A Different Kind of Order

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

Right now I am working on a future blog post, scanning book covers and working up an essay.

In the meantime, I would like to briefly review a selection of some of the books that are on my desk, and in my office, that have persistently remained as others come and go.

I have a bound journal, Artforum vol. 3, Sept-June 1964-1965.  I am reviewing by browsing art history journal titles from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, looking for articles on or about photography.  Tracing the literature.  This includes looking at which books were being reviewed, which photography exhibitions were discussed, and reading artist/photographer interviews.  I am also looking at gallery and museum exhibition announcements, advertisements, and other traces.  This is an interesting and daunting process.  I am using Zotero to manage my bibliography and citations as I slog through this process of discovery.

I have a small publication titled “Publishing as (part-time) Practice: the Swedish graphic designers edition) that I picked up at the 2012 NY Art Book Fair.  What is interesting about this publication is that the graphic designers that created it following a daylong symposium in Stockholm in May of 2012 assert the relevancy and primacy of authorship in creative publishing by designers.  Essentially making a place for designers within a field previously privileged by “artists” making artist books.  Designers are making similar works in this century but it does not seem right to call these same/similar publications “artist books”.  Independent publishing by designers, or independent publishing by artists, seems more true to form.

I also have a 1997 copy of Lucy Lippard’s 1973 book “Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972.” This is the first California paperback edition.  The contents, in review, include “escape attempts,” Author’s Notes, Preface, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, Postface, and Index.  If you have always meant to read this book but have not, and you are interested in conceptual art and photography, I encourage you to pick this book up, or check it out from your library.  Then I’d encourage you to read through the catalog published by the Brooklyn Museum of Art last year for an exhibition related to this publication.

Of course I still have a copy of 10 x 10 American Photobooks on my desk.  (Noted in a previous post)

I have a file folder from our Library‘s Vertical File for Stieglitz, Alfred.  This folder includes the following:

1) “Stieglitz in the Darkroom,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, October 4, 1992 – February 14, 1003.

– A 14 page catalog, or pamphlet, really, with an essay, notes, selected further reading list, and glossary of terms.

2) “Alfred Stieglitz: at Lake George,” June 20-September 22, 1996.

– A single fold exhibition announcement.

3) “The Yale University Library Gazette,” April 1951, vol. 25 no. 4.

– Opening to and starting on page 123 and running through page 130, is an essay by Doris Bry that starts with “What is Stieglitz?”

4) “Alfred Stieglitz and an American place, 1929-1946,” May 2-June 2, 1978, Zabriskie Gallery, 29 West 57 Street, NY 10019.

– A pamphlet, staple bound, 12-page catalog.  One page essay, 6 photograph reproductions, one photo per page, Check list of photographs by Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, Alfred Stieglitz, and paintings by Charles Demuth, Arthur G. Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keefe.  There is a note, too, thanking and listing lenders to the exhibition.

5) Alfred Stieglitz, An exhibition of photographs by, March 15 to April 27, 1958, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

– Includes a forward by John Walker, Director, and an essay by Doris Bry, followed by a check list of prints in the exhibition, a chronology, and bibliography, then selected plates from the exhibition.

Two other books of note, on my desk, are “Cultural Hijack: Rethinking Intervention,” edited by Ben Perry, et. al., and “Fully Booked: Ink on Paper,” published by Gestalten.  Both are quite interesting.  The latter relates to the Swedish publication, noted above.

