22 March 2012

Weekly Perusables: Hanuman Miniature Books

Hanuman books published miniature books by well-known writers and artists from 1986 to 1993.  The press, created by editor Raymond Foye and artist Francesco Clemente, was based out of New York City, but the books were printed and bound in India.  Their small 3" x 4" format was modeled off of Hindu prayer books, and the covers were made with handmade Indian paper and vegetable dies.

With a total of 50 titles, the Hanuman series included works by William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Jack Kerouac, and William de Kooning.  The Herron Library collection holds titles by artists Robert Frank, David Hockney and Francis Picabia, and critic and curator Henry Geldzahler.

Robert Frank One Hour
Henry Geldzahler Looking at Pictures
David Hockney Picasso
Francis Picabia Who Knows
Francis Picabia Yesno
All housed in secure area

Museu D'Art Contemporani de Barcelona's Col·lecció documental Hanuman Books 
University of Michigan Special Collections Library's Finding aid for Hanuman Books Records

(blog entry by Sara O'Sha)

15 March 2012

Weekly Perusables: Mamma Andersson

Swedish painter Mamma Andersson creates ghostly, melancholic landscapes and interiors. Many of her interiors depict layers fading into each other, with inside and outside merging, bringing to mind a camera obscura and the work of Abelardo Morell. Painters will find her technique particularly interesting because of the way her oils and acrylics appear by turns washed out and rich. She also employs the decalcomania technique, once popular with Max Ernst and other Surrealists. You can see how her work progresses between the two books in our collection, with the compositions becoming more complex and colors more considered in her recent work.

Mama Andersson
ND793 .A54 A4 2010 (Stacks)
ND793 .A54 A4 2007 (Special Collection)

Image from David Zwirner

(blog entry by Jessica Sowls)

08 March 2012

Weekly Perusables: elles@centrepompidou

In 2009 France's national museum of modern art, the Centre Pompidou, devoted the entire permanent collection to the work of women artists. Like the exhibition, the elles@centrepompidou catalog is arranged thematically with key female artists like Frida Kahlo, Sonia Delaunay, and Dorothea Tanning alongside major contemporary creators. More than 500 works by 200 artists are brought together under the themes Pioneer, Free Fire, Body Slogan, The Activist Body, A Room of One's Own, Wordworks, and Immaterials.

In addition to more than 300 pages of color images, elles@centrepompidou includes quotes from the artists and essays reflecting on gender and art. This book is an excellent collection of the multifaceted and diverse work by women that have, and continue to, create art history.

elles@centrepompidou: women artists in the collection of the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre de création industrielle
Centre Pompidou, 2009
N8354 .M8713 2009

(blog entry by Sara O'Sha)

01 March 2012

Weekly Perusables: The Faith of Graffiti

The Faith of Graffiti documents the early graffiti art of New York City. First published in 1974, the book includes full color photographs by Jon Naar and Mervyn Kurlanksy with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning writer Norman Mailer. Mailer's essay covers the origins of the movement and discusses graffiti as pure art, comparing it to celebrated works in the MoMA and the Met.

Kurlansky and Naar's photographs, shot in twelve days throughout the city's boroughs, depict both the birth of an art form, and the decay of 1970s New York. The pieces in Faith of Graffiti are mainly name tags and early developments of the more elaborate letting styles found in the 1984 book Subway Art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant. Both titles trace the progression of early street art and serve as essential documentation of work long cleaned off or painted over.

The Faith of Graffiti
by Jon Naar, Mervyn Kurlanksy, and Norman Mailer
GT3913.N72 N44 1974

Subway Art
by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant
GT3913.N72 N43 1984

"Off the Wall" by Hua Hsu on bookforum.com. Image from flavorwire.com 

(blog entry by Sara O'Sha)