Catalog / Artists’ Books / Printed Matter / 1976 – 2020 / $48.66

 55,00 (incl. 10% VAT)

Only 1 left in stock

Catalog/Artists´ Books/Printed Matter/1976–2020/$48.66 takes the Printed Matter Inc. archive of artists’ books as a site of artistic production and imagination. It contains a complete list of all artists’ books distributed by Printed Matter Inc. since its foundation in 1976, thereby introducing a series of complex relationships into the Printed Matter archive: while itself contained within the archive, at the same it time contains the entire archive within itself. In this way, it is both part and whole, container and contained, sign and signified, form and content. With this synecdochical relationship (in which the whole is contained within a part, and vice versa), Samuel Bich explores the relationship between an individual artwork and a body of work, an individual artist and all other artists, an individual idea and the entire cosmos of the imagination—each enclosed within the other.

This is the formal origin for this radically open and egalitarian homage to artists’ books. Regardless of style, price, name recognition, or any other criteria, all books in the archive are assimilated to the same archival aesthetic: it is a picture book subjected to the linguistic turn. This has the surprising consequence of making us into readers/beholders — for both the activity of reading a text and beholding an image are frustrated by incompleteness. Aside from the occasional well-known artist, the content of these books can only be filled in with the help of our own imaginative, associative, and unconscious minds. In this way, this formal and restrained book activates that which withdraws under the onslaught of our highly visual society—the free play of the imagination. One is here reminded of #1 in Sol Lewitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art: “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” — Soliman Lawrence

Back to Shop