Have you seen “A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial“?  Authors are listed as Joanna Lehan, Kristen Lubben, Christopher Phillips, Carol Squiers.  The Executive Director, Mark Robbins, introduces the book with “Out of Order: Director’s Forward.” The curatorial team further introduces the book and themes with short essays.  The themes include: Analog; Artist as Aggregator; Collage; Community; Mapping and Migration; Post-Photography; Self-Publishing; The New Aesthetic.  Following this introduction are entries for artists, including a brief sketch, place and year of birth, where the artist currently lives, and some color plates.  The photographers include: Roy Arden, Huma Bhabha, Nayland Blake, A.K. Burns, Aleksandra Domanovic, Nir Evron, Sam Falls, Lucas Foglia, Jim Goldberg, Mishka Henner, Thomas Hirschhorn, Elliott Hundley, Oliver Laric, Andrea Longacre-White, Gideon Mendel, Luis Molina-Pantin, Rabih Mroue, Wangechi Mutu, Sohei Nishino, Lisa Oppenheim, Trevor Paglen, Walid Raad, Nica Ross, Michael Schmelling, Hito Steyerl, Mikhael Subotzky/Patrick Waterhouse, Shimpei Takeda.

What is on your desk?

UBER ALLES by Erik Steinbrecher

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

In late September when I visited the Berlin Art Book Fair: MISS READ, I had the pleasure to meet and visit with most of the vendors. In my last posting I shared information about the September Issue, which I picked up at the fair. During my visit I also had the pleasure to be introduced to Erik Steinbrecher by the artist Michalis Pichler. A couple of days later following a tour of the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the curator, Dr. Michael Lailach gave me a copy of “UBER ALLES” that was co-published with the author, Erik Steinbrecher.

“UBER ALLES” was published in 2013. The ISBN is 978-3886-097326, and the current price is 35.00 euros. Erik was gracious enough to provide a short description of this project:
“This artist’s book is a collection of eleven items including booklets, photography,
posters by Erik Steinbrecher. This publication accompanies the artist’s exhibiton
at the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin from 8 November 2012 to 17 February
2013. The show presents books, prints and other artworks from 1995 to 2012.”

The titles of the items included in the bag UBER ALLES are:
1 Paar Schuhe/ pair of shoes
Astra Turbo
Knacki Knacki
Wie am Schnu?rli
Free Poster ( Ei/ egg)

Artist Biography:
Erik Steinbrecher, born in 1963 in Basel, lives and works in Berlin. His work has developed in two main directions: the area of architecture and sculpture and the realm of photography. The artist not only realises more and more projects in public space, but he also takes a passionate interest in images of the mass media.

I am including some images of UBER ALLES in this posting.

What is most impressive is Erik’s publishing record. Since starting to explore the arena of Independent Publishing he has produced many more titles than most artists produce in a lifetime of publishing. I will post a few more examples of his photobooks in a few days.

Untitled (September Magazine)

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

While at the Berlin Art Book fair in late September I made a point to visit with all of the 95 plus book vendors. One that stood out was Vanity Press. I picked up a new edition of Fiona Banner’s “All the World’s Fighter Planes” and a photo book/magazine by Paul Elliman, Untitled (September Magazine), co-published by Vanity Press and Roma Publishers. It is a delightful send-up of the September issue of Vogue magazine. But what is nice about Elliman’s version is that, like the Ruscha photobooks of the early 1960s, this includes no descriptive text, if you don’t count the barcode on the cover. In essence it is a distillation or reduction of this infamous issue of Vogue that arrives at the newsstand and in mailboxes early in the fall season, but this rendition is purely image based; only the sumptuous full page, full bleed photos of models, clothing, nudity. What we secretly enjoy and are drawn to in fashion magazines. There are even fold out pages of this glossy magazine. My only regret was that there were none of the perfume pages that stud fashion magazines. But that is a minor regret.

IMAGES: click here for a link to the Vanity press website where you can view images of Untitled (September Magazine).

Copies can be purchased at a premium from the publisher in pounds Sterling, or I just found two copies on Amazon.com USA, for $57.00.

Here is copy from Vanity press about this publication:
Untitled (September magazine)
Paul Elliman is a London based artist whose practice is frequently referenced by graphic designers. His work with typography, using found objects and industrial débris in which no letter-form is repeated, is legendary.

