Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis
Monchengladbach, Germany: Städtisches Museum, 1978.
8 x 6.5" x 1.25"
Edition of 440

Accompanying his exhibition, which ran from May 11th to June 11th in 1978, this boxed catalogue consists of a printed cardboard box containing four cards and a multiple by Kounellis made of compressed board, tissue and flammable material. The work is intended to be ignited.


Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys
Mönchengladbach, Germany: Städtische Museum, 1967
20 x 16 x 3 cm
Edition of 330

The fifth entry in the Beuys Multiples Catalogue Raisonne, and the artist's second boxed work, is a catalogue from his first museum solo exhibition. The show is significant to his career for a number of reasons, but perhaps most importantly because the collector Sammlung Karl Ströher (a cosmetics manufacturer responsible for Wella hair products) purchased the complete installation - along with first refusal rights to buy all of the artists’  future output - for 400,000 DM. Three years later, Ströher lent his collection to the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt, and it has been on display ever since. They eventually purchased the work (and many others) years later, and their collection remains the most important public holdings of Beuys’ work.

The cut felt is stamped with oil paint, similar to ...with Browncross, published by Rene Block Editions in 1966.

Stadtisches Museum in Mönchengladbach boxed works

In 1967, director of the Stadtisches Museum in Mönchengladbach Germany Johannes Cladder curated his first exhibition at the venue. He invited Joseph Beuys to present his first ever museum solo exhibition. There were no funds in the budget for an accompanying catalogue, just a small brochure printed on the cheapest paper stock. Beuys, who had published a boxed work with Edition Rene Block the year prior, suggested a catalogue/multiple hybrid and the influential Stadtisches Museum Mönchengladbach publications were born.

Rather than illustrate the exhibitions, the boxed works were typically an independent artistic project, some without any reference to the accompanying show at all. Most included essays and exhibition check lists, but they might also contain found objects, an artists’ production or other interventions into the format.

Cladder continued at the museum until 1985 and always prioritized solo exhibitions over group shows. He presented work from a variety of then-emerging movements, including Arte Povera, Nouveau Réalisme, Minimalism, Post-minimalism, Pop Art, Zero, Fluxus, and Conceptualism. In addition to Beuys, Carl Andre, Bernd & Hilla Becher, and Hanne Darboven (as well as many others) all had their first museum exhibitions in Mönchengladbach.

Artists included in the boxed catalogue series include Andre, Beuys, George Brecht & Robert Filliou, Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Hanne Darboven, Braco Dimitrijevic, Joel Fisher, Jonas Hafner, Jasper Johns, Jannis Kounellis, Richard Long, Piero Manzoni, Panamarenko, Gerhard Richter, Lawrence Weiner and others.

It's hard to overstate the significance of these works. Many of the artists Cladder selected went on to contribute much to the genre of artists' books and/or multiples, but the series itself functioned as a challenge to museum publishing to create primary works alongside their traditional support materials.

For the next week or so, a different boxed edition published by the museum will be posted here daily. If readers have examples in their collections, please forward images to

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kay Rosen | BS

Kay Rosen
Richmond, USA: Plant Zero Project Space, 2000/2004
16 x 8 cm.
Edition of 500

Mail from one of my all time faves today!

A bumper sticker created for the exhibition “On Message, Art for our Time,” curated by Alyssa Salomon in Richmond, Virginia. The 2000/2004 dates suggest the work was timed to coincide with both George Bush campaigns.

Gabriel Orozco | The Thing

The Thing Quarterly just announced that Gabriel Orozco has joined as the newest contributor to their upcoming subscription cycle. He will produce issue 26, which will be released in the winter of 2015. Before him: David Korty next month, followed by Kate & Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, then Brian Roettinger.

This Friday, The Thing hosts No Age, who will turn the venue into both a performance space and recording studio.

For more information, or to subscribe, visit

Monday, April 21, 2014

Title TK | ROCK$

Title TK
Brooklyn, USA: New Images, 2013
[6] pp.,  31.5 x 31.5 cm., softcover
Edition of 500

Title TK is a "banter-prone band" consisting of artist Cory Arcangel, curator Howie Chen and guitarist and author of Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories Alan Licht (who is also currently playing as part of Lee Ranaldo's band The Dust). The group describes themselves as a cross between poet/critic "David Antin and Spinal Tap".

While the band do perform in concert (they appeared at Pop Montreal, and once opened for Bonnie "Prince" Billy) they do not play any music. ROCK$, their debut LP, is a studio recording of a conversation the three had about music. This recording has been transcribed and produced as an LP-like book. No actual audio is included. Their bio describes it as "the only full-length record ever made where every "track" is "non-LP.""

In the summer of 2010 the three participants found themselves discussing "the overabundance of bands in the world these days" and joked about presenting their rambling conversations about music and pop culture as the work of a 'band'. Reading ROCK$ is like listening in on a conversation behind the counter at a record store, with the trio discussing a wide variety of performers (Deerhunter, Van Halen, Ben Stiller, Christina Applegate and Madonna) as part of their many tangents. At one point, for example, the three attempt to identify every band signed to the influential 4AD roster (the group’s name - which is placeholder text in publishing, meaning “title to come” - was also used as the title for an album by 4AD group The Breeders).

The "LP" was released in October of last year, and is available from the publisher, here, for $24.99.

Dieter Roth

Dieter Roth, born today in 1930, produced more significant artists' books than perhaps any other artist (Ed Ruscha's titles are arguably more influential, but Ruscha was not as prolific). He is one of a very small number of artists to have a catalogue raisonné published for both his bookworks and his multiples. Roth died of a heart attack in June of 1998 in his studio in Basel, Switzerland.