October 2015 Archives

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Tanya, 1989

Until the small photocopy Tanya turned up last year and prompted me to do a related edition of it, I confess, I hadn't paid much attention to Cady Noland's works on paper. The silkscreen on aluminum pieces always felt graphic and photocopied enough, I guess. But that interchangeability is one thing that makes the works on paper interesting.

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Untitled (Preparatory Drawing for Log Cabin), 1990

Then a few months ago, that whole mess about the unauthorizedly refabricated log cabin included mentions of blueprints, and so I looked back at Untitled (Preparatory Drawing for Log Cabin), which sold for not much a couple of years ago at Phillips. Which no one is saying is a blueprint or certificate for a sculpture, at least not publicly.

Last month Cristin Tierney showed a photocopy drawing at Expo Chicago. Mr. Automatic Drawing (1992) has colored pencil too, and this kind of great artist's frame made out of some hardware or other. I feel like I should recognize it from Home Depot.

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Untitled, 1991-2, big silkscreen monotype on paper

There was a similar frame on a larger work from 1991-2, a 40x32-inch silkscreen of a blown-up fragment of a Tanya wirephoto. It was sold at Christie's. At a benefit auction. For Leo DiCaprio's foundation. It went for 5x the estimate. It is listed as a "gift of the artist." So Noland is donating work to benefit auctions. Fascinating.

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Untitled, 1992, ditto, 40x32

A similar work came up in 2010, with a more elaborate, Woollian abstracted print/blur, but no picture of the frame. This one was described as unique, a 1/1 silkscreen. [It went for 1/16th of the DiCaprio piece.]

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Untitled (Patty in Church), 1991

Oh hey, here's another one, Untitled (Patty in Church), sold in 2008, with what looks like a similar but sharper image, and an artist's frame. It's shown leaning against the wall, like some of the aluminum silkscreened pieces. Yes, it draws a connection, but does it also make you wonder what Ms. Noland might think of the apparently unframed image above?

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Maybe she'd be fine with it on a case-by-case basis. In this installation shot from Noland's 1993 2-artist show at the Dallas Museum [with Dallas artist Doug Macwithey], at least one of the works up against the wall is unframed.

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And yes, here is Untitled (Patty in Church) leaning next to an aluminum piece. [Looks fragile, watch the bending!] Noland's works on paper are integral, not ancillary.

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Untitled Xerox Cut-Out (Squeaky Fromme/Gerald Ford), 1994

Not everything turns up for sale, though it was. This clipped-together assemblage of cropped photocopies is from 1993-94 has a title, Untitled Xerox Cut-Out (Squeaky Fromme/Gerald Ford), and is one of three purchased for MoMA as part of the big Judith Rothschild acquisition. The others are of Betty Ford and John Dillinger. The Rothschild Hoard also includes 22 more Noland drawings, including a set of big set of Untitled for The Tower of Terror Studies from 1994. I don't know anything about these.

Previously: Tanya; Untitled (Tanya)
Why Wasn't Cady Consulted?

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They are not the kind of thing to get excited over, necessarily, but every time I think about Agnes Martin's 1973 screenprint portfolio On A Clear Day, I like them a lot. [I did not like seeing a complete set baking in the sun in someone's freshly renovated loft kitchen one time, though. Respect, people.]

Martin had given up painting for seven years, and the invitation from Luitpold Domberger to create a print portfolio was instrumental in Martin's decision to start making work again. [That she was also preparing for her first mid-career retrospective at the ICA in Philadelphia at the time might have helped. I guess we should read the new biography and find out.]

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Anyway, On A Clear Day is 30 images Martin selected from over 300 drawings she'd done in 1971. So a subset, perhaps, more than a series. And a mechanical interpretation of her hand marking process.

The 8x8 prints on 12x12 sheets are printed in an edition of 50, plus 14 APs. It is not clear how many portfolios were kept together, but a bunch were broken up, and loosies show up at auction all the time. One's coming up at Doyle in a couple of weeks, in fact: plate 8 from ed. 49/50. The estimate seems a bit low, but it says there's a soft crease in the image.

I hate broken up sets, and have long wondered if you could put one back together. And by you, obviously, I mean me. How long would it take? Could you track them down, or do you just have to wait and watch? Which number should you work on? Should you keep a stash of loosies available anyway, to trade with reluctant sellers?