Paul Elliman’s publication takes the form of a 600 page glossy magazine, completely absent of any editorial text. Instead, it is only comprised of heavily cropped and juxtaposed images collected by Elliman over many years. The publication conveys in itself a kind of text spelled out in body shapes, signs and gestures. “In photographed fragments, the body seems both to correspond to the shapes of letters and to assume writing’s inanimate agency. Or maybe another spirit altogether is communicated by the perverse range of images, a secret map of the inner territory of language conducted by the body…Some of the shapes and lines resemble script or alphabetical signs: vertical, diagonal or horizontal limbs; straight, arching or crossed arms, the curve of the back or the neck. But in most cases they seem even more abstract, whether moving or still, even while enacting gender or other socially-specific coded gestures or posture”

Untitled (September magazine) Published by The Vanity Press, London and Roma Publications, Amsterdam, 2013



An Opportunity…?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

Association of Art Historians 40th Annual Conference 10-12 April 2014

The Royal College of Art, London

Call for Papers: Expanded Photography

Session Chair: Dr. Lucy Soutter, The Royal College of Art

Contemporary artists are transforming our understanding of photography by combining it with other forms and activities. Many recent works incorporating photography have material or spatial aspects, overlapping with painting, sculpture, installation or architecture. Others emphasize action or the passage of time, combining photography with elements of moving image, performance or audience participation. Digital technology provides yet further hybrid manifestations of photography within art. While many such works have roots in the conceptual art of the 1960s-70s or in the more recent activities of “new media” there are many that could not have been conceived before the present era. How are we to undertand such practices? What is their relationship to the history of photography and the history of art more broadly?

The panel considers the current extensions of photography within the expanded field of contemporary art. Papers may address questions including: to what extent do contested notions of medium remain useful? Should we follow George Baker in regarding photography as merely one form among others, no longer a destination in itself? Is it productive to consider practices that combine photography with other forms alongside one another, and what might it contribute to our understanding to do so? How do these concerns relate to existing theories of the photographic? What are the implications for the future study of photography?

Abstracts of less than 250 words + CV or short bio may be sent to lucy.soutter@rca.ac.uk before 11 November, 2013.

Responses will be sent by 20 November.

Recent Acquisitions: Personal Library

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

As noted earlier, I had the pleasure to attend both the NY Art Book Fair and the Berlin Art Book Fair in the same weekend. Unfortunately I did not have time to adequately browse the fair in NY in a manner suitable to collecting and acquiring new titles. I did, however, pick up the Eve Fowler book (see recent post) and the three books I will discuss in this posting. In a future posting I will share and discuss books I received as gifts from Michael Lailach, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Sammlung Buch – und Medienkunst, from the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. He presented me with a publication and a large ziploc bag with ten artists’ publications by a German artist (stay tuned).

The New York Art Book Fair 2013

This first entry is for The New York Art Book Fair program/fair/conference guide.  It is a small publication measuring 15×10.5 cm, and 1.5 cm thick.  The fair is managed by Printed Matter and held at MOMA PS 1.  This year the fair was September 19-23, 2013, with an opening preview on Thursday evening.  This small publication is arranged as follows: two pages of front matter; descriptions of New Editions commissioned by Printed Matter for the fair; a description of the New Publication by Eve Fowler commissioned by the Conference planning committee (of which I am a part of); an overview of the Conference; an overview of the Classroom (a curated series of conversations, readings, and various other events); a schedule of Book Signings; listings of Featured Programs & Performances; (each year the NYABF focuses on a country or theme, this year …) the Focus on Photography, included a room of just photobooks and photo magzines; The Schoolyard (zinsters and innovative publications), including Friendly Fire (politically minded artists), and Flaming Creatures (queer artists and zine makers); and featured exhibitions as part of the fair; and a focus on Swiss publishing.  The remainder and majority of the publication is reserved for ad listings for each of the nearly 300 publishers/vendors included in the fair.

