White Space Gallery is pleased to announce Artists’ Books, 1430 to the Present, including artists’ books, prints, paintings and a fifteenth century illuminated manuscript. The grouping invokes the legacy of Futurist, Dada, Surrealist, Fluxus, and prominently, Western conceptualist experiments which utilized the textual object and the processes inherent to language and publicity. We recall John Latham’s use of the book as a sculptural medium, implying a nullification of implicit textual signification. Most pertinent to mention perhaps is Marcel Broodthaers’ ‘first’ visual art object, Pense-bête (Memory Aid, 1964). Taking the last unsold copies of his book of poems, he affixed the copies in plaster, rendering the books unreadable, constituting a poetic and sculptural object. The exhibition includes work by Yuri Albert, Tatiana Antoshina, Babi Badalov, Mikhail Grobman, Ilya Kabakov, Algirdas Šeškus, Lihie Talmor, and—a relevant anachronism—the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht, spanning a wide geographic and temporal range of experimentation.
The textual, painted, devotional, and non-medium specific objects displayed in the exhibition demonstrate a wide range of experiments with the printed book: its structure, materiality, narratives, and forms. Taken together, the artists constitute a broad swathe of time and space, and provide a wide examination of how the book as object, as medium, and as a repository for memory, remains a major site of artistic production.