P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center's Fall Exhibitions Opening
Date: Sunday, October 25, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Learn to Read Art: A History of Printed Matter presents a comprehensive overview of Printed Matter, the artists' bookstore, focusing on the philosophy established by its founders in 1976. The exhibition radically questions the notion of art as an elitist structure, and proposes an art conceived along democratic ideals, a low-cost art that travels out into the world through the distribution systems usually reserved for books and periodicals, or popular music. Featuring more than 100 international artists, Learn to Read Art explores the artists' desire to create with the idea that art is both intimate, and for everyone.
Printed Matter's emphasis has always been on books; however, artists have moved in many directions, experimenting with everything from periodicals and vinyl records to posters and postcards. The exhibition also includes more expectable editions, such as photographs, which, if we think about it, were originally intended to be low-cost reproducible media. And then there are somewhat less expectable formats, such as the skateboards by Liam Gillick, Ari Marcopoulos and Mark Gonzales.
The exhibition follows the organization from storefront to storefront over more than three decades, featuring installations by Lawrence Weiner, Josh Smith, and Jenny Holzer. Josh Smith's book of 473 numbered silkscreened leaves is housed in a pair of wooden book covers, themselves made from the table on which the silk-screening was done. Spread out on the walls in the exhibition, they become an almost delirious cacophony of repetition.
The number of artists who have helped support Printed Matter is astonishing: editions by John Baldessari, Barbara Bloom, Larry Clark, Liam Gillich, Jenny Holzer, Terence Koh, Barbara Kruger, Christian Marclay, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Scott Hug, Felix Gonzales Torres, Christopher Wool and many more animate the rich history.
An architecture of book-shaped platforms by Gareth Long contains the project and provides seating, display, and storage for the project.
Learn to Read Art: A History of Printed Matter is organized by AA Bronson, President of Printed Matter, and produced in cooperation with the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany. Its New York presentation is part of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center's new programmatic series Free Space.