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Sturtevant
Warhol Marilyn (Afterall Books: One Work)


Warhol Marilyn (1965) is not a work by Andy Warhol but by the artist Elaine Sturtevant (1930–2014). Throughout her career, Sturtevant (as she preferred to be called) remade and exhibited works by other contemporary artists, among them Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg. For Warhol Marilyn, Sturtevant used one of Warhol’s own silkscreens from his series of Marilyn printed multiples. (When asked how he made his silkscreened work, Warhol famously answered, “I don’t know. Ask Elaine.”)

In this book, Patricia Lee examines Warhol Marilyn as representing a shift in thinking about artistic authorship and originality, highlighting a decisive moment in the rethinking of the contemporary artwork. Lee describes the cognitive dissonance a viewer might feel on learning the identity of Warhol Marilyn’s author, and explains that mistaken identity is part of Sturtevant’s intention for the operation of the work. She discusses the ways that Sturtevant’s methodology went against the grain of a certain interpretation of modernism, and addresses the cultural significance of both Warhol and Monroe as celebrity figures. She considers Dorothy Podber’s shooting a bullet through a stack of Warhol’s Marilyns (thereafter known as The Shot Marilyns) at the Factory in 1964 and its possible influence on Sturtevant’s decision to remake the work. Lee writes that Sturtevant’s critical reception has been informed by some fictional forebears: the made-up artist Hank Herron (whose nonexistent work duplicating paintings by Frank Stella was reviewed by a fictional critic), and (suggested by Sturtevant herself) Pierre Menard, the title character of Jorge Luis Borges’s “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” who recreates a section of Cervantes’s masterpiece line by line. And finally, she explores installation contexts and display strategies for Sturtevant’s work as illuminating her broader artistic aims and principles.

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From Conceptualism to Feminism
Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows 1969–74


Four exhibitions of contemporary art curated by Lucy Lippard have become renowned as her ‘numbers shows’. Each took the population of the city in which it was shown as its title: 557,087 in Seattle, 955,000 in Vancouver, 2,972,453 in Buenos Aires and c.7,500 opening in Valencia, California, before touring the US and to London.

This book follows Lippard’s curatorial trajectory, analysing her transition from a writer about art to a maker of exhibitions, and tracing her growing political engagement and involvement with feminism.

Extensive photographic material is complemented by a major new essay by Cornelia Butler and interviews with Seth Siegelaub and artists Agnes Denes, Alice Aycock, Eleanor Antin and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.

The volume also includes critical responses written at the time by Peter Plagens and Griselda Pollock, and an analysis of artists initiatives in Argentina that give a context for Lippard’s emerging political consciousness by Pip Day.

This is the third publication in the Exhibitions Histories series, co-published with Afterall Books, London.

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From Conceptualism to Feminism
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Mike Kelley
Educational Complex (Afterall Books: One Work)


One of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954–2012) produced a body of innovative work mining American popular culture as well as modernist and postmodernist art—relentless examinations of subjectivity and of society that are both sinister and ecstatic. With a wide range of media, Kelley’s work explores themes as varied as post-punk politics, religious systems, social class, and repressed memory. Using architectural models to represent schools he attended, his 1995 work,Educational Complex, presents forgotten spaces as frames for private trauma, real or imagined. The work’s implications are at once miniature and massive. In this book, John Miller offers an illustrated examination of this milestone work that marked a significant change in Kelley’s practice.

A “complex” can mean an architectural configuration, a psychological syndrome, or a political apparatus, and Miller approaches Educational Complex through corresponding lines of inquiry, considering the making of the work, examining it in terms of education and trauma (sexual or otherwise), and investigating how it tests the ideological horizon of art as an institution. Miller shows that in Educational Complex, Kelley expands his political and aesthetic focus, including not only such artifacts as generic forms of architecture but (inspired by the infamous McMartin Preschool case) popular fantasies associated with ritual sex abuse and false memory syndrome. Through this archaeology of the contemporary, Miller argues, Kelley examines the mandate for education and the liberal democratic premises underpinning it.

Author John Miller, Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Art History at Barnard College, is an artist and critic whose work has been exhibited internationally. He was Mike Kelley’s friend and colleague from 1978 until Kelley’s death in 2012.

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Lee Lozano
Dropout Piece (Afterall One Work Series)


The artist Lee Lozano (1930–1999) began her career as a painter; her work rapidly evolved from figuration to abstraction. In the late 1960s, she created a major series of eleven monochromatic Wave paintings, her last in the medium. Despite her achievements as a painter, Lozano is best known for two acts of refusal, both of which she undertook as artworks: Untitled (General Strike Piece), begun in 1969, in which she cut herself off from the commercial art world for a time; and the so-called Boycott Piece, which began in 1971 as a month-long experiment intended to improve communication but became a permanent hiatus from speaking to or directly interacting with women. In this book, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer examines Lozano’s Dropout Piece, the culmination of her practice, her greatest experiment in art and endurance, encompassing all her withdrawals, and ending only with her burial in an unmarked grave.

And yet, although Dropout Piece is among Lozano’s most important works, it might not exist at all. There is no conventional artwork to be exhibited, no performance event to be documented. Lehrer-Graiwer views Dropout Piece as leveraging the artist’s entire practice and embodying her creative intelligence, her radicality, and her intensity. Combining art history, analytical inquiry, and journalistic investigation, Lehrer-Graiwer examines not only Lozano’s act of dropping out but also the evolution over time of Dropout Piece in the context of the artist’s practice in New York and her subsequent life in Dallas.

About the Author
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer is an art writer and curator based in Los Angeles, where she teaches at Otis College of Art and Design, publishes Pep Talk, and runs the experimental art venue The Finley Gallery. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Artforum, ArtReview, Art in America, Artonpaper, ArtSlant, Mousse, and exhibition catalogs.

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