipped in the muddy water they were cut down and bound into these books. That was the first time I used paper with mud on it."
- Richard Long

Monday, July 17, 2017

Gerhard Richter | Eis

Gerhard Richter
Rome, Italy: Galleria Pieroni, 1981
158 pp., 20 cm x 12 cm., softcover
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies [+APs]

Published by Galleria Pieroni, who exhibited the works on the walls in 1981, Eis (Ice) is an artist book containing photographs of Greenland that the artist took 9 years prior, in 1972. The covers are each unique, made with lacquer on card, and folded into a dust jacket (see image 4, above).

The book has been reprinted as a facsimile in 2016 by Salon Verlag, Cologne, Germany, in an edition of 350 (see below) and in 2011 was released as a more standard trade edition.

A full accounting of the edition, from the artists' website:

• 90 copies, signed in pencil, numbered on the first page.
• 10 copies, signed in pencil, numbered with Roman numerals on the first and last page.
• 16 artist's proofs, signed in pencil, marked on the first page: a.p.
• 1 artist's proof without inside flaps, signed in pencil, marked on the first and last page: a.p.
• 2 copies, unmarked.
• Unknown (low) number of copies with offset printed colour cover, unmarked.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Brian Kennon | Secession - Christopher Wool [Josh Smith]

Brian Kennon
Secession - Christopher Wool [Josh Smith]
Los Angeles, USA: Self-published, 2011
48 pp., 20.3 × 29.8 cm., softcover
Edition size undefined

The third volume in Kennon's series of altered Christopher Wool facsimile reprints (see below posts) is subtitled Josh Smith and features images of works by the New York painter, who collaborated with Wool on the bookwork Can Your Monkey Do The Dog? (named after this excellent Rufus Thomas song).

The title is available for €55.00, from Motto, here. Visit the artist's website, here:


Brian Kennon | Secession - Christopher Wool [Polaroids #2]

Brian Kennon
Secession - Christopher Wool [Polaroids #2]
Los Angeles, USA: Self-published, 2011
48 pp., 20.3 × 29.8 cm., softcover
Edition size undefined

The second in a series of three altered Christopher Wool catalogues (see below posts).

Brian Kennon | Secession - Christopher Wool [Polaroids #1]

Brian Kennon
Secession - Christopher Wool [Polaroids #1]
Los Angeles, USA: Self-published, 2011
48 pp., 20.3 × 29.8 cm., softcover
Edition size undefined

The first in a series of three facsimile reprints of Christopher Wool's Secession book (see below post),  in which Kennon substitutes the polaroid images of Wool's paintings for polaroids found online (mostly nudes, but also some Warhol self portraits, etc.). Published in conjunction with an exhibition titled Get In at Ltd Los Angeles (below), the books are produced in an 'undefined' edition size.

"If pictures give us an out, it also gives us an in. There are innumerable strange and usual sex practices, for example, that curiously get looked up online by teenagers and others, but never actually engaged in, from transsexuals to fun with fruit. We're curious, but perhaps shy or afraid of what things are, the pictures allow us in to the fantasy to see if it suits us, the picture allows us to discover ourselves with enough distance to feel safe.

Isn't critiquing a work of art a way of “getting into the picture? ” Appropriation a way to make the art your own, whether that's snapshots of art in the homes of fancy art collectors (Louise Lawler) or outright knock-offs (Sherrie Levine) or Prince rephotographing ads, each claims previous territory or in the limitless countries of meaning, we don't even say it has to be reclaimed, but is simply new territory whose existence like a peninsula depends on the mainland to exist, but is still wholly separate. Even the act I'm performing now, writing about art, let?s me get into the picture, become a collaborator with its meaning, to be owned by it as something that perplexes or engages me, to own it by making my own meanings for it, even those hewn out of simple biography. Though you wouldn't know this looking at most art writers (or what they write for that matter), but writing about art can feel sexy."
- Brian Kennon, exhibition press release

Available from Motto, for €55.00, here.