Innovative Forms and Structures

May 14 - 30, 2015

Innovative Forms and Structures highlights a thread of publishing activity that gives special consideration to the formal and structural elements of the artists’ book medium. As experimental artwork, these are publications that overturn the book’s basic form by pushing its physical and conceptual parameters to deliberately elaborate on an artist’s theme.

Surveying a selection of material from the 70’s to present, the exhibition looks broadly at editioned works which often incorporate handmade elements and encourage a tactile experience. These works make use of uncommon materials, die cuts, perforations, accordion folds, and other experiments of the page to explore the sculptural possibilities of the book. The publications are guided by what book artist Peter Barnett calls an “inner necessity” that connects the physical form and structure of the pages to the larger concept of the book as a whole.

Among the works included, experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas offers Reminiscensijos (Reminiscences), 1972, a book work designed and produced by George Maciunas. The publication brings together a group of ethereal black and white images from Mekas, interspersed with a poem written by the artist reflecting on his time in a displaced persons camp after WWII. The slim black-and-white photo plates are held between two thick slabs of wood, with the whole work bound together indecorously by a hinge and screws. The result is an object that brings together the heavy, rough-hewn exterior of the cover and the dire images of the interior.

In another work, Louise Neaderland (founder of the non-profit group International Society of Copier Artists) reissues her Brokers Study Vast Hole in Space, 2010, featuring an image of four concerned stockbrokers repeated and reworked with the aid of a photocopier. The moment is stretched and repeated across the lengthy accordion fold of the zine. The meaning of the images is transformed by the text which is culled from a disparate news headline about the universe and a hole in space. The form emphasizes the scrolling filmic quality of the words and images (something like the Times Square ticker reporting on stocks) adding urgency to its meaning.

  1. Peter H. Barnett
    Rock Breaks Scissors
    New York: P. Barnett, 2012
  2. Pilar Proffitt
    Collage Studies
    Jacksonville, FL: P.Proffitt, 1997
    Out of stock
  3. Peter H. Barnett
    Fragments of NameemaN
    New York, NY: P. Barnett, 2003
    size unknown
  4. Amanda Barrow
    Apollo’s Stage
    Groton, MA: Quick Brown Fox & Grigg, 1996
    Out of stock
  5. MJ Connors
    Evidence of Attendants
    Rosendale, NY: Women’s Studio Workshop, 1991
    size unknown
  6. Joyce Cutler Shaw
    Elegy for the Natural World
    San Diego, CA: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, 2003
  7. Virginia DuQuette
    Matchbox Galaxies
    Brooklyn, NY: V. DuQuette, 1999
    Out of stock
  8. Bruno Munari
    Libro Illeggibile
    Mantovo, Italy: Maurizio Corraini, 2011
    Out of stock
  9. Barbara Rosenthal
    One 4-Word Book / Four 1-Word Books
    New York, NY: Rosenthal and Media Loft, 1995
  10. David Stairs
    Portland, OR: D. Stairs, 1989
  11. Jeannie Meejin Yoon
    New York, NY: Printed Matter Inc., Whitney Museum of American Art and Inc., 2003
  12. Coco Gordon
    It : A Poem / Play / Installation
    New York, NY: W Space, 1987
    size unknown
  13. Ken Leslie
    Square Planet
    Hardwick , VT: Charuby Press, 1998
    Out of stock
  14. Tauba Auerbach
    New York, NY: Printed Matter Inc., 2011