The holiday season: a time for targeted giving, thanks to rare book specialist, Gagosian’s Doug Flamm

by leslierankowfinearts

THANK YOU, DOUG FLAMM, RARE BOOK SPECIALIST AT GAGOSIAN SHOP, 976 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, FOR BEING SUCH A GREAT DETECTIVE!

William Copley

SMS

Published by the Letter Edged in Black Press, Inc., New York, 1968

Signed by artists and edition of 100

7 × 11 inches (17.8 × 27.9 cm)

$12,000

William Copley’s SMS (Shit Must Stop) is a six-issue periodical from 1968. Each issue, in the form of a mailed box, contains assorted materials, including etchings, tapes, booklets, diagrams, constructions, Xeroxes, mail art, assemblages, vinyl and mylar sheets, and more. The six issues are preserved in their original cardboard mailers. From an edition of 100 signed copies.

Founded in New York City by artist, collector and dealer William Copley, S.M.S. was an art collection in a box, filled with small-scale, often whimsical, artworks available by subscription. Delivering art through the post offered Copley, and his collaborator Dmitri Petrov, a way to circumvent the art market and make contemporary art accessible to nearly anyone. Inspired by Copley’s mentor and friend Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise, S.M.S. was conceived as an inter-media and intergenerational publication that would present artworks by prominent and unknown artists side by side. The magazine gathered an impressive range including the Surrealist luminaries Man Ray and Meret Oppenheim, Pop artists Richard Hamilton and Roy Lichtenstein, composers Lamont Young and Terry Riley, and an up-and-coming generation of conceptual and post-studio artists such as Joseph Kosuth and Bruce Nauman. Regardless of stature, each was paid $100 for their contribution. This egalitarian spirit extended to the communal atmosphere of Copley’s upper west side Letter Edged in Black Press loft which functioned as an unofficial hangout for many of the participants.

The six issues of S.M.S. are composed of “original reproductions”—luxurious, exacting replicas of each artist’s work in an edition of approximately 2,000. The magazine spared no expense, seeking out, and even inventing, varied and obscure production methods including Lil Picard’s labor intensive Burned Bow Tie—each of which needed to be individually singed. The enormous edition size—and the affordable price of $125 per subscription—enabled a much broader swath of the public to collect the internationally recognized artists contained in the portfolios. Ultimately short-lived, S.M.S. portfolios were mailed bi-monthly between February and December of 1968 directly to subscribers, with each portfolio containing approximately a dozen works of art.

http://sms.sensatejournal.com/

ED RUSCHA

Ed Ruscha
Babycakes
Numbered edition

Ed Ruscha

Babycakes

Published by Multiples, Inc., New York, 1970

Numbered edition of 1200

7 1/2 × 6 1/4 inches (19.1 × 15.9 cm)

$3,000

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This playful book created by Ed Ruscha and published by Multiples, Inc., is part of the celebrated 1970 Artists & Photographs portfolio. This classic artist’s book is encased in robin’s-egg blue wrappers with green flocked lettering and bound with pink satin ribbon, reflecting its playful title. The pages contain photographs of small pastries and cakes—a pure delight for the holidays!

After graduation, Ruscha began to work for ad agencies, honing his skills in schematic design and considering questions of scale, abstraction, and viewpoint, which became integral to his painting and photography. He produced his first artist’s book, Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations—a series of deadpan photographs the artist took while driving on Route 66 from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City—in 1963. Ruscha since has gone on to create over a dozen artists’ books, including the 25-foot-long, accordion-folded Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) and his version of Kerouac’s iconic On the Road (2009). Ruscha also paints trompe-l’oeil bound volumes and alters book spines and interiors with painted words: books in all forms pervade his investigations of language and the distribution of art and information.

BEFORE WE  ALL DEPART TO VISIT FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR THE HOLIDAYS, OR SETTLE IN AT HOME TO ENJOY THIS SEASON, THE LRFA BLOG WOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERYONE THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAY SEASONS.  YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LRFA BLOG, YOUR COMMENTS, AND SUPPORT HAVE MADE THIS EFFORT A VERY REWARDING ONE.

I HOPE ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS ARE THE SAME.