Artists, books, etc. A short list for your browser.
TERMS: For those in London, this list is on view at Tenderbooks (6 Cecil Court) throughout November. Items are guaranteed to be described and delivered to the collector's satisfaction; returns are accepted within 10 days of receipt, with notice. Reciprocal terms are extended to the trade; institutional policies are accommodated. For purchases, please email email@example.com or phone +44 (0)778 482 3526 or +1 416-729-7043; priority is given to first interest. To receive advance copies of future lists, subscribe to our mailing list. Specific wants are always welcome, from both new and established collectors.
Cash as cash can. Jagstfeld, [Germany]: Black Letter Press, 1990. 500 USD Oblong papered-boards (17 x 33 cm.), with American dollar bill mounted to front panel; black-and-red lettering to spine. String-bound, with some pulling at gutter. Contents: 20 leaves, printed on Rives Arches paper, with a raised red rule printed lengthwise across rectos and versos. Colophon to final page; this copy identified as number 20 of 100, signed by artist in pencil. Preserved in original green slipcase.
From the numismatic sub-genre of artist books and multiples: this hand-printed work from the possibly-pseudonymous figure of "Felix Aust" assembles austere typography around a blood-red bottom line, which stops-short of the final recto, featuring details for a Barclay's bank account. With five OCLC records discovered; only two outside of Germany (UCLA and Walker).
Festival de Fort Boyard, 1967. Torino: Galleria Il Punto, 1970. 350 USD White wrappers (17 cm.) with wide French flaps; titles printed in royal blue. Preserved in Fine condition underneath glassine. Contents: 17 glossy leaves, featuring 3 pp. text from Chopin (in French) and mono-chromatic imagery, including reproductions of six of the original posters from 1967, and an additional poster design from Chopin, dated 1969. From the small format edition that purported to be of 1000 copies (unlikely); this copy not numbered.
In the Summer of 1967, bright posters began to appear in the streets that encircled Paris' art galleries, inviting passers-by to Fort Boyard—a Napoleonic-era military fortress in the Atlantic ocean—for an avant-garde arts festival that featured larger-than-life performances from the likes of Brion Gysin, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Serge Béguier, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Mimmo Rotella, and Gil Wolman. On the evening of June 10th, under the title "Back in 5 minutes," Houédard was scheduled to write on a giant typewriter, as balletic composition; jumping from key to key. However, as some disappointed travellers were to discover: outside of these posters, the Festival only existed as the Idea of itself; as the invitation to imagine its happening. Three years later, with the publication of the Festival's catalogue in Turin, those a-functional posters were put back into use: supplying the visual content with which to document a festival that never happened. The catalogue also featured a retrospective text from the festival's architect, Henri Chopin, which could have equally been written three years, or 69 billion years, after-the-fact: “En somme, le festival de Fort Boyard ne risqua pas l’échec. C’était l’oeuvre totale, l’oeuvre parfait, l’enfant inoui, la beauté partout, la pureté absolue, le grandeur trouvée, la force incarnée, la contestation dite, la valeur indiscutée, l’esprit triomphant, la démesure de la mesure, la mesure désmurée, c’étatit en quelque mots, le chef-d’oeuvre, le vrai, celui qui naît après vingt siècles de tâtonnements.” Often overlooked in discussions of this project: this 1970 catalogue concludes with one final poster design, dated April 14, 1969, centred around a visual poem from Chopin. For those with further interest: we also have a scarce group of the original posters available, together with an artist's proof for a retrospective collage by Chopin (dated 1972); see here.
Evoluzione e involuzione. Genova: Edizioni Masnata, 1972. 350 USD Crisp white wrappers (22 cm.), with black titles printed to front panel and spine, underneath tan jacket, which is illustrated with image of human nervous system to front panel and an evolutionary chart to rear. Trace of price sticker to upper corner and small puncture to jacket at spine (roughly mended); otherwise, Near Fine. Contents: 105,  pages, illustrated throughout with scientific diagrams, charts, and drawings. Further illustrated by b&w plates (hors-texte), which reproduce four of Costa’s cranial "reconstructions" from 1971 (i.e. Australopithecus, Pithecanthropus, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens Cro-Magnon). Also: a large folding plate bound at rear (40 x 26 cm.), providing a densely-illustrated history of evolution.
"Evoluzione: il tempo trasportato. Involuzione: lo spazio perduto." While best known as a visual / performance artist, book-making played an indispensable role in Claudio Costa's oeuvre; both for developing the theoretical substratum of his work, and for exploring the very aesthetics of science/anthropology (not unlike the work of Bernar Venet). Thus, with the present work, self-described as "un testo a carattere saggistico," Costa first fully formalized the parameters of inquiry that would structure his influential anthropological turn. With no OCLC records discovered outside the Continent; none in Library Hub. Uncommon to the trade. For a list of additional works by Costa (artist books, catalogues, & ephemera), see here.
[Illustration-art from jacket design for André Salmon's Propos d'atelier]. France, 1938–1967. 3800 USD A design group of three items: (1) a copy of the revised edition of Salmon's Propos d'atelier (Paris: Éditions Excelsior, 1938). Octavo, with colour wrappers designed by Delaunay (signed in-image). Front panel also features a dedication inscription from Delaunay to Jacques Damase. Wrappers starting to pull from spine; otherwise well-preserved, save for minor edge-wear. Contents: 275,  pages, including a new 5 pp. preface from Salmon. Accompanied by (2): an original work of illustration-art by Delaunay for said cover: gouache on card (143 x 119 mm.), unsigned, with some light surface wear; mounted to white backing (for total dimensions of 185 x 158 mm.). And finally: (3) a serigraph poster for a 1967 exhibition in Arras, in which the same design from Delaunay re-appears in inverted fashion; broadside (48 x 38 cm.), with short (1 cm.) tear to margin and traces of light handling.
For this revised edition of poet/critic André Salmon's pioneering defense of modern art (originally published in 1922), Sonia Delaunay was commissioned by Éditions Excelsior to design the covers; electing for a simple geometric design on a vibrant blue field. The basis of this Orphic design—present here in its original gouache form—would return in 1967, in the poster for a retrospective exhibition of Sonia and Robert Delaunay’s work in Arras (at Cercle Noroit); this poster also present here in handsome condition. Provenance: from the estate of art critic and publisher Jacques Damase, a close friend and promoter of Delaunay.
27 tableaux vivants [i.e. Robes poèmes. With original illustration-art]. Milano: Edizioni del Naviglio, 1969. 6500 USD Tall leporello, bound with thick cloth boards (29 x 20 cm.), featuring geometrical design by Delaunay to front panel, white-on-blue. Contents: 39 leaves, featuring 27 full-page pochoir illustrations, after original fashion designs by Delaunay. Text in French, including poem by Blaise Cendrars. Copy no. 457 of 500 copies on velin Aussedat, from a total edition of 650. Front board detached at first leporello hinge; contents otherwise Fine. Accompanied by: two trial designs for Delaunay's cover; gouache on board (32 x 26 cm.), painted to both recto and verso.
Brilliantly unfolding in leporello format, this mature work from Delaunay blends pochoir illustrations of 1920s-era dresses with abstract geometrical designs. Accompanied by an introductory text from Jacques Damase, extracts from Guillaume Apollinaire, and a poem from Blaise Cendrars, with whom Delaunay had earlier worked on the celebrated Prose du Transsibérien (1913). With only 6 OCLC records discovered outside of France; none in Library Hub. This copy is accompanied by two trial designs for the geometrical cover by Delaunay, with the colour scheme of these trials roughly corresponding to the design ultimately employed for the covers of the 150 tête copies of this edition. Provenance: from the estate of art critic and publisher Jacques Damase, a close friend and promoter of Delaunay.
Petite histoire un peu sainte. Mane, France: Robert Morel, 1969. 450 USD Circular artist book, bound by thick brass-ring. Contents:  printed discs, with diameters of 6 cm., about half of them printed both recto and verso; the first and last printed white-on-blue, forming the covers. Save for some edge-wear to front cover, a Near Fine copy. Text in French. One of 500 copies.
A remarkable work of poetry from Robert Filliou; "half-sacred," with a series of figures linked in causal procession: Man before woman before temptation before apple, before snake, fish, sea, flood, rain, clouds, wind, seasons, Earth, sun, sky, stars, night, moon, day, King, people, dream, sleep, hope, fear, war, peace, prophet, faith, god, devil, and death. "La foi, / la foi croyait avant / dieu, / dieu pleurait avant / le diable, / le diable ricanait avant / la mort, / la mort / c'est le passé de l'homme." Bound in an eternal ring, the sequencing from disc to disc is more deliberate and fateful than it would've been as codex. An essential—and somehow overlooked—moment in the history of the artist book. With only a single OCLC & Library Hub record discovered outside of France (at Oxford).
Research in dynamics and comparative statics. [I.e. "La valise"]. [Bruxelles / Hamburg: Ed. Lebeer Hossmann], 1972-1973. 6500 USD A wooden suitcase (50 x 31 x 12.5 cm.), unvarnished, with single brass hinge screwed into right-hand side. With two metal clasps at front edge (still functional) and a wire handle, supplemented by cautionary manuscript note that warns of the handle's fragility; "mieux faut porte le honorable valise sous le bras." With the work's title inscribed by Filliou to a green index card that's tied to the handle with rough twine. To the top of the lid, a manuscript label reads "16704 cm3 de Pre-Territoire de la République Géniale;" green chalk measurements to the lid outline a space of 48 x 29 cm. Some thumb-prints towards edge. To bottom side of suitcase: signed and dated by Filliou in pencil. Contents inside suitcase comprise: (1) 28 folders of various colours, each featuring large manuscript labels to front covers, with approximately 248 pages of manuscript and typescript facsimiles; (2) a table of contents, in facsimile manuscript (5 pp.), with this copy appearing to miss the penultimate page; (3) an audio cassette, in original case, with manuscript labels to both sides A and B ("Singing Sade" and "The Wisdom of R. Filliou"); (4) a further manuscript label, affixed to inner lid: "1958-1965 Mss brought out today (comparative statics) to create tomorrow the Ding Dong Territory of the Genial Republic (dynamics);" and (5) a typescript manifesto (in French), on a sheet of pink graph paper (30 x 21 cm.), with manuscript corrections and an additional manuscript note at bottom, where this copy is hand-numbered as 16 of 30 copies. This sheet having originally been scotch-taped to the inside lid and now preserved loose, with 3 arrows drawn in red chalk to the interior lid identifying its original location. Contents collate as complete, as per entry 52 in the catalogue raisonné of Filliou’s editions and multiples (Jouval, 2003), with an additional folder ("Carnet de plonge / The heart's desire"), containing 2 pp. of typescript facsimiles; one of those being a Christmas gift for Emmett Williams (1963). A remarkably well-preserved copy of one of the genuine Filliou rarities.
"The world, in Filliou's view, is dying because of the age-long insistence upon the development of human talents instead of that of human genius. He wants to create a République Géniale [i.e. a Republic of Genius] dedicated to the development of human genius rather than talent. Private and theoretical experiments (model-building, problem solving) will be carried out in this Republic (and fun and play too). Filliou would like to associate every-one to this research. He says: 'Research is not the privileged domain of those who know. On the contrary, it is the domain of those who do not know. Turning your mind, paying attention to anything you fail to understand is research. Sewers, for instance, or happiness, love, clouds, insects, timidity, hunger, fashion, presence and absence, the sense of smell and the sense of sense, or something else...'"
— From the information sheet issued at Filliou's residency at the Stedelijk Museum, where the concept of the République Génial first fully developed (1971).
Rumoured to have altered his passport to read "Nationalité: poète. Profession: française," the suitcase would appear to have been an ideal binding for Filliou. Here, in collaboration with Irmeline Lebeer, he built 30 wooden suitcases, and filled them with facsimiles of his writings from 1958-1966 (of almost 250 pages); many otherwise unpublished, most of them belonging to his loose genre of "action poetry." Sales of this edition—as "pre-territories"—were intended to raise funds for the research/creation of the République Géniale (i.e. the Republic of Genius); a fluid micro-nation that located its anticipatory Capital in the movements of Filliou's VW wagon (qua wandering festival), which was christened here as the "Ding Dong Territory of the Genial Republic." A wagon to be imagined, perhaps, with its tape deck blasting the audio cassette also included in the suitcase, in which Filliou sings-out lines from the Marquis de Sade as liturgy (or lullaby) and, on the B-side, pronounces the "Wisdom of R. Filliou” through the exclusive sound of his typewriter clattering away as he punches-out a series of 1000 proverbs.
In his book-length interview with Lebeer (Secret of permanent creation), Filliou repeatedly refers to this publishing project / fundraiser as a failure. "If I could, I'd give people their money back. If I could find a way I'd do that. Because what I said I was going to do I haven't done. I had the feeling I got the money under false pretences." Lebeer, as publisher, repeatedly assures him that sales were positive; Dieter Roth was one of the first buyers, stating "one day Filliou will be a great classical poet." Of the 30 copies, OCLC records only one (BnF), while a preliminary search for museum holdings reveals only the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris and MAC Lyon. This copy descends from Filliou's son. "L'art c'est ce qui rend la vie plus intéressante que l'art."
Finlay, Ian Hamilton / Proctor, Ian / Costley, Ron
Seashells. Stonypath, Scotland: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1971. 350 USD Portfolio; folio sheet (30 x 27 cm.), with titles printed in black to front panel and colophon to rear, which is signed by Finlay at bottom and hand-numbered as copy 46 of 350; moderate creasing to lower portion of front panel, along with minor thumb-soiling. Printed to interior: short text from Stephen Bann on Finlay and this work. Inserted loose, a two-colour screen-print, with slight creases to upper corner (in margin) and lower corner of print. A presentable copy of an uncommon work. Ref: Murray (5.30).
In this early work from his Wild Hawthorn Press, Finlay worked with boat designer Ian Proctor to develop a composition of vertically-arranged hulls that take-on the natural-historical appearance of shells. With 11 OCLC records discovered; only two in the United Kingdom, with Library Hub adding another copy at the Scottish Poetry Library.
Dialogue in pale blue. Cleveland, Ohio: Broken Mimeo Press, 1969. 500 USD Oblong (19 x 22 cm.); blue wrappers, with three titles hand-stamped to cut-outs affixed to front cover. Contents: 18 leaves of pale blue paper; the first repeating the hand-stamped titles from the front cover—and joined by an additional cut-out/stamped colophon—with the majority of the remaining leaves hosting cut-and-folded segments of similarly-pale blue paper in various geometric patterns (rectos only). As per colophon: “hand assembled edition: 200 entirely different copies.” Save for some very minor sunning to front cover, a Fine copy.
This aleatory publication from tl kryss and rjs does well to represent the spirit of the poetry scene that circled around D. A. Levy in Cleveland. Prepared to produce a collaborative edition—and stocked with the requisite blue sheets of paper—the two poets found themselves confronted by a broken mimeograph machine. Unfazed, they accepted the challenge—to find a poetry without words—and proceeded to transform the pale blue paper in front of them—cutting, folding, and pasting those sheets into an edition of 200 copies; somewhere between sculpture, origami, and prayer. Hence the only publication to issue from the "Broken Mimeo Press." Library Hub reports a single copy in the UK (Leeds), with OCLC showing two dozen records in North America.
Sculpture by Richard Long made for Martin & Mia Visser... [I.e. Dartmoor, January 10, 1969: seven views of a sculpture...]. Düsselforf: Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum, . 750 USD Oblong wrappers (14 x 21 cm.), panoramically-illustrated after photograph. Contents: 10 leaves, printed rectos only; seven after b&w photographs, concluding with page of explanatory text. Minor bump to spine; Near Fine. One of 500 copies.
After his seminal 1967 work A line made by walking—and his participation, in the same year, in the influential group exhibition in Frankfurt, curated by Paul Maenz (see below)—Richard Long continued to contribute to the discourse surrounding the “dematerialization of the art object” with the present book-work. Arguably his first of many artists books (if not simply his first codex), Long then classified the work as “sculpture.” Hence the single page of explanatory text: “Richard Long’s sculpture for Martin and Mia Visser was conceived for the purpose of photographic reproduction. Richard Long made a system of trenches, which was created according to special camera views. Seen from these camera views, relations become evident between marks in the landscape, such as stone-walls, water-falls, lanes, and Long’s trenches… According to Richard Long’s idea, the photographs in hand do not have the function of a documentation. It is the ‘sculpture made for Martin and Mia Visser.’” The photography is credited to Gerry Schum, with whom Long would next work on the celebrated Land art television broadcast / group exhibition. With 6 OCLC copies discovered in the United States and England; Library Hub adds another copy at the Henry Moore Institute.
19:45 – 21:55, September 9th, 1967, Frankfurt, Germany. [Frankfurt: Galerie Dorothea Loehr, 1967]. 850 USD Side-stapled white wrappers (31 x 21 cm.), with identical titles boldly-printed in black to front and rear panels; this copy hand-stamped as number 362 to front. Some creasing to bottom of front panel and minor edge-wear and toning; otherwise a well-preserved copy of this celebrated catalogue. Contents:  pages, composed of 10 un-opened gatherings, illustrated after photographs and notes from the works of the 8 invited artists.
Documenting a seminal moment in the dematerialization of the art object—whilst performing its own ephemeral function—this conceptual catalogue preserves the two hour group exhibition conceived by Paul Maenz for the evening of September 9th, 1967, in which he invited Jan Dibbets, Barry Flanagan, Bernhard Höke, John Johnson, Richard Long, Konrad Lueg [i.e. Konrad Fischer], Charlotte Posenenske, and his close friend Peter Roehr, to create ephemeral works in the interior and exterior of Frankfurt's Galerie Dorothea Loehr. With only 6 OCLC records discovered in North America and the UK.
31 Aug. — 8. Sept. 1972. 6th Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis. [Iran, 1972]. 750 USD Housed in folding portfolio (32 cm.), with gilt-stamped design to front panel, along with blind-embossed titles; some soiling to boards. Titles printed to inner panels of portfolio, in both Farsi and English, along with summary of former Festival participants (from 1967-1971) and production credits. Contents, also present in both Farsi and English translations, housed loose in six titled folders: Merce Cunningham and Dance Company (4 sheets), Karlheinz Stockhausen (25 sheets, including 19 individual performance notes), Robert Wilson (1 folding biography sheet and two stapled pamphlets of 12 and 20 pp.), Iranian Theater, Films (7 sheets, including a programme of 8 mm. films), Traditional Persian Music (4 sheets), and Katakali / Shanta Rao (6 sheets).
A scarce catalogue from the sixth year of the influential Shiraz Festival of Arts, which ran from 1967 through 1977 (before being cancelled at the onset of the Iranian Revolution), as a platform through which Eastern and Western music, theatre, and performance could benefit through mutual exposure. This edition of the Festival was noteworthy for the multiple performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, with musical direction from John Cage and Gordon Mumma. In his performance notes, present here in both Farsi and English, Cunningham provided insight into the origin and parameters of his performative invention of "Events;" with the Company's September 8th performance being the world premiere of "Perspeolis Event," featuring decor by Andy Warhol. Other folders in this catalogue relate to performances by Robert Wilson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Shanta Rao, along with programmes of traditional Persian music and Iranian theater and films. With OCLC records discovered at NYPL and Harvard.
