Black & white illus. throughout. 32 pp. 8vo, yellow pictorial wrappers, staple-bound. Seattle: Nine One One & The Real Comet Press, 1984.
Very rare exhibition catalogue of artists’ books. Curated by Clive Phillpot, Jill Medvedow, and Laura Millin, the show was simultaneously staged in four public locations around Seattle.
From the Introduction by Medvedow: “It is my experience that people do not go to a gallery to read. So, when Nine One One, a contemporary arts and resource center, received a grant to organize an exhibition of artists’ books, I was determined to find a way to place the books publicly, reach new audiences and test the validity of the premises upon which book art rests. I decided to situate the books in public waiting rooms in downtown Seattle and finally chose the Belltown Department of Health and Social Services (Welfare), the Metrocenter at the YMCA, a local organization providing community assistance and support, The Pike Place Market Senior Center, and Two Bells Tavern, a local artist and working class bar…
“We attempted to present a representative sampling of artists’ books as well as to choose books which would speak to a diverse audience and one not necessarily steeped in the history of the book as art. This was a difficult process; we also were committed to representing women and artists of color. I felt that the works which addressed social issues were particularly relevant given the context of the show…”
The curators’ selections included works by Matthew Geller, Masao Gozu, Sol LeWitt, Rebecca Michaels, Janice Rogovin, Martha Rosler, Erika Rothenberg, Ed Ruscha, Telfer Stokes, and Mark Sullo. There is also an essay by Phillpot, one of the foremost scholars of artists' publications.
A fascinating catalogue that grapples with the initial utopian visions for the “democratic multiple” and artists’ books amid the disheartening realities of the 80s.
Near fine copy; small price label on upper wrapper. We locate just the examples at UC-Santa Barbara and the Clark Art Institute.
❧ Phillpot’s catalogue essay “Contemporary Artists Rediscover the Book” is not re-published in Booktrek (2013).
Item ID: 7784