August 29 2014

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3 posts tagged "Thurston Moore"

Print’s Not Dead, So Visit Room&Book


Room & Board

“We’re in a golden age of paper in the U.K. and internationally,” related Lucy Moore, the director of Claire de Rouen books in London. “There are so many different types of creative people, whether artists or designers or writers, really enjoying making books and magazines—it’s time to celebrate that.”

The celebration Moore is talking about is the three-day book fair Room&Book, which brings together the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Claire de Rouen, and a host of rare-book creators and dealers to show a broad-ranging trove of art books, special editions, and vintage fashion and cult zines. Room&Book functions differently than your traditional book fair: Rather than bringing in the big publishers to show the major new works, the fair is made up of pieces from niche dealers, specialty bookshops, and artists (like Tauba Auerbach, who will be on-site representing her own publishing imprint). “The importance of the artist publication is sometimes underplayed. I think for most artists, when they produce a publication, it’s almost an extension of their work—if not their work,” explained Gregor Muir, executive director of the ICA, of why these works are so special. “We have to acknowledge that sometimes actual artworks are beyond us, whereas art books are not.”


The pieces at the fair span from new editions from Thurston Moore, Juergen Teller, and Alasdair McLellan to underground zines like seventies punk chronologue New York Rocker, which was brought in its fifty-seven-issue entirety by New York-based dealer Arthur Fournier. “There is a group of dealers, including myself, who are all trying to shake up the trade and bring new materials to this world,” said Fournier. “I’m just so excited to be working in the world of fragile, beautiful, and important precious materials at a time when most of our reading is on iPhones and iPads—these things don’t last forever.”

“What we’re doing isn’t necessarily a book fair,” said Muir. “The idea is to kind of really start to examine the artist book in a different way.”

Room&Book runs from June 6-8 at London’s ICA. For more information, visit

Photos: Courtesy Photos 

Kim Gordon: Rock Star, Designer, Contemporary Artist


Kim Gordon's artworks

Before she met Thurston Moore, before Sonic Youth and any inklings of the quake she would make in noise/art rock history (and before she had any connection to the fashion world, for that matter), Kim Gordon was an art student studying at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She moved to New York after graduating in the late seventies, and started waiting tables and working in a couple of galleries as she made her own work on the side. Not long after, she had her first show at White Columns, then a “Deco building that looked like a showroom” in Soho, in 1981. “I started this thing with a friend of mine called Design Office—the idea was to do an intervention with private spaces: alter them in some physical, decorative way,” explained Gordon, who took over the gallery with household items from friends’ apartments. “It wasn’t really meant to be high design. It was more psychological—dealing with the idea of switching private and public.”

More than thirty years later, Gordon is once again showing at White Columns, this time presenting a retrospective of her work from 1980 to today. Design Office, which references the original early-eighties project and show, opens on September 7 with an exhibition of photographs, videos, sculptures, writings, and paintings. Many of the works have only been seen by a handful of people. “There are really early text pieces like small proposals for stories, paintings of noise bands, watercolors of guys in noise bands, and pictures of Paris Hilton, [as well as] more recent paintings of tweets that I took off Twitter,” explained the artist. “They look kind of minimal, and tie together by way of production value—like, not very good, poor production values. [I used] impure elements like glitter or canvases that are pretty cheap.”

Kim Gordon

Tweet paintings, like All Animals Have the Same Parts’ Pamela Anderson Retweeted by Richard Prince (top left,) are composed on ripped notebook paper and rest alongside electric-blue-covered twigs and painted jean skirts. A limited-edition solo vinyl recording by Gordon will accompany the exhibition.

The show opens just before the release of Gordon’s new album with noise experimentalist Bill Nace, titled Coming Apart, on September 10. “It’s kind of freer and more textural,” said Gordon, who will perform with Nace at Brooklyn’s Union Pool that night. “Some of it is sort of early Velvet-y…but it’s really like nothing I’ve heard.”

Design Office will be on exhibit from September 7 to October 19 at White Columns Gallery, 320 West 13th Street, New York.

Photos: Courtesy of White Columns Gallery

Punk’s Not Dead—And It’ll Soon Be On DVD


A trip down memory lane today had me thinking about punk and grunge in the early nineties. Following the spate of designer departures, we at were remembering one of the nineties’ most trumpeted (after the fact, at least) layoffs: Marc Jacobs’ firing from Perry Ellis, following his grunge-inspired Spring ’93 collection. Hindsight’s 20/20: Today, Jacobs is near-untouchable, and that particular collection has gone down in history (or is it infamy?) as one with enduring appeal. Of course, as much credit as Jacobs deserves, he had a little help. I’m thinking of his friends in the actual grunge scene at the time, the ones whose thrifted-or-lifted, tattered-and-layered sensibility helped refine his vision. People like Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon (above, with Courtney Love) and Thurston Moore—longtime friends of Jacobs—as well as legendary grungesters like Kurt Cobain and J Mascis. They all make up the cast—if you can call it that—of the groundbreaking music doc 1991: The Year Punk Broke, which has, somehow, never made it onto DVD. That is, until this coming fall. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dave Markey’s documentary, about Sonic Youth and Nirvana’s 1991 European tour, the film will finally make its way to DVD in September (with extras including commentary by Markey and Moore and a 42-minute film of SY/Nirvana performances). It’s about time. 1991 has long been VHS-only, sending appreciators without VCRs (myself included) to YouTube for our fix. Until the DVD does hit stores this fall, that’s still your best bet, and where you’ll find SY’s performance of “Teenage Riot” from the movie or Gordon and the gang mugging for TV and fooling around (“You promised me there’d be no interesting people in the front row!”). Twenty years on, nineties style is having something of a moment. Once today’s designers get their Netflix queues around this one, can a New Grunge look be far behind?