Booktrek, Clive Philpot

As part of the Conference there were two Keynote presentations.  The first was at 7pm Thursday night as part of the Fair preview.  This keynote featured a conversation between Clive Phillpot, director of the MoMA library from 1977 to 1994, and Christophe Cherix, MoMA’s Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books, who contributed to the introduction of Phillpot’s new book published by JRP: Booktrek.  This is a book of selected essays on artist’s books from 1972 to 2010, penned by Phillpot.  The table of contents include the Forward, a conversation between Clive Phillpot, Lionel Bovier, and Christophe Cherix; an Introduction titled “from N.E. Thing Co. to Anything goes?”; 28 essays, starting with a short piece in 1972 through to an essay on Sol LeWitt in 2010; 246 pages in total.  Back matter includes a “Bibliography: Twentysix Valued Volumes, 2002”, Index of Names, and acknowledgements. The interview is worth reading as it puts Phillpot’s essays into context.  This publication measures 21 x 15 x 2.5 cm.

the book on books on artists books

The Book on Books on Artists Books, is by Arnaud Desjardin and published by The Everyday Press, London, 2011.  The copy I have in hand is a second edition of a book originally published as an artist’s book.  In the Forward, the author encourages the reader to “get in touch” if they “notice any mistakes, mis-attributions, and mis-descriptions.”  Part of the aim of this publication is to introduce new works to each reader.  Following the Forward is a brief introduction about the book including information about bibliographic data, bibliographic hierarchies, and bibliographic information; the history and roles there of, and the relative importance to the entries within this volume.  This is essentially a reference bibliography on the topic of artist’s books.  (I encourage you to read the Introduction before reading or browsing the following entries in this book, should you decide to purchase it).  The bibliography is organized into the following categories: Exhibition Catalogs, pp. 11-74; General Reference, pp. 75-120; Collection Catalogs, pp. 121-132; Artist Monographs, pp. 133-164; Publisher Monographs, pp. 165-176; Artists’ Books on Books, pp. 177-184; Periodicals, pp. 185-196; Publisher Catalogs, pp. 197-222; Yearbooks & Fair Catalogs, pp. 223-230; Dealerships, pp. 231-307.  There is a “caveat” by the author explaining how this arrangement is not traditional.  Also, I should mention that each of these preceding categories includes a short description, or explanation.  There is also an Addendum, pp. 308-319.  This includes all of the publications that were left out of the first edition and are not included in the preceding categories.  The author acknowledges these omissions may be significant, but that they did the best they could to compile known titles at the time of publication.  If you are interested in the literature of or about artists’ books, you should consider adding this book to your collection of reference resources.  It is not exhaustive, but does include important titles, known and unknown.  This publication measures 22 x 15 x 2.3 cm.

Photobooks and NY Art Book Fair

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

Each year since 2008 the Contemporary Artist’s Books Conference has commissioned the publication of an artists’ book — sales help underwrite the costs of the conference.  For this year’s edition the Conference Organizing Committee worked with Eve Fowler to create a new book: ANYONE TELLING ANYTHING IS TELLING THAT THING.  The book includes an essay by Lita Perta and Corrine Fitzpatrick.  The book documents Fowler’s use of text based posters in public places (see details below); the text on the posters comes from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons.  The book is available at Printed Matter

A free download of Tender Buttons can be found on the Project Gutenberg website.

Even Fowler, 2013

Even Fowler, 2013

.Eve Fowler, detail

Eve Fowler, detail


Eve Fowler, detail

THIS WEEKEND — 1st Annual Detroit Art Book Fair

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

I just discovered this announcement in an email this afternoon.

The Detroit Art Book Fair will be located in Detroit’s Eastern Market neighborhood. The fair is being hosted by DittoDitto and you can contact the organizers here.  The dates, location, and events information, below, are taken directly off of their website.  Most of the vendors are from MI, but a handful are from Toronto, one from AR and PA, and a couple from IL.  At present there are 29 vendors listed on the website.  If you can’t make this fair, or the others mentioned in a previous post, check out the Fair websites and browse the links for each of the vendors.  For the Detroit Fair there are representative examples of current publishing: independent, artists’, and self-.  From photobooks to comix to handmade books.

