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P74 Gallery

Tadej Pogačar, Dejan Habicht, Tanja Lažetić – in Beverly Hills

Ed Ruscha, Books & Co.
Gagosian, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
28 July – 9 September 2016

Although here in Slovenia the artist’s book has not yet reached the recognisable and popular status that it deserves – despite this year’s celebration of half a century since the first edition of the first artist’s book in Slovenia Item: BOOK (1966) by Marko Pogačnik – the presentations of Slovenian authors of artist’s books are ever more reaching international success.  

After presentations at prestigious galleries and museums in New York, Munich, Paris (2013–2015) the exhibition Books & Co. will conclude its journey in Los Angeles, the birth town of Ed Ruscha.

The exhibition Books & Co. presents about 100 artist’s books which were created in reference to the work of American artist Ed Ruscha and will be shown alongside the survey exhibition Ed Ruscha: Prints and Photographs. In the 1960s and 1970s Ed Ruscha put out a series of small photographic conceptual artist’s books that later became exceptionally popular. In recent decades, a number of artist’s books have been published that were created as a tribute, commentary or paraphrase of Ruscha’s works.

Also among those exhibited in the elite gallery GAGOSIAN in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles are three Slovenian artists: Tadej Pogačar with the artist’s book Various (Small) Pieces of Trash, Dejan Habicht with the artist’s book One Gasoline Station and Tanja Lažetić’s artists books Coloured People in Black and White (Yellow) in Nine Swimming Pools behind a Broken Glass. They were all issued in 2010 either as self-published works or published by P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute. The exhibition will be on view from 28 July to 9 September 2016.

Tadej Pogačar, Various (Small) Pieces of Trash, 2010
Tadej Pogačar, Various (Small) Pieces of Trash, 2010

Dejan Habicht, One Gasoline Station, 2010
Dejan Habicht, One Gasoline Station, 2010

Tanja Lažetić, Coloured People in Black and White (Yellow), 2010
Tanja Lažetić, Coloured People in Black and White (Yellow), 2010

 

> In 1962 Ed Ruscha self-published his first artist’s book. Twentysix Gasoline Stations is a thin, low budget booklet, which cost only US $3.50 at the time. The book did not arose the interest of the public, even the Library of Congress rejected it because of its “unorthodox form and supposed lack of information”. Over time, the artist’s book has acquired cult status.

> The artist’s book is the visual medium that enabled the OHO movement (Marko Pogačnik and Iztok Geister, later also Matjaž Hanžek, Franci Zagoričnik, Miljenko Matanović, Braco Rotar, Tomaž Šalamun etc.) to break through the world of visual arts. Into the peaceful world of local modernism they introduced deviation, excess and provocation.

>As the first artist’s book in Slovenia, Item: BOOK (1966) by Marko Pogačnik announced several key novelties that were characteristic for the production of OHO’s books in the years 1966–1969: they were issued in small circulation, were self-published and hand made.

>Throughout the last decades, Ruscha’s artist’s books have been very influential – from Bruce Nauman’s Burning Small Fires (1968), in which Nauman documented his burning of a copy of Rusha’s Various Small Fires and Milk  (1964); to Julie Cook’s Some Las Vegas Strip Clubs (2008); to the book by Mishko Henner Fifty-one US Military Outposts (2010), which shows aerial photos of US international military bases. Among the early and later works are books of artists of different generations, different cultural contexts who represent the response to Ruscha’s ideas.