Printed Matter, Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of More Collections of Barbara Bloom, an exhibition of the artist’s publications, editions, and ephemera, from the mid-eighties to the present. The opening also serves as the book launch for The Collections of Barbara Bloom, an ambitious new monograph designed by the artist herself and published by Steidl / International Center for Photography.
"Eclectic combinations of scholarship and pure hunch, Bloom's books give the reader a sense of entering into the artists way of thinking about her subjects without resorting to direct documentation." Dan Cameron in Artforum.
Barbara Bloom’s publications, multiples, and ephemera, much like the rest of her work, examine the act of collecting, the domestic, and the artist’s identity: her “signature” style places her profile and replications of her signature on everything from gold-stamped paper napkins and watermarked letterhead to chocolates and letraset. Butterflies also proliferate, in tandem with an ongoing dialogue with the history of Nabokov, as author and butterfly collector, for example in Reading Lolita in the Dark. Bloom’s books and editions are perennially intimate, “feminine”, and rooted in a firm conceptual ground. They make reference to daily rituals, for example The Birthday Party for Everything (1999) provides the complete ingredients for a perfect party; and her annual calendars, which she has been giving to friends for some thirty years, are a constant reminder of the passing of time.
Other highlights include the artist’s Playboy Vol XLI No. 1 (1994), a braille edition of Playboy—to which the artist has ironically added a fold-out photographic insert of Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce’s Ulysses—as well as a rare edition of the artist’s Weimar, a box of chocolates mimicking a book, which the artist designed for the city of Weimar in 1996.
February 2nd will also serve as a launch for The Collections of Barbara Bloom, an impressive publication designed and conceived by the artist, which functions both as an artist’s survey and as a site for pairing images and text uprooted from their original contexts—installations, publications, and so on. Some 800 images are reduced to idiosyncratic collections (for example “Blushing,” “Stand Ins,” and “Twos-Twins-Doubles-Corners-Symmetry”), moving the book beyond the standard monograph and providing a site for the artist’s implied narratives by repositioning her work inside, beside, and against itself.
The Collections of Barbara Bloom is published by Steidl / ICP and is 256 pages. The publication was authored by Susan Tallman and includes an introduction by Dave Hickey. The Collections of Barbara Bloom retails for $65.00 and is available at printedmatter.org and at our storefront in New York City.
Barbara Bloom was born in Los Angeles in 1951; she studied at Bennington College, and, with John Baldessari, at the California Institute of the Arts. For many years she lived and worked in Amsterdam and Berlin. She has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the MAK, Vienna; the Parrish Art Museum, Southhampton, New York; and other international venues, including the Venice Biennale (1988) and documenta X, Kassel, Germany (1997). She is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Getty Research Institute. She currently lives and works in New York City.