Various Manners with Various Things
Artists' Books & Ephemera
The following comprehensive private sale of artist’s books and ephemera represents a pinnacle of awareness and compassion in collecting. Any reference library is forever bolstered by the infusion of the loosely defined printed matter section: the oft-hidden editions that, masterfully, if not slyly, reveal the artists’ personal connection to their own art. These compact and portable treatises emerge as artworks in their own right, replicated and shared in small or large runs.
If it is possible to build a library through careful deliberation and random encounter at play simultaneously, it has been done here—this library was beloved and cherished.
Here at present we have a remarkable atlas, of both artists and collectors. The printed passageways featured in Artists' Books & Ephemera offer a glimpse into each artist’s unique, democratic application of their ideas through hybrid, handheld, shareable art. Collecting is truly a lifestyle and an art of its own; every single artist presented here has a special connection to the sellers. If it is possible to build a library through careful deliberation and random encounter at play simultaneously, it has been done here—this library was beloved and cherished.
Logistically, the sheer volume of primary information contained within each title is impressive. Here we are confronted with the spectacular rawness of each artist’s specific output. The tensions between intricacy and simplicity remain forever entertaining. One ought to fall deeper in love with the artist through this display of tenderness and the depth of philosophy that each piece affords.
Outstanding examples pepper this collection, among them: Martin Kippenberger books doctored with scribbles, hastily drawn in his frenetic energy; numerous books by Lawrence Weiner, with his signature typeface. Delving deeper, we encounter rare Jan Bas Ader publications, a Marcel Broodthaers Magic Slate multiple (so fragile are his signatures on this piece!), outstanding Conceptual art publications and a Dieter Roth Hansjorg Mayer collection, alongside his editioned multiples–heady and stout but quirky and irreverent.
The collection goes deeper with Jill Magid’s documentation logs, Christian Marclay’s unplayable records, or Kiki Smith’s Tidal–an accordion-folded lunar masterpiece. A bold and exhaustive undertaking by Alighiero Boetti classifying the planet’s one thousand longest rivers is harshly contrasted by Xerox-borne reproduction documents from Steven Leiber.
Among larger group lots, we find a large collection of Imprint 93 publications, an art project started by Matthew Higgs. Another lot contains forty-two publications from Hanuman Books artist’s series in miniature–pure gems! There are numerous editioned works published by Monchengladbach featuring the likes of Blinky Palermo, Piero Manzoni, Jannis Kounellis, Carl Andre, Hanne Darboven, and James Lee Byars. Jenny Holzer shirts and stockings from the now-defunct Barney’s New York are joined by an Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Café ephemera group, which is presented alongside a nice selection of his artist’s books.
Several group lots focused on rare exhibition catalogs, monographs on Minimalism, comics (an entire lot is devoted to R. Crumb and his psychotic glory), short-lived publications, a collection of Destroy All Monsters material, Ex Libris Bookplates, and much more. There is hardly a limit to the charm of this collection.
Ultimately, each book, pamphlet, comic, fold, crease, and scribble coalesce into a powerful map of the minds and passion of the collectors behind Artists' Books & Ephemera.
Ultimately, each book, pamphlet, comic, fold, crease, and scribble coalesce into a powerful map of the minds and passion of the collectors behind Artists' Books & Ephemera. Our own individual predilections and fascinations make the story of this material timeless and, indeed, endless. It has been an honor to swim in this printed ocean, coming up for air only when strictly necessary.
All of these carefully vetted lots are mean to engage and excite the viewer, letting the collection blossom in texture and character. This–the infinite magic granted to us by such a library–is as profound as it is enlightening.
—Peter Jefferson, Senior Specialist