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Well, after 4 years of occasional rumination, my eternally unsolvable mystery of people drawing frames around Old Master drawings has been flipped on its head. And now I wonder how any drawing could have survived the centuries undoodled.

Reader/artist/hero Peter Huestis pointed me to this full page from Giorgio Vasari's Libro de Disegni (Book of Drawings), which is in the National Gallery.

As I mentioned last night, Vasari drew the architectural elements around the Getty's newly acquired del Sarto when the sketch was part of the Libro. The book contained at least 536 drawings, collected by Vasari either as reference material or a supplement for his biographies of great artists, or as significant examples of art in their own right. Most are mounted on larger sheets and are surrounded by frames and plaques and architectural elements in ink and gouache.

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Study for Vasari's Botticelli, 2017- , 200x146cm, ink and gouache on oil on linen? inkjet on aluminum? I have no idea rn [image: nga.gov]

The NGA's example is one of a very few intact pages: 10 drawings attributed to three artists, some trimmed to shape almost like paper dolls, and collaged into imagined spaces. Vasari places these sketches in the same privileged architectural contexts as paintings. Except the scale is so wild, the drawings become a startlingly contemporary genre of their own. Can you imagine Botticelli painting a 6-by-4 foot mauve head floating above two unmatched, disembodied hands? Hanging over a fireplace or, as he envisioned it here, above a ghostly parade of phantom limbs by Filippino Lippi? You'd have to print it [Or I would, anyway. Could you imagine making these marks at that scale?] Has no one created these installations before?

[Practical but somehow disheartening update: The existence of a Vasari X Botticelli colabo bib on Zazzle makes me think, the whole sheet's just going to end up as a 3x2.5m vinyl photomural.]

Giorgio Vasari with drawings by Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, and Raffaellino del Garbo, Page from "Libro de' Disegni" (1480-1504, mounted after 1524) [nga, thanks peter]
Libro de' Disegni [fr.wikipedia.org]

Previously, related: A proposal for a Prina-style series of monochrome Dürer frame drawings (2013)
A proposal to re-create at scale the six or so historical installation situations of Leonardo's Mona Lisa (2009)

July 21, 2017

Frame Part Of Drawing

When the Albertina's Dürer show came to the National Gallery a few years ago, I got very interested in the way the drawings were framed. Inside their matting, each work on paper also featured an outline, one or two lines, drawn right on the sheet. Who did these and why, no one at the NGA could say. [UPDATE I HAVE BEEN FOUND OUT I DID NOT ASK THE CURATORS STAY TUNED] The accompanying catalogue had zero mentions, and reproductions all excluded these drawn frames. Photography was prohibited in the show, and the Albertina's website images are worse than anything, so these marks made right on the face of these important artworks are treated as invisible or irrelevant.

[UPDATE: Oh hey, I found a bunch of photos I took anyway. Since the statute of limitations for not taking photos of 400-yo artworks is 3 years, and the rule of law is crumbling around us anyway, they're after the jump.]

Obviously, drawings have been handled differently as art objects across the centuries. There's probably at least one dissertation to be written about collectors and dealers and institutions marking up old drawings. Maybe it already has been, and just need to be unearthed.

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Anyway, I thought of this practice when I saw William Poundstone's report of the Getty Museum's acquisition of a major collection of Old Master drawings. The haul includes a Michelangelo, and this Head of St. Joseph (1526-27) by Andrea del Sarto. Which is great, but check out the double-line frame drawn around it, the spandrels to hint at a round arch, and the nameplate added to the bottom.

When this drawing traveled to the Getty and Frick as part of a 2015-16 del Sarto show, the careful framing was attributed to none other than Giorgio Vasari, who had collected this work by his former teacher into Libro de' Disegni, a drawings album. As Ingrid Rowland wrote:

In part because of his connection with Michelangelo, and in part because of his own ravenous curiosity, Giorgio Vasari was one of the first collectors to value drawings as legitimate works of art. He had taken to studying old master drawings as an aspiring artist, and when he gathered information about colleagues as an aspiring biographer for his Lives, he also sought out their drawings, binding them into a series of books. The books, unfortunately, have been lost, though isolated pieces survive.
So maybe there is something to be learned from these invisible framing devices after all.