Saturday, October 5 — 12PM-6PM
Sunday, October 6 — 12PM-4PM

Fourteen-Eighty Gratiot Gallery
1480 Gratiot Ave.
Detroit, MI 48207

Saturday, October 5th:
7:30PM Reading by Leigh Gallagher (Brooklyn, NY) at 1480 Gratiot Ave.
7:30PM Reading and book launch by Matthew Polzin (Detroit, MI) at 1480 Gratiot Ave.
8:30PM Mystic Places book signing by Justin James Reed (Richmond, VA) at 1420 Gratiot Ave.

Book Fairs – Up Coming & Recent

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments

Up Coming Book Fairs
Vancouver Art/Book Fair, October 5-6, 2013, Vancouver
Salon Light #10, October 5-6, 2013, Paris
OffPrint Paris, November 14-17, 2013, Paris
KIOOSK vol.2, November 16-17, 2013, Kraków
Rookie Book Fair, December 7-8, 2013, Poznan
LA ART BOOK FAIR, January 31 – February 2, 2014, Los Angeles

Recent Book Fairs
LE BAL Books week-end, September 6-8, 2013, Paris
The London Art Book Fair, September 13-15, 2013, London
MISS READ, September 19-22, 2013, Berlin
NY ART BOOK FAIR, September 20-22, 2013, New York
The Tokyo Art Book Fair, September 21-23, 2013, Tokyo
Unseen Book Market, September 26-29, 2013, Amsterdam

Last week I had the pleasure to attend the NY Art Book Fair, and the MISS READ Berlin Art Book Fair, in the same weekend.

Just Received in the Mail

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Tony White | No Comments
book cover
Book cover – front

I just received a preview copy of this recently published book (full disclosure, I was invited to write a short essay that is one of ten in this book).

Matthew Carson, Russet Lederman, and Olga Yatskevich edited the book, in association with the International Center of Photography Library, Photobook Facebook Group, and the Tokyo Institute of Photography. 10 x 10 Photobooks & bookdummypress published the book. Additional information can be found at: www.10x10photobooks.org.

The book includes two newsprint inserts. Tuomas Korpijaakko & Pierre Le Hors designed one. Ihiro Hayami & Rie Imanaka coordinated the other one.

The book is in English and Japanese. The table of contents for 10 x 10 American Photobooks includes: an Introduction, Essays, Reading Room Selections, English Language Online Selections, and Japanese Language Online Selections. Following a statement of introduction by the three co-editors, are the essays. The ten authors include, in order: David Levi Strauss, Tony White, Miwa Susuda, Ken Schles, Evan Mirapaul, Andrew Roth, Bernard Yenelouis, Michael Saur, Bryan Formhals, William E. Jones.

The Reading Room Selections include selections from the following people: Alec Soth & Brad Zellar, Harper Levine & John Gossage, David Solo, Shannon Michael Cane, Leigh Ledare, Larissa Leclair, Bruno Ceschel, Christina Labey, Lindsey Castillo & Rebecca O’Keefe & Grant Willing, and David Senior. Each person or group selected his or her top ten selections for this chapter.

For the English Online Selections chapter, the following ten people listed their top ten photo books: Adam Bell, Tom Claxton, Jorg Colberg, Matt Johnston, Melanie McWhorter, Eric Miles, Jame Pomerantz, Heidi Sanders, Douglas Stockdale, Philip Tomaru.

For the Japanese Online Selections chapter, Ihiro Hayami the Japanese chief editor for PhaT PHOTO, and as part of this collaborative American/Japanese publication, encouraged readers to review the ten selections made by all of the contributors. And I implore you to do so as well. Check out the selections from each of the following contributors: Yoshikatsu Fujii, Sawako Fukai, Yumi Goto, Ihiro Hayami & Atsushi Hamanaka, Akira Higashikata, Taka Kawachi, Mika Kobayashi, Takayuki Kobayashi, and Kazuhiro Yamaji.

All of the essays and selection essays are published in English and translated into Japanese as well.