Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

THE catalogue!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2013 carnegie international catalogue cover

This is the freshest catalogue I have seen in a long time. Artist Pierre Leguillon said that it looks like an annual report—and it somehow is: no gimmicks but full of information worth its price. Or as New York Times critic Roberta Smith put it: “excellent.” It has new texts on all artists written by Dan Byers, Amanda Donnan, Tina Kukielski, Raymund Ryan, Lauren Wetmore, and myself. You can listen to one of them here, the e-mail interview with Wade Guyton.

The catalogue contains an introduction explaining what this show is about—see an excerpt below—as well as three essays by the co-curators laying out their different points of view. Art historian Robert Bailey explores the International’s unique history and its relationship to the museum’s collection; urban planner Gabriela Burkhalter contributes a pioneering article on the history of playgrounds—with amazing pictures. You will also find a quite engaging text from 1961 by former Carnegie Museum of Art director Gordon Bailey Washburn, unaware of the transformations the 1960s were about to unfurl; a scheme about play by the French intellectual Roger Callois from 1958; an introduction to abstraction by Chicago curator Katharine Kuh from 1951; a quasi-abstract reflection on the difference between art and action by French poet Stéphane Mallarmé from 1897; an astonishingly contemporary set of claims for a better use of public space by artist Robert Rauschenberg from 1968; an ode to the power of laziness as a form of resistance by exhibition artist Mladen Stilinović from 1993; and a reflection on spam describing the conditions of our technological world by artist and writer Hito Steyerl from 2011.

And hey, 1,000 thanks go to Katie Reilly, THE&OUR director of publication and to Chad Kloepfer and Jeff Ramsey, THE designers! More pictures!

Excerpt from the introduction:
Despite social media, the Internet, and our global information economy, it still makes a difference if you live in Tehran, a village near Kraków, Johannesburg, or Los Angeles. Yet all of the artists in the exhibition, while working from and within a local context, translate their views into pictures, (more…)

Pierre Leguillon: Dubuffet Typographe/r

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Dubuffet Typographer 05

Dubuffet Typographe/r, Pierre Leguillon’s second project for the 2013 Carnegie International, is dedicated to the French artist and entrepreneur Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985). It investigates the former wine-dealer’s professional acumen, demonstrated by Dubuffet’s creation of Art Brut and culminating in the management of an entire staff working to promote, document, and archive his activities. In the light of today’s obsession with self-promotion, Dubuffet can be understood as a forerunner of artists such as Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst. Once again, Leguillon’s approach follows seemingly marginal paths, which ultimately prove to be unexpectedly revelatory. Travelling to public and private archives such as la Fondation Dubuffet in Paris, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky at Centre Pompidou or to IMEC in Caen, Leguillon has photographed ephemera such as invitations, posters, catalogs, artist’s books, flyers, tickets, and record sleeves. These images were then used to execute a “recadrage“ (re-framing) of Jean Dubuffet and his activities. Like a meticulous “detective,“ Leguillon shows us how “for each project, Dubuffet invented a new way of writing and composing text—quite possibly by simply improvising. By this, he rejected the standardization as imposed by the printing process and typing, an education he himself went through. In books and lithographs, Dubuffet thoroughly sabotaged writing and typography (l’écriture) by fragmenting and distorting it, thus achieving, on a visual level, his plan to destroy language.”

Dubuffet Typographer. A book by Pierre Leguillon. Design by Stéphane De Groef and Pierre Leguillon. Brussels 2013. 330 pages, American dust jacket. ISBN 978-2-930667-05-8 EAN 9782930667058. Price: 20 Euros. Published by (SIC), « Soft Alphabet » Series. (SIC), Brussels, Belgium, distributed by Les presses du réel

The best photography bookstore in Pittsburgh

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Spaces Corners 2

Spaces Corners 1

I love this store. It made my day when I met Melissa Catanese, its proprietor, a photographer and book lover who moved back to Pittsburgh from New York in early 2011 and opened Spaces Corners a few months later. The second floor of 3803 Butler Street is a quiet and serene space for book buying and perusal. Don’t miss it during your Lawrenceville outing, but if you do, check out their booth at the upcoming Pittsburgh Photo Fair.

Meet the designers: Kloepfer-Ramsey

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

If you follow this blog, you may have noticed that we recently got a makeover. You may have wondered whether, from one visit to the next, you actually just witnessed the unveiling of the 2013 Carnegie International’s graphic identity?! And the answer would be yes. Yes you did, and you were among the first to see it.

The design was developed by Kloepfer-Ramsey, a graphic design studio in New York, established in 2010 by Chad Kloepfer and Jeff Ramsey. They work primarily with clients in the fields of art and architecture on print, identity, interactive, and exhibition-related projects. Chad and Jeff sent me this description of the design concept they’ve developed for us:

In working to establish an identity for the show we focused on two of the main themes: play and dissonance. These themes helped create a structure for thinking and form making, in devising a system in which various elements can be played with and positioned in terms of scale, shape, color, placement, and material. By creating a core group of visual shapes, images, and verbal cues the identity starts to take shape through the juxtaposition of these elements, almost like a mood board. Sometimes they come together in very formal, more aggressive arrangements, and at other times less rigid or more open-ended groupings leaving the viewer to make connections between the pieces. This strategy of groupings seemed to align with how the curators were thinking about the artists and their relationship(s) to one another. As the identity starts to react to the forms and content of its application throughout the show, and on the various materials produced, that diversity, or dissonance, is made concrete. Very little is seen as “off limits” for the possibilities of application, since in the end, this helps produce a richer, more varied experience. Overall, the identity is meant to provide a playful and informative counterpoint to the exhibited works.

Check out more of Chad and Jeff’s work on their website.

Carnegie International, the catalogs, and their covers

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Cover of the 1961 Carnegie International (called Pittsburgh International Exhibition)

The earliest Carnegie International catalog covers featured a profile with the motto “Honos Alit Artes” (in English, “Honor feeds the arts”). This phrase is attributed to Cicero, who argued that an artistic discipline, such as painting, requires recognition and support from the public in order to flourish. This cover design was used from 1896 to 1914, when the annual show was put on hold due to the war. When the exhibition was brought back in 1920, the covers had a new, modern design. This Art Deco look was used from 1920 to 1922, and the show was renamed the International Exhibition of Paintings. 1924 saw the introduction of a new cover design, this time a classic image of a goddess. (more…)