The Getty's Big Buy [lacmaonfire]
Sublime, Exhilarating del Sarto, review by Ingrid Rowland [nybooks]
Previously, related: Borderline

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details of Albrecht Dürer St. Pauls by [l. to r.] Albrecht Dürer (1514), Johannes Wierix (c.1566), and Andrew Rafferty (2012), image: artinprint

My tabs are srsly a mess. I've had this 2012 Art in Print account of replicating Albrecht Dürer's engraving plates in there for months, ever since seeing a copy of one of Dürer's greatest prints, Melencolia I (1514). Conservator Angela Campbell and contemporary engraver Andrew Raftery were studying how Dürer made his plates and his prints, and how they changed over the life of an edition. Rafferty made a copy of St. Paul [above, right], and geeks out on the differences of wiping, crosshatching, and hammered vs. rolled copperplate. For her part, Campbell's larger goal is to put the world's existing impressions into chronological order by tracking changes in micro marks and surface scratches. Which, more power to them.

What redlines my geekmeter, though, is learning that of the 105 he made, there is only one Dürer plate left in existence. It is in Gotha, Germany, and it is a 1526 portrait of reformist theologian Philip Melancthon.

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The Schloss Friedenstein Foundation was understandably excited to add a deep, high quality print taken from their plate. I wonder when the last impression was taken from this plate, and if the Stiftungvolk would ever entertain printing another one.

[Related: Woodblocks are more durable, and so more survive. The Met has two of five that Junius S. Morgan acquired, including: Samson Rending the Lion (1497-98), and The Martyrdom of St. Catherine (c. 1498), which, amusingly, is catalogued as "Black ink on pearwood".]

Remaking Dürer: Investigating the Master Engravings by Masterful Engraving [artinprint.org]
Bild und Gegenbild [kulturestiftung.de]

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If you're wondering who the one person was who went to the mall in Chevy Chase, to the J. Crew store Monday, it was me. And I was only picking up a catalogue order.

And marveling at the giant [signed!] Richard Serra Torqued Spirals exhibition poster from Gagosian, c. 2003, one of two constellations of highly curated posters and prints lining the staircase.

I contemplated the state of the brick&mortar retail industry, making a note to watch the liquidation auctions for a deluge of contemporary art ephemera when the reaper comes for J. Crew. And figuring if the swag doesn't turn up, we'll know the store designers who fantasy-shopped it all together have absconded with it in lieu of severance.

Just as I was thinking, this poster was my most unexpected Serra sighting ever, I stepped outside, and found this, in the garden of the condos across the street.

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I approached to take a photo, and the carefully calculated elevations of the lawn revealed the bottom quarter of the Cor-Ten slab. If only he'd added a water feature, I bet Tilted Arc would still be standing.

July 6, 2017

John Cage Film Poster

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Richard Hamilton invitation with 1951 Technique et Architecture illustration used for Five Tyres - abandoned (1964) and Five Tyres remoulded (1972)

Sometimes I hit a wall while writing, and retyping someone else's text helps get me going again.

So here is another installment of Better Read, a series of mp3 files from greg.org in which an interesting, under-known, or hard-to-find art-related text is read by a computer.

This text by Richard Hamilton accompanies Five Tyres remoulded, 1972 relief and print edition created with Carl Solway and EYE Editions. Hamilton describes his attempt to replicate by hand a complicated photo illustration he'd clipped from a trade magazine. The image was from the 50s, the project began and was abandoned in 1963, then reinitiated in 1970 with the help of a computer. Besides the obviously interesting insights onto his own process, Hamilton's text resonates with the history of early Pop, conceptual art, and even appropriation, as well as the inter-relation of art and technology.

Unless you had the portfolio itself, the text was only available in print in Studio International (1972, vol. 183, p. 276). Images of a first draft of the text were also included in a 2014 blog post by Carl Solway about his correspondence with Hamilton. So I'm sure having a computer-generated voice recording of it expands its availability tremendously.

