[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: book art, book arts, art

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

Suze Rotolo wrote:

>Reading about art is fine, but the only way I'll discover what
>(to cite from Minsky) Buzz Spector (et al) has done, is if I have
>the opportunity to see it. But it does no good to insist people
>know what came first before they start creating. Its usually
>the other way around.

A basis in doing certainly gives the artist a foundation for seeing,
understanding, and appreciating what others have done.  I'm not certain that
doing is necessary to be a historian, critic, dealer or collector. The issue
becomes problematical when dealers sell redundant work (that which is very
similar to earlier work that set the stage that made the redundant work
possible) to collectors and pass it off as original, breakthrough, seminal work.
Generally this is not done maliciously or fraudulently, but out of ignorance. It
is when the creator gets to the stage of exhibiting and selling the work that
knowledge of the field becomes important to honest and scholarly representation.

One sees lots of students (and those who skipped the student stage) out there
exhibiting their work before they know much about the field. What's the point of
an exhibition of new work? Despite all the facts to the contrary, it's not
supposed to be for the ego or bank account of the artist. It's to let one's
peers know what one is up to, if one believes the work is treading on new
ground. It may be to expose the public to a new vision that will change the way
they see things. There are other real reasons to exhibit new work, but they all
rely on the curator, dealer and artist presenting new work that is in fact new.

That is one of the reasons there are so few collectors in this field. Without a
reliable guide to predecession, collecting becomes a risky business. At the
cheap level it's fine to collect on the basis of impulse and attraction. But
once the stakes get higher the collection is dependant on scholarly accuracy,
meaning, significance. That is another reason why the passing of Tony Zwicker
was such a loss to the field. Besides being a wonderful person whom we loved for
her spirit and enthusiasm, she was a dealer of great integrity and knowledge who
was trusted by curators and collectors.

The important word in Suze's comment is "creating." In the above context this
means doing something that advances book art more than following instructions or
making product for sale in the Mall. I would agree completely with the comment
if it read

"it does no good to insist people know what came first before they start

One can make a great copy of a Vermeer (I wish I could) and regard it as a
"creation," or of a Legrain binding. But while it might be a nice thing to own
and would advance the skill and knowledge of the artist, it would bot advance
the art. I just see too many "copies" of works made by Dieter Roth, Michael
Gibbs, and Marty Greenbaum, done by kids who never heard of them.

Here's a Buzz

It's not a substitute for seeing the real thing, but it's better than not seeing



            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

        To unsubscribe, type the following into the message body:
 Or click here <mailto:listserv@listserv.syr.edu?body=unsub book_arts-l>

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]