Recently Published: A Year in Painting

Purchase A Year in Painting by following this link.

The first monograph by myself. A Year in Painting chronicles the Painting A Day project that I undertook that would jump-start my artistic creativity, encourage personal experimentation and eventually change my artwork in ways that were unexpected.

This monograph, traces the project that began life in late 2014 that would eventually become a project to create a painting every day of the year for 2015. The artworks are presented in chronological order allowing the reader to go on the same journey that the artist experienced.

A Year in Painting contains over 370 full color images with a introduction by Chris Martin.

David Salle: How To See

“In my view, intentionality is not just overrated; it puts the cart so far out in front that the horse, sensing futility, gives up and lies down in the street. Nobody ever loved a painting for its ideas.”

David Salle has a new book out about painting.

Frankly I’m not going to go out and buy it. Right now, it’s not a good fit for me, that does not mean that I’m not interested in some of the things he has to say. The above quote is front and center.

Recently I’ve had a couple of friends go to graduate school – decent schools as well and both have had the same story. Both programs so valued the artist statement (written in the first month of the program) that it was used as an actual roadmap of what the artist would be able to do (or not able to do as the case may be). I for one was a little bit surprised by this because I’ve always thought that time in the studio was meant for exploring and idea generation as well as making finished work.

Needless to say all formal critiques in both programs started with the artist statement and it was used as a literal guide to what was discussed and what was not. Or should I say what was allowed to be discussed.

Although both were lucky they were able to paint at all in their programs, as both were told that painting was still dead and evidently has been since the early 1970’s.

David Salles new book is called How To See and is available from places that sell books.

Double Standard: Ed Ruscha & Mason Williams 1956 – 1971 (Part 1) at Alden Projects

This exhibition explores the early dialogues, collaborations, and the creative relationship between Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams. Williams a life-long friend of Ruscha’s since fourth grade in Oklahoma City, moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles with Ruscha in the mid 50’s.

This exhibition focuses on a small, but extraordinary body of art by Mason Williams as well as selected early highlights of Ruscha’s earlier work. Of particular interest is Williams 36 foot long Bus (1967)—a life-size, silkscreened image of a Greyhound bus (see above) and folded like a map—conceived around the same time as Ruscha’s silver-covered Every Building on the Sunset Strip (which also unfolds to over 27 feet).

William’s and Rucha’s interests intersect on co-mingle in ways during this show I had half a feeling that really the whole show was by Ruscha, clearly that was more of a daydream of my own, but the thought remains and I have a hard time getting away from it. While this is stuck in my head, don’t let that distract you from both a physically interesting and highly cerebral show.

Alden Projects
34 Orchard Street
New York, NY

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 10–Saturday, October 18, 2015

The annual art book holiday list

Those of you who still bother to read this blog know a nit about me, one of the more obvious things is my “Book Problem”. A recent move has manifested this issue in my life in a far more imposing way – I’m actually contemplating another trip to Ikea. I know many of you have no problem with this and often see it as an entertaining way to spend the day (I do too), However I really do not want anymore largish furniture in my home which of course makes this post a little bit bittersweet.

Koudelka: Gypsies (Aperture Press)
This is a reprint of the long out of print book that initially brought Kouldeka international recognition. I’ll admit I still prefer his work of the 68 Communist uprising better, but this is a beautifully nuanced set of images from one of the last great Magnum photographers.

Christian Marclay Cyanotypes (JRP|Ringier Books)
Cyanotypes is a collection of six distinct series produced by Marclay. For the most part they revolve around images created from cassette. The use of Cyanotype in relation to cassettes is interesting as both forms degrade severely over time leaving only memories and faded images in the future.

Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series (Prestel USA)
Gorgeous book. No seriously everything about this book is just about perfect. The images are crisp and densly printed and the natural linen cover with the tipped in plate is great. The cover of this book reminded me of The Durutti Column’s album Without Mercy. Of course the real attraction around here is the art and it doesn’t disappoint. Neither does the text by Sarah Bancroft.

New York Times Photographs (Aperture)
It’s not for nothing that some people refer to the New York Times as the worlds greatest photography magazine. The NYT Sunday Magazine is probably the last of the great pictorial news mediums out there. (although serious props to the Boston Globe’s “the Big Picture) This is a great document to that.