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Richard Hamilton, Dimensional Data, screen print on mylar, 60x85cm, from Five Tyres remoulded (1972), via swann

play or dl Better_Read_014_Richard_Hamilton_Five_Tyres_Remoulded_20170624.mp3 [dropbox greg.org, mp3 9:55, 14.3mb]
Related: Digging in the Archives: Richard Hamilton [solwaygallery.com]
Five Tyres remoulded (1972) [tate.org.uk]

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Just when you thought The Grand Tour couldn't get any grander.

I am psyched, though no longer quite as surprised as you might be right now, to announce that Our Guernica Cycle - Ivanka / Merkel 2017.03.17 will be included in an exhibition at Musée des beaux-arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Titled "Répliques : l'original à l'épreuve de l'art", the show explores the history, distribution, and appreciation of art through replicas, duplication, and appropriation. It includes post-war works from the collection of Olivier Mosset, which the artist donated to the Musée in 2007, as well as other historical and contemporary works from the permanent collection. The show is organized by Gabriel Umstätter.

When the Musée folks emerged to identify themselves from the Kickstarter campaign, there were a few harried weeks to get the concept, the image, the object, and the logistics all pinned down in time for the opening. I must say I'm impressed by the cool confidence, precision and thoughtfulness, and I'm relieved that what was essentially a wild test of a print turned out great. [Did I bury the lede here? Has a museum ever acquired a work straight out of a Kickstarter campaign before?]

The Musée will feature a full-scale, Renaissance Edition print of the Ivanka/Merkel painting. I imagine the conceptual disaster-in-the-making of an outsourced painting of a crucial historical instant made in the style of a disgraced, redemption-seeking politician and reproduced following the modified pyramid schema of America's most mindlessly popular painter offers many, many entry points for a discourse on the moment. But then again, from this artist list, I'm sure there's no shortage of eye-popping insights:

Greg Allen, Carl Andre [! -ed.], Ian Anüll, John Armleder, Olivier Babin, Robert Ballagh, Aimé Barraud, Francis Baudevin, René Bauermeister, Ben, Mike Bidlo, Julius von Bismarck, Nicolas Boissonnas, Bryan Cera, Jerome Cavaliere, César, John Dogg (Colin de Land & Richard Prince), Gérard Collin-Thiébaut, le Dessinateur (automate Jaquet-Droz), Marcel Duchamp, Gretchen Faust, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Sylvie Fleury, Christian Floquet, Camille Graeser, Peter Halley, Charles Humbert, Donald Judd, Jean-Blaise Junod, Edouard Kaiser, Scott Kildall, Frank Kozik, Joseph Kosuth, L/B (Sabina Lang & Daniel Baumann), Alix Lambert, Bertrand Lavier, Louise Lawler, Jørgen Leth, Sherrie Levine, Claude Loewer, Michael Mandiberg, Jean-Luc Manz, Allan Mc Collum, Claude Mellan, Ana Mendieta [No? I guess I added that one. -ed.]Mathieu Mercier, Olivier Mosset, John Nixon, Richard Pettibone, Raoul Pictor (Hervé Graumann & Mathieu Cherubini), Bernard Piffaretti, André Ramseyer, Martial Raysse, Léopold Robert, Walter Robinson, Norman Rockwell, Bob Ross, Claude Rutault, Yara Said, le Tampographe Sardon, Lily van der Stokker, Elaine Sturtevant, Peter Tillessen, Corinne Vionnet, Wallace & Donohue, Joan Waltemath, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Dick Whyte, Ian Wilson, Madeleine Woog.
I am as humbled as I am mystified by the sense of accomplishment this situation gives me right now.

Répliques : l'original à l'épreuve de l'art, Musée des beaux-arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 30 June - 29 Oct 2017 [chaux-de-fonds.ch]
Related: Our Guernica, After Our PIcasso Kickstarter campaign page [kickstarter]

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Installation view: Proposte monocrome, gris, 2017, dimensions variable, paint on plaster, as installed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 2017. photo: @bshaykin

If you're hustling to the Metropolitan Museum to see my work, Untitled (Andiron Attributed To Paul Revere, Jr.), in the American Wing, you might be in for a treat.

Benjamin Shaykin has Instagrammed a beautiful photo of another piece, Proposte monocrome, gris, which is installed, at least for the moment, in the French Impressionists gallery. If you see it, take a pic!

