[Note: I noticed yesterday when I was looking at the other altered books on this blog that I had not “officially” posted this book as complete. So here it is. It was actually finished at the beginning of February, 2011.]

Altered book by NewLights Press: Aaron Cohick, et al.
220 pages, hardcover, casebound, 11” x 18” (open)
Mass produced art history book altered through delamination
Purchased for a private collection.

The original book was:

Brandon Taylor, Collage: The Making of Modern Art, (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004). It is one of the best surveys of collage in modern & postmodern art that I have read.

The last image shows a detail of the text that was runs in a continuous line along the bottom of the book. It was written subtractively (by removing words) from the original text. But you, lucky you, can read the full text below:

The method of constructing from parts. It is the synthesis of colourless, white or grey-black areas of colour, or the arrangement of unexpected proportions. Written in the graphics of a powerful weapon aware of the very different demands of concluding that the system of montage is dialectic. It is a statement, after all, that neither Klutsis or Lissitzky could have made; nor Heartfield or Hoch, “Lyricism is the crown of life: Constructivism is its already existing soft-porn surfaces, even, on occasion, a castrating machine. Yet the most persistent motif is one that only collage as a device could generate: the softness of parts not only indexically presented but eroticized as a purely photographic contrast of textures: grass, gravel or wood, inside barbed-wire, in the midst of dry leaves, or, in one case, inverted on the body and placed against the austere brick superstructure.

Such works not attempted hitherto: the minutest visible variations in photographic color and tone, magnified by the tell-tale curves of the paper’s scissored edges. By systematically excising one and placing it against a subtly contrastive one, an interval, a gap, which is in itself stimulating. ‘It is sight’, he had suggested, proposing desublimation of the senses: ‘The optical environment in which ‘the development of a bland, large, balanced, Apollonian art…in which an intense detachment this detachment that enabled him to see a Cubist collage by Picasso or Braque in a radically anti-illusionistic way: ‘the Cubists always emphasized the identity of the picture as a flat and more or less abstract pattern rather than a representation’. To choose between them is preferable to ambiguity: collage had now attained to the full and declared three-dimensionality we automatically attribute to the notion “object”, and was being transformed, in the course of a strictly coherent process with a logic all its own, into a new kind of houses we live in and furniture we use’. rectangles littered with small pictures rectangles are references to technology, the industrial process, heavy machinery. Thirdly, as a physical object it occupies a kind of middle ground between the single, exhibitable object and the flickering succession of a moving film. Turning its pages is a one-person affair, addressed to relatively private experience as opposed to the collectivity of a show. Yet politics was never far away. To that extent it may be mourning the flowering of quiet defiance: she knew such works could not be exhibited. But she was increasingly vulnerable. She was being watched and possibly denounced, she managed to escape attention.

text written in opposition to works of ‘degenerate’ modernism is positioned close by. The art historian T. J. Clark has studied the problem: the work to annihilate the negation of the negation’. she boldly mangled several works to produce collage of her own. The background to this benevolent act of ‘completion’ is inevitably complicated by Krasner’s relationship to Pollock. ‘”Waste not, want not”, open it out and let space back in, it turns out that Krasner had her own adventure tumbling, thinking that Krasner soon became disenchanted with the work.

My studio was hung with a series of black and white drawings I had done. I hated them and started to pull them off the wall and tear them and throw them on the floor…. Then another morning began picking up torn pieces of my drawings and re-glueing them. Then I started. I got something going I started. People would just come and wouldn’t put on a show or entertain. They came happily and sat down and left four hours later: you’d listen to some music and you’d look at things. What I enjoyed was not the conversation but the things we looked at…there were evenings where there was not much talk.

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