Printed Matter is pleased to announce a launch for Beginningless Thought/Endless Seeing: The Works of Stuart Sherman on Friday, December 2nd, 6-8 PM. The publication is presented by The Estate of Stuart Sherman, in collaboration with New York University’s Department of