artists & participants
Blank. Raw. Illegible... Artists' Books as Statements (1960-2022)
14.05.2023 - 03.09.2023
opening: 14.05.2023 - 12 h
With "Blank. Raw. Illegible... Artists' Books as Statements (1960-2022)" the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum shows a representative selection of international positions dedicated to the blank book as an artistic medium. The number of 259 artists' books on display, among others by Michael Asher, Luciano Bartolini, Irma Blank, Marcel Broodthaers, Ulises Carrión, Olafur Eliasson, Ryan Gander, Dora Garcia, Martin Kippenberger, Sara MacKillop, Piero Manzoni, Bruce Nauman, Olaf Nicolai, Ed Ruscha, Simon Starling, and Heimo Zobernig refers to the legendary exhibition "Book as Artwork 1960/72" curated by Germano Celant and Lynda Morris, but the selection focuses exclusively on the qualities of blank, raw, illegible, empty, unprinted, tautological, hermetic, dysfunctional, and mysterious.
Curated by curator, editor, and collector Moritz Küng, the exhibition explores how contemporary artists and artist collectives exploit and activate the conceptual potential of a blank sheet of paper or a book with empty pages for their artistic practice. In the process, the empty, non-existent, and invisible become meaningful, and the refusal of legibility in the conventional sense becomes a telling statement. A seemingly absent content reveals a multitude of unexpected perspectives on conventions of communication and themes of speechlessness, origin, and disappearance. Starting with a significant exploration by artist Herman de Vries of the designation of the color white, the exhibition opens up the diversity of artistic concepts in reflecting on emptiness, purity, and raw material in relation to the formal and functional criteria of books in 15 chapters, the headings of each of which are taken from one of their book titles.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalog published by Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, Köln, with details of the works, references and illustrations of all the books exhibited.