Fake Sturtevant Chop Shop

Sturtevant exhibition catalogue from the Everson Museum 1973, designed with Judson Rosebush, offset printed to look like Xerox, image: Tim Byers Art Books, c. 2019 NYABF

This is the catalogue for Sturtevant’s first and only US museum show until her 2014 MoMA retrospective. It is from 1973. The show took place at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York. The 104-page catalogue is offset print, but was designed to look like a sheaf of photocopies on regular 8.5 x 11 paper. Sturtevant had the concept, and Judson Rosebush helped design and execute it. While confounding the notion of copy and original, and the notion of books substituting for a seeing an exhibition, this design choice also echoes Seth Siegelaub’s 1968 conceptual exhibition in a catalogue, The Xerox Book.

“Elaine Sturtevant, grouping of 2 – hand-signed prints” is technically true, that there are two, they were printed, and someone signed them. but they are 11 x 8.5 in. pages from a book

But I don’t think people are chopping up The Xerox Book and forging Sol Lewitt’s signatures on his individual pages and trying to pass them off as actual prints. Oh. Maybe that’s only because there are so many color Lewitt catalogues they can chop up and forge signatures on and sell as actual prints.

The Everson catalogue’s all the Sturtevant there is, and it is definitely getting chopped up and turned into forged prints. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that if Sturtevant DID chop up her own catalogues, sign individual pages, and sell them off as prints—or trade individual pages for a cup of coffee at Fanelli’s or whatever—it’d be a helluva coincidence that they all turn up at the same three scammy regional auction houses whose entire LiveAuctioneers.com presence is flooded with similarly “signed” “offset” “original prints” from dozens of other artists.

At this point I think it’s obvious that we need a photocopy facsimile of Sturtevant’s Everson catalogue, so people can see what she did, and appreciate it for what it is, not what it isn’t.