Thursday, January 18, 2018

Imprint93 at Printed Matter

Imprint93, an archive exhibition of Mattew Higgs' stellar mail art publishing venture opens tomorrow evening at Printed Matter, from six to eight pm. 

Artist, writer and current Director of White Columns, Higgs published and disseminated over fifty works under the banner of Imprint93, between the years 1993 and 1998. Higgs invited artists to create works of art that could fit inside an envelope to be distributed, unsolicited, by mail to an informal group of friends, artists, and curators. Mostly printed on an office photocopier, Higgs self-financed the production and mailing costs. 

The artists involved were often at the beginnings of their careers, working on the periphery of the then emerging 'YBA' movement. Their subsequent success speaks to Higgs' keen eye and knowledge of the scene. The exhibition features the work of Fiona Banner, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Peter Doig, Ceal Floyer, Alan Kane, Hilary Lloyd, Paul Noble, Chris Ofili, Elizabeth Peyton, Bob and Roberta Smith, Jessica Voorsanger and Stephen Willats, and many others. Highlights include Martin Creed’s Work no. 88 (1994) - a crumpled ball of A4 paper that the Tate Gallery returned flattened inside an envelope, 'rejected' as an unsolicited donation.

Originating at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2016, this presentation marks the first North American showing of the project in its entirety, including many rarely-seen works and related ephemera. 

Accompanying the exhibition are reissues of editions by Jeremy Deller, Peter Doig, and Martin Creed (signed and numbered, edition of 50 each), as as well as a second printing of Elizabeth Peyton's Untitled Imprint contribution, a zine featuring video stills of Kurt Cobain performing in 1993. 

Roula Partheniou | Cup and Ball

Roula Partheniou's Cup and Ball - which is up for view on the 69th floor of the BMO Tower in Toronto - debuted last night. 

The work is made from acrylic paint on wood or MDF (the cups, the bucket of balls, the tickets, most of the prizes) and cast resin (the lollipops and super balls). 

For more information, or to book a viewing, visit

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dave Dyment | A Dollar and Two Crowns

Dave Dyment
A Dollar and Two Crowns
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2018
12 x 14.5"
Edition of 5 signed and numbered copies

In addition to a large light box version (24 x 40 x 24 inches), A Dollar and Two Crowns is available as a boxed collection of thirteen images printed on thick plexiglass, with a hand-painted cover. The work consists of X-rays featuring instances of ingested currency and lost teeth:  five pennies, two nickels, a dime, three quarters and two crowns.

"The one exception in the exhibition has nothing to do with other artists' art but it is also based on found material. The series of x-ray images that make up A Dollar and Two Crowns are taken from images of the insides of individuals who have swallowed coins and teeth. The alien elements literally become part of the person. When they are viewed, they are seen as solid white shapes within the murky blur of our bodies. Their presence is undeniable. The person will pass away; what will remain is the art. "
- Terrence Dick, Akimbo

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cosima von Bonin | Color Wheel

Cosima von Bonin
Color Wheel
Zurich, Switzerland: Parkett, 2008
47 x 6 cm.
Edition of 45 signed and numbered copies

Produced for Parkett 81, this rolling pin as colour wheel is made of stainless steel with polypropylen
handles, and is enamelled in 7 colours and released with the statement "Take the pastry of concept, roll it out with the colors of the rainbow, and serve it up with a dollop of debate."

Read the accompanying Parkett article here.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fiona Banner | Nude Calendar

Fiona Banner
Nude Calendar
London, UK: The Vanity Press, 2017
26 pp.,  42 x 29.7 cm., spiral bound
Edition size unknown

A 2018 nude calendar featuring the artist's written descriptions of the nude form.

"I don't see myself as working in the grand history of the nude in art: my work isn't at all similar to Lucian Freud's, for example. But the complexity that surrounds the nude – the questions about gender that define the history of the nude, and for that matter the history of description per se – are a motivation.

I got involved in looking at and describing the human form through watching war films. It occurred to me, after a while, that their images were pornographic in nature – both alluring, seductive and repulsive. That got me into looking at porn films. I began to think that they were like life drawings, only with all the rules broken. They have very limited narrative: often no script, virtually no dialogue, just the hovering gaze. I described these films moment by moment, in my own words, and made very big pictures from them. They take something very private and domestic, and make it heroic. After that, I worked with a striptease artist. She came to my studio and undressed, and I began describing her act verbally. It became a kind of striptease in words.

I generally never use life models – I usually work with people I know. We need a good rapport, especially for the performances I do, in which I stage a bare classical studio set-up with an easel, but then describe the nude model in front of a live audience. It's a bit of theatre. It's dead serious, but tongue-in-cheek as well. The performances are really taut, tense but oddly funny, for the audience as well as for me and the model.

The artwork itself has become vulnerable, because the mechanisms around it have been stripped back, exposed. The performances expose these layers of voyeurism – my voyeurism looking at the model, and the audience's voyeurism looking at me making the art, and looking at the model. But then the very way we look at all art, the way we treat artworks, the way we present them, is itself erotic. There is always that voyeuristic distance and rarification. Nudity is oddly taboo, even though, or perhaps because, we come into the world naked, and it's how we leave.

The first time you walk into a life-drawing class as a student, there's a frisson of excitement about how to formalise a moment that would normally be very intimate and very erotic. So what happens on paper in that class – the drawing or painting of the nude model – becomes an erotic act. It can also be brutal. In terms of a narrative structure, the nude is both protagonist and reader, or the subject and viewer in one. There's no narrative embellishment, just the bare standing figure; no before or after.

We always come back to the issue of describing the human form. It's a way of describing ourselves – an attempt to stall time long enough to make some kind of reflection, not of the stuff around, but of us, the flesh. Every life drawing, good or bad, is like a gravestone, an attempt to make permanent that which is always passing, an attempt to seize what we can't hold."

- Fiona Banner, The Guardian, 2009

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Reverend Howard Finster badges for Talking Heads' Little Creatures LP

"I’ve been a fan of the work of what are called “outsider” artists for a long time. One of these artists, the Reverend Howard Finster, did the cover of a Talking Heads record many years ago. When I was thinking about this record recently, and what images might visually represent it, it occurred to me that many of these artists focus intensely on what they feel might be a better world. The hope, the longing and the need to imagine what could be is widespread, and manifests in so much of their work. They are dreamers—as are we all."

- David Byrne, 2018