In the exhibition Artists Books, the Hamburger Kunsthalle
is for the first time presenting a selection of the best-known publications and photo books by artists from its collection of some 3,000 exemplars. Accompanying the books on display, designed by artists from Joseph Beuys and John Cage to Dieter Roth and Wolf Vostell, and also including members of the younger generation such as Yto Barrada, will be a selection of artworks from the collection of the Gallery of Contemporary Art that relate directly to the publications. These include primarily conceptual artworks by Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner and Richard Long.
In the 1960s, the genre of the artists book was greatly expanded by the integration of a wide range of media including actions, happenings, audience participation, and everyday materials. Artists drew on various means of expression for the form and content of their book objects: script, drawing, musical notation, stamping, photocopies, painting, collage and mechanical printing techniques. The publications conjoin poetry and documentation, taking the form of manifestos, sketch books, multiples or political proclamations and thus becoming a field for experimentation that transcends traditional concepts of the book.
In recent years, young artists in particular have rediscovered the artists book, a trend that is evident at international forums such as the now-legendary NY Art Book Fair in New York. Artists record albums are also enjoying a renaissance. Categorised simply as »vinyl«, artist-designed LPs and album covers from the Kunsthalle collection will also figure in the show.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue of highlights from the collection that count among the icons of the artists book genre. A collaborative project with the Hamburg State Library is also planned to digitalise the Kunsthalles holdings, as well as seminars at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.
Participating artists: Yto Barrada, Joseph Beuys, James Lee Byars, John Cage, Hanne Darboven, Mar-cel Duchamp, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Roni Horn, Richard Long, Sol LeWitt, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Rühm, Ed Ruscha, Dayanita Singh, Endre Tót, Timm Ulrichs, Wolf Vostell, Lawrence Wiener, Franz Erhard Walther and many more.
Curators: Andrea Joosten (Head of the Library) and Dr. Petra Roettig (Head of Collection Contemporary Art)