What have these prints been through since they've been apart? Have they been cared for, kept out of the sun? Framed nicely? Framed crappily? Lone silkscreens are not very precious. And there are nearly 2,000 of these things out there. Some might be shoved in drawers, or stuck inside a book. Isn't it likely that some might not have survived at all? If there are already a couple dozen complete sets around, what's the value to Martin's legacy of one more?

But I guess it's not really for or about Martin at all. She just provided the raw material for the project. If a reassembled Agnes Martin portfolio is a new work, Untitled (On A Clear Day), would an assemblage of mismatched Martin prints be a study?

I remember very well the set of ten On A Clear Day prints up top, which were at Phillips in 2008. They are a ragtag bunch of misfits, actually: three "a.p.s," six "p.p.s", and only one actual numbered print: plate 4 from, oh hey, 49/50. This project may start right now.

Oct. 27, 2015: Lot 125 Agnes Martin (1912-2004), ON A CLEAR DAY, est. $1,000-1,500 [doylenewyork]

Early work, commercial work, disowned work, and destroyed work are not relevant to an artist's work, except when they are.

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Tiffany & Co. building on the corner of Fifth & 57th, c.1940 via nypl

I did not know that Bonwit Teller was owned by Walter Hoving, who bought it in 1946, and who also bought Tiffany & Co. next door in 1955. From the family. The store was in trouble, and he turned it around, turned it into the Tiffany's we know today. Hoving was a crack retail guy. His son Thomas became director of the Met. Hoving had Bonwit's window dresser Gene Moore take over Tiffany's windows, too. Bonwit's had 16 windows on Fifth Avenue & 56th St. Tiffany's had two on Fifth and three on 57th.

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Bonwit Teller building, 721 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 56th Street in 1956. Destroyed by Donald Trump.

Dali did some Bonwit's windows in 1938. Duchamp did a window display for Brentano's to promote Breton's book in 1945; it had to be moved to Gotham Book Mart. Here is a long discussion of shop windows, Benjamin, flaneurs, and capitalist spectacle. [Brentano's was Scribner's before, and is a Sephora now.]

Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Weil did windows for Moore at Bonwit's. And Rauschenberg and Johns did after that. Here is the set of amazing blueprint monotypes Bob and Jap did for Bonwit's in 1955, which Gene kept. [1955 was also when Warhol started doing Bonwit's windows.]

I'm going into this now because I finally got a copy of Gene Moore's 1990 coffee table memoir, My Time At Tiffany's, and it talks about the artists he worked with, and how he was the first window dresser [he preferred "window trimmer"] to give artists credit. And how he also showed their "'serious' work," with credit, a rental fee, and no commission if it sold. And he has a chronology of all the windows he did for Tiffany's.

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Target with completely unrelated and painted Plaster Casts, why do you even ask?, 1955

So here are all the Tiffany windows Rauschenberg and Johns did under their pseudonym, Matson Jones, and what Moore said about the projects and working with the artists.

jan 2017 update: via an interview in the Observer, Tiffany's current VP of visual merchandising Richard Moore [no relation, apparently] has released four previously unpublished images of Matson Jones windows. They're added and noted below.

October 1, 2015

Elizabeth Warren, Filtered

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I know she's not in the White House rn, but the tasty pixel pattern in this picture of Elizabeth Warren on Talking Points Memo caught my eye this morning. Until I noticed it was on her podium, too. And it's also on the edges of her hair and hands. So it's a Photoshop filter applied with a quick and somewhat dirty mask. Weird.

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TPM doesn't give a photo credit, but I searched up the original. Looks like it was taken Saturday, Sept. 19 at the 2015 Massachusetts Democratic Convention by Dave Roback of The Republican [please, oldest joke in Springfield, I'm sure].

That is what digital projected video looks like in 2015. And anyway, those pixels aren't even pixels; it's the moire pattern from four-color offset printing. Which has been used to approximate visible RGB pixels on a television screen.

Have I already thought about this image more than whoever hacked this thing together, or whoever decided to use it? Or was there a moment of contemplation, a decision, to make an image look more retro? And if so, did it involve someone who's possibly too young to have seen either moire or visible pixels?

Why Wall Street Is Howling Over The Big New Reform Coming Down The Pike [talkingpointsmemo]
Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasts GOP presidential candidates with fiery speech at 2015 Massachusetts Democratic Convention in Springfield [masslive]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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about this archive

Posts from October 2015, in reverse chronological order

Older: September 2015

Newer November 2015

recent projects, &c.


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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

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Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

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Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

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eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

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It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

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TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
about

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Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

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"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

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Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99

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