From previous editions of this post but worth mentioning:

Christopher Wool (Taschen)
I’m still in love with this book and if the price were not so prohibitive I’d buy it.

AA Bronson Announces resignation as CEO of Printed Matter

Funded in 1976 by Carl Andre, Edit DeAk, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Walter Robinson, Pat Steir, Mimi Wheeler, Robin White and Irena von Zahn, Printed Matter has always been at the front of many things that taught me that art was not necessarily painting.

I was introduced to Printed Matter and Artist Books (that is book as art – not books about art) at the very same time. When Nancy Roeder took my studio for a visit to VCU’s special books library. At that time Printed Matter and Artist Books as a whole were in their heyday (early 1980’s) however like may things in the eighties, fashion would take a bit of a turn and the artist books movement seemed to have lost momentum. Printed Matter continued in it’s mission of supporting books as art – eventually falling into a period of financial concern.

Mr. Bronson stepped in at that time and has been the CEO of Printed Matter for the last six years. Bronson has led a transformation at Printed Matter by bringing a clear, new relevance to young artists while consistently celebrating what was best in it’s past. He also oversaw the move to Chelsea, the revival of the publishing program and his work in the creation and expansion of The NY Art Book Fair has brought PM back to the foreground where it has always belonged.

Printed Matter’s Board of Directors announced that Catherine Krudy, currently Printed Matter’s Director, will become Acting Executive Director. Ms Krudy has worked under AA Bronson’s direction at Printed Matter since 2006.

We wish Mr. Bronson all the best in his future endeavors.

Photograph of AA Bronson by Ari Marcopoulos

Andy Warhol's "Index"

Most readers know I have a book problem.

This is probably best shown on the number of book related posts I’ve done recently versus art related posts (all that will start to tip the other way next week). Anyway, I have a real desire to own a copy of Andy Warhol’s Index, not everyone knows about this book – published in the 60’s it was viewed as a children’s book for adults. Well a children’s book for drugged adults of the sixties.

Index, next to Marshall Mcluhan’s, The Medium is the Message was probably one of the first true “Pop” books. Featuring a 3d cover, a balloon, a working accordion, a Velvet Underground picture disc, a pop-up castle, special die cuts, Packed with photos by Billy Name, and more wackiness – it is a curious memento of that particular scene.

One that I will admit to having far too much interest in.

I’ve not been able to part with $500 (or more) to bring one of these guys home with me, but If you’ve got one floating around let me know… I’ve found a pretty good source of images of the book and thought I’d share. I think its curious  at a minimum.

Avalanche Magazine

The short-lived New York based art magazine Avalanche, which existed between 1970 and 1976, captured a sense of its time, but also engaged critically with the relationship between printed matter (books, samizdat, etc.) and artwork. Founded by Liza Bear and Willoughby Sharp Avalanche pushed artistic ideas, via interviews with artists and artists’ projects being the mainstays of the magazine.

Which brings us to the present.

Primary Information has reprinted Avalanche as a complete set for the first time in three decades. Originally published in magazine format for the first eight issues, Avalanche switched to a newsprint format for the final five issues. This facsimile edition is a boxed set that houses the individual magazine issues and the newspapers bound in a single book form.

Avalanche focused on new forms of art-making (of it’s day), providing a timely format for art’s movement away from galleries and museums and towards the printed page and emerging discourses surrounding Performance and Land art. The interviews, all conducted by Bear and Sharp, employ a loose but thoughtful approach. Often the articles ran as large as 16 pages. The featured artists were at the time relatively unknown, today they read like a Who’s Who of the avant-garde (in particular as defined by Dia:). The square covers of the early issues feature now iconic portraits of artists; Joseph Beuys, Lawrence Weiner, Yvonne Rainer, Vito Acconci (who had the entire Issue of #6 dedicated to him) and Bruce Nauman.

Featured artists were Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Bill Beckley, Joseph Beuys, Chris Burden, Daniel Buren, Hanne Darboven, Walter De Maria, Jan Dibbets, Barbara Dilley, Simone Forti, Gilbert & George, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Grand Union, Hans Haacke, Jannis Kounellis, Meredith Monk, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Klaus Rinke, Joel Shapiro, Jack Smith, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, George Trakas, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner, the Western Front and Jackie Winsor.

Avalanche by Primary Information is available at Printed Matter.