Sol Lewitt’s Artist’s Books; BAS

BAS just moved to a new space: Nuri Ziya Sokak No: 7. We have a larger space. With our new display system we can now show our growing artists’ book collection in a more efficient way.

As BAS, we are working on the production of contemporary and local artists’ books and their international distribution. We also have a growing collection of existing artists’ books which we make available to the public. Our first event will be an exhibition of artists’ books by Sol LeWitt. It will be accompanied by the first of a series of talks where artists can select, talk about, describe or analyze artists’ books. The first guest speaker will be Antoni Muntadas.

The practice of making artists’ books goes back to the nineteenthcentury. It reached its peak during the ’60s, the initial period of conceptual art. Artists of that time believed in the idea that books could be a cheap and democratic way to disseminate works beyond political borders.

Sol LeWitt was one of the most important artists of the conceptual art and minimalism movements. He used books as a vehicle for his ideas and as an alternative space in which to exhibit his work to a wider audience. The books frame the artist’s systematic rationalism and its extreme consequences, as well as addressing the broader issues crucial to the evolution of the artist’s book since the mid-1960s.

Sol LeWitt produced 75 books between 1967 and 2002. On December 15th, BAS will open its new location by hosting a critical selection of 42 books from this exceptional collection. Curated by Giorgio Maffei and Emanuele De Donno, this project by VIAINDUSTRIAE is a unique compilation. It was first exhibited in April 2009 at Spoleto where LeWitt lived for 30 years.

With his close friend Lucy Lippard (activist, writer, and art historian) Sol LeWitt and eight other friends founded Printed Matter in New York in 1976, a very  important non-profit organization for artists’ books and publications.

In this context, we have invited Antoni Muntadas to give a talk at BAS. Muntadas is an artist who has been living in New York City since 1971. He witnessed and shared with LeWitt and Lippard the New York ’70s scene and the development of Printed Matter. Working with multimedia as well as printed matter, a great part of his practice explores archive, recording and manipulation of information through social and political issues.

Muntadas will make a personal selection of artists’ books. He will look into the book and the publication format, a medium that is intensely used by artists and is in constant revision, part of the development of new ideas and formats and representative of an active production. He will talk about some books he thinks are relevant and significant products by different authors since the ’70s, and about some of the artist books initiatives in the ’70s like Printed Matter,NY and Other Books and So,Amsterdam.

The talk will take place at BAS, on January 13, 2010, the last day of LeWitt’s show.

The talk will be in English, the space where the talk will be held is small.