You'll probably have to hurry, though. And if you don't make it in time, there's always the Kawakubo show. And a rare pair of Caravaggios.

@bshaykin [instagram]

Weekend Update: Word is it's still there. No word on whether it has a label, but it looks good, and right, just like I intend it. [thanks, J]

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Previously: Untitled (Andiron attributed to Paul Revere, Jr.), 2014
Proposte monocrome, eBay, rose

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We haven't had a good, old-fashioned photomural post on here for a while, and I'm kind of crazy with work and stuck with writing, so I won't get into it now. But Galerie 1900-2000's booth at Art Basel this year features a sweet photomural blowup of Andre Breton's living room as a backdrop for a Dora Maar portrait Picasso gave him. Very nice. [image via Benjamin Westoby for Artsy]

Previously, related architectural photomurals: Barcelona Pavilion photomural for Craig Ellwood's 1966 Mies van der Rohe show at LACMA
Stephen Shore photomurals or 'architectural paintings'

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Study for Untitled (Adidas Art Basel), 2017, nylon and ink on Adidas EQT shoe, image: ebay seller miadrian10

Art Basel is suing Adidas for trademark infringement over these kicks. A thousand pairs were given away at a string of branded flashmobs in Miami on November 30th, two days before the opening of the art fair they had no official marketing agreement with. Is there a term for astroturfed flashmobs? Is there any other kind these days? Did you know Adidas been hypin' kicks at #ABMB since at least 2010? Does a viral flash mob still count if you have to Google it?

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image: taetalentagency

Anyway, 2016. According to hype groupies like high snobiety and World Red Eye, a mirror-wrapped school bus drove 48 performance artist/brand ambassador/whatevers around town. Stops included a high school in the Design District, HdM's parking garage, and some millennial-branded Hilton in South Beach.

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screencap from @britneyc0807

They were decked out in #monochromatic reflective gear. They stood in formation, Vanessa Beecroft-style. They did some dance moves. Ideally, their gear did its retroreflective blast out thing when it was photographed.

adidas_dash_school_mob_worldredeye.jpg
image: worldredeye

Then they unloaded their loot, lined it up like a freakin' Eleanor Antin street team, and, I guess, handed it out to the 'gramming masses like rations off the back of a UN truck. Then everyone started flipping their swag on eBay. It's hard to say where the stunt's brand impact actually landed the hardest: on the 1st-to-know sneaker chasers, the day-of hashtaggers, the eBay resale remoras, or now, on the so-DGAF lawsuit bad bois.

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images: ebayseller sorry, lost it

Art Basel is suing over the tongue tags on these free sneakers, and in addition to brand damages, is demanding Adidas destroy all the infringey sneakers it still has. If you budget for ex-post trademark settlements, is it actually a bootleg?

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Study for Untitled (Adidas Art Basel), 2017, retroreflective paint and ink on panel, 50x50cm

Untitled (Adidas Art Basel) is a series of 1,000 numbered paintings based on this tongue tag composition, made in various sizes. Or should I say they will be made. Might be. Conceived to be.

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Study for Untitled (Adidas Art Basel) photographed, 2017, retroreflective paint and ink on panel, 50x50cm

I know what I've written about artists having a successful system, but honestly, it's debatable whether the world needs 10 more paintings at all right now, much less 1,000. Of these. Can you even imagine having a thousand of these paintings lying around? You literally could not give them away, lawyers or no. Or maybe you can? Just put a few hundred super-shiny posters in a stack and BAM, you're in Venice.

Ima get to work on one, see if it delivers that retroflective kick the study's promising. Then I'll let my estate sort out the rest.

Art Basel is Suing adidas Over its Limited Edition 'Art Basel' Shoes [thefashionlaw via artforum, thanks @kyle_petreycik]
Here's How You Can Get 1 of Only 1,000 Pairs of adidas's "Art Basel" Limited Edition EQT ADV [highsnobiety]
Adidas Flash Mob in the Miami Design District [worldredeye]

Previously, related: Webdriver Torso as Found Painting System
When Form Becomes Content, or Luanda, Encyclopedic City

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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

find me on twitter: @gregorg

recent projects, &c.


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Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017


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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

archives