As of Today 16980 Blog Posts


A lot of my students are curious about Altered Books. I tend to cringe hearing the words Altered Books, because I think back to Crispin Glover's goth cut-ups that were pathetic Burroughs rip offs. They can be ultra corny. But there is a lot of potential in the Altered Book, and it is so satisfying to take a knife to a book. It's inextricably tied to collage, so I mention here Dada, the Surrealists, and Beats to get the ball rolling. Here are a few thoughts on this sticky topic. This is such a crude look, there are many more artists working in this field and I'd love to hear from YOU about your favorites.


COLLAGE, PART 1


Hannah Hoch


Hannah Hoch is one of my favorite artists and her photomontages look exceptional in print. Her collages were so vivid that they feel to me, even flattened onto a 2D picture plane, like Altered Books. Here are the finest monographs about her.


http://www.artbook.com/catalog--art--monographs--h-ch--hannah.html


The book called ALBUM is really good. It's definitely pre-Google Image, Hoch own personal visual reference library she was making as she made collages through the years. I include here also a portrait of her and her partner of several years, Til Brugman, because I like how Hoch's sharp haircut even predicts her affinity for cutting paper.




There are so many kajillions of blogs that feature Hoch-like work, it's a bit disorienting. But some are actually pretty fun.


http://elsindromedediogenes.blogspot.com


Wilfried Satty Podriech


There are also kajillions of blogs that showcase Larry-Jordan era 1960s and 70s art in the Max Ernst Une Semaine De Bonte style of Victorian cut-up. These kinds of collages too feel like predecessors of Altered Books


http://assemblyman-eph.blogspot.com/2009/09/collages-of-wilfried-satty-podriech.htm




Kirstine Roepstorff


Kirstine Roepstorff is one of my favorite collage artists working today. Her work does borrow a lot from Hoch, but she has taken the concept much further over past years. She is represented by Peres Projects.


http://www.db-artmag.de/2005/7/d/2/387.php



Pink, 2004, Courtesy Christina Wilson Gallery


 


BOOKS, TEXT, FILM: PART 2


Burroughs/Gysin


Burroughs /Gysin collaborations are psychic cut-ups as well as physical cut-ups, riffing on the Exquisite Corpse game that the Surrealists played.


http://www.ubu.com/film/burroughs.html


http://www.greylodge.org/occultreview/glor_017/cutups.htm


Here's an image of "Warning, Warning, Warning, Warning," from Issue 4 of My Own Mag. In this piece, a cut-up is a 32-page grid to be read any way one  sees fit.



Tom Phillips


Tom Phillips was inspired by Burroughs, and made a classic Altered Book called A Humument. It is still in print and it's fun to read through. Here is slide show of the project.


http://humument.com/gallery/slideshow.html




 


Brian Dettmer


Doing a little research today, I found Brian Dettmer's work on-line, and I have to say it looks kind of great. I'd venture to go see it if a show of his ever rolls around that I can catch. The image heading the post is of a Dettmer piece, and below is a YouTube clip from some news channel profiling Dettmer.


http://centripetalnotion.com/2007/09/13/13:26:26/


http://www.briandettmer.com/


 


Buzz Spector


While I don't know his work extremely well, I have read about the king of altered books, artist Buzz Spector, and he's just too conceptual for my taste. At some point, a book is a book and I want to be able to interact with it. In this recent show, he piled books by Cornell faculty into a sculpture.


http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Sept06/book.art.gl.html


But, why not just make a library of those books so people can actually read them?


Loading, please wait ...
“This is terrific! Thanks so much. I'd never read A Humument and definitely want to get my hands on a hard copy now. I love your remark about Hoch's haircut.”
Posted over 4 years ago
Max says:
“Oh, as to my 'favorite' in this genre; Joseph Cornell, hands down.”
Posted over 4 years ago
Max says:
“Word and image are two distinct languages utilizing two different brain functions. When combined, the strengths of both are negated while forming a hybrid falling under the aesthetics of collage. Larry Rivers used this approach, though not exclusively, in his work as did several others, thematically, in the loosely defined Pop movement. I do think your concerns are valid in the context of the classroom where foundations - and, yes awareness of contemporary trends - are necessary toi be taught and learned. Correspondingly, music conservatories usually require students to master their instruments while being aware of the trend to digitally cut and paste sound samples to form a 'composition.' In either case - the 'visual collage' or music - those who have mastered their craft are far ahead of those solely relying upon technology (which is availablle to all) to produce unique products.”
Posted over 4 years ago
Add Your Views
Please to comment.
 

Artists

William S. Burroughs
Hannah Hoch

Categories

Literature
Fiction
Poetry
Visual Arts
Text Art
Fluxus
Beat Art
Printmaking
Sculpture

Themes


Tags

Buzz Spector
Tom Phillips
Brian Dettmer
Kirstine Roepstorff
Wilfried Satty Podriech