The word ‘autobiography’ was first used deprecatingly by William Taylor in 1797 in the English periodical the Monthly Review, when he suggested the word as a hybrid but condemned it as ‘pedantic’; but its next recorded use was in its present sense by Robert Southey in 1809. The form of autobiography however goes back to antiquity. Biographers generally rely on a wide variety of documents and viewpoints; an autobiography, however, may be based entirely on the writer’s memory.
Autobiographical works are by nature subjective. The inability — or unwillingness — of the author to accurately recall memories has in certain cases resulted in misleading or incorrect information. Some sociologists and psychologists have noted that autobiography offers the author the ability to recreate history.
The traveling survey of Agnes Martin’s work that debuted this summer at Tate Modern in London offers an opportunity to reconsider an artist who seems easy to know. Martin is generally pictured as a sage of the desert dispensing measured lines of graphite, pale paint and gnomic prose with ritual changelessness. In and around New York, she is perhaps best known as one of those select few whose work is semi-permanently enshrined at Dia:Beacon, high church of Minimalism and citadel against all forms of personal contingency. To lay out the narrative arc of Martin’s development, as the present exhibition does, is a welcome corrective.
The Concert Register of Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005) is printed (starting on page 7) with every concert featuring the music of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) printed in the color of red (the frontispiece on page 2 is a reference to this idea). The inspiration for printing the words of Jesus in red comes from Luke 22:20 – “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which I shed for you”. On June 19, 1899, Louis Klopsch (1852-1910) conceived the idea while working on an editorial. Klopsch asked his mentor Rev. T. De Witt Talmage what he thought of a testament with the words spoken by Jesus printed in red ink and Dr. Talmage replied, “It could do no harm and it most certainly could do much good.”
“After studying Alien in intimate detail, it’s time to look at the typography and design of Ridley Scott’s other classic sci-fi movie,Blade Runner. Based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runnercements Scott’s reputation for beautiful, gritty, tech noir science fiction.”
Debates have arisen as to whether all biographies are fiction, especially when authors are writing about figures from the past. All history is seen through a perspective that is the product of our contemporary society and as a result biographical truths are constantly shifting. So the history biographers write about will not be the way that it happened. It will be the way they remembered it. Debates have also arisen concerning the importance of space in life writing.
On the other hand, some years ago the Art Newspaper named eighteen “Van Goghs” in public collections that had been downgraded as fakes or are works of questionable authenticity. Most of them were taken off display, including pictures in the Van Gogh Museum, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Well recorded is the controversy reigning for many years regarding the authenticity of some forty oil paintings previously attributed to the Dutch master artist Vincent van Gogh. Believed by some commentators and van Gogh art experts, these works of art may in fact actually have been executed by one of Vincent van Gogh’s pupils, perhaps someone within van Gogh’s circle or even may be deliberately faked variations of Vincent van Gogh’s art works. But this is controversial and if so, a fraud effected right back at the turn of the last century. Art scholars and expert historians alike constantly challenge and raise issues about van Gogh’s oeuvre and presumably will continue to do so.
The margin space on the page between the binding and the inside edge illustration or any printed element is called the gutter. At some time you unquestionably experienced an insufficient gutter. You open a book to find that the text’s inside edge is partially obscured by the tight binding. You force the book to open wider and ultimately break its binding. Printing and binding technology has become highly precise, but some variance is inevitable. This book shows the image of the painting divided in two by means of a generous gutter.
Léopold Lambert interviews graphic novelist Marc-Antoine Mathieu. Aces!
A Duchamp readymade, a Picasso still life, a Jasper Johns flag, a Judd stack — these works were all but inaccessible in a small city in Minnesota. For Todd Van Buskirk the “originals” only ever existed as copies, poor reproductions in textbooks and magazines.
Times are changing for the traditional exhibition catalogue, those weighty tomes with four-color images of the works, newly commissioned scholarly essays, a list of lenders, and all the other usual components. In the last few years, a confluence of several factors – including budget cuts necessitated by the recession, the high cost of producing catalogues, low demand for them, advances in technology, and the shaky publishing environment – has caused many U.S. museums to rethink their catalogue programs and to forego some altogether.
Book-sized exhibition catalogues in the West typically have a colour photograph of every item on display, and also of other relevant works not in the exhibition (these usually smaller and often in black and white). There will be a short formal catalogue description of each item, and usually interpretative text often amounting to one or more pages.
When Van Buskirk is done with a painting, there is nothing to hang on a wall. The painting is on the hard disk of a computer. The usual way to make it presentable and salable is to project it on a traditional carrier, such as paper, canvas or polyester.
Working with two separate carriers – the hard disk where the artwork was created and saved as a file, and the paper, canvas, etc. on which it is projected and which becomes its actual physical appearance – raises some specific difficulties for digital artists as well as art dealers. The most prominent is: how to protect the numerical uniqueness of an artwork if the source is stored in single digits in the computer and can be exactly and infinitely reproduced?
The emergence of a market for digital art is currently still hampered by the fact that the original is often indistinguishable from the (cheaper) copy. As a result, along the current development path, the sale of the original painting is gradually supplanted by the sale of prints, and the market for digital art moves in the direction of the market for the printed book, where the original manuscript is mainly a tool to maximize the sale of exact copies.
They insert a (digitally painted) image of an (untitled) ‘abstract expressionist’ painting onto page 17 (out of 32 un-numbered pages including the Title page). The remaining pages (except the Title page) are intentionally left Blank (starting on p.2). The original document size (or Pixel Dimensions) of the image is 2048 x 1024 pixels and the printed size (as printed on p.17) will be Approximately 1000 x 500 pixels.