[Reference catalogue of Petersburg Press publications]. London / New York / Milan, 1968–1976. 2000 USD Housed in blue binder (31 x 23 cm.), this small archive features catalogue entries on 66 leaves, inserted loose into plastic sleeves. With each entry related to a graphic work from the Petersburg Press, described via typescript, manuscript, or typescript text and accompanied by original photographs, either stapled or paper-clipped. The majority of the entries appearing on the letterhead of the Petersburg Press; about 1/3 appearing on leaves with the hand-stamp of La Fabbrica, SRL (with descriptive text in Italian).
A curious archive—presumably having been used as a sales and/or reference binder by a Milanese gallery—preserving details of the books, prints, and multiples issued by the Petersburg Press between 1968 and 1976. Founded in London in 1968, with a New York branch opening in 1972, the core activity of the Press was collaboration with artists to publish limited edition prints and livres d'artistes. The alphabetically-organized entries in this binder provide essential details on the works, including title, date, medium, edition size, dimensions, and sometimes prices, with each work illustrated with an accompanying photograph. Artists represented being: Patrick Caulfield, Gene Davis, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Jasper Johns, R. B. Kitaj, Allen Jones, Henry Moore, Ed Moses, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Di[e]ter Rot[h], Mark Tobey, William Tucker and John Walker. Absent a full bibliography of the Press' output, the present binder serves as an indispensable reference work for British and American contemporary art history.
[Palimpsest]. Lara: opéra comique en trois actes et six tableaux... France, circa 1994. 8500 USD Unique palimpsest painting. Re-purposed octavo (27 cm.), originally hosting the musical score for the opera Lara, as published by E. et A. Girod circa 1864 (296 pp., with upper portion of leather spine perished; binding nonetheless stable). The first 81 pages of the publication have been painted-over by Taillandier, with 7 full-page and 34 double-paged paintings—many of them in-dialogue with portions of the score, peeking through. With Taillandier’s signature to the bottom of his newly-crafted title page. Housed in custom cloth solander box, with gilt titles to front panel.
Les monstres mythiques issus de l’imaginaire de Taillandier incarnent toutes les contradictions et les espoirs d’une humanité qui se retrouve devant son propre miroir. Et cette mythologie est une mythologie de bon augure, un antidote contre le poison du malheur. Dans cette époque où la critique d’art, une fois débarrassée de la nostalgie du passé, a essayé de surmonter sa panique du changement et le pressentiment de l’avenir, Yvon Taillandier a su bâtir une mythologie dont les nouveaux dieux incarnant les mythes d’un humanisme toujours remis en question. Et c’est à travers ce "délire tempéré" de l’imagination que se perpétue une véritable aura de la bonne fortune. Cette mythologie est porteuse d’une espérance infinie et je suis reconnaissant à Taillandier de nous donner de bonnes raisons de croire en l’homme. — Pierre Restany (in Yvon Taillandier. Paris: Cercle d'Art, 2006)
Well-recognized for his work as an art historian—with works on Giotto, Rodin, Cézanne, and Miró—as well as for his decades-long service as Secretary to the Salon de Mai, Yvon Taillandier began to mobilize his analytical insights into an intense painterly vocation in the 1970s, painting on canvas, cardboard, doors, buildings, cars, books, et cetera. Here—likely during the same period in which he painted-over a copy of La bohème—Taillandier intervened on Maillart's 19th century operatic adaptation of Lord Byron's poem Lara; with the codex providing an ideal medium to exhibit the ambitious teratological system that would acquire the adjective "Taillandier-landais," complete with tubes associatifs, acephalic creatures, horizontalistes, centames (being spiritually-evolved centaurs), égyptiens, and instances of Alicibiadisme: "Exemple parmi beaucoup d’autres: les autos qui tirent la langue, les hélicoptères qui ont la form d’un tête." (Cf. the lexicon in the monograph published by Cercle d'Art in 2006).
Provenance: from the estate of publisher and art historian Jacques Damase, a close friend of Taillandier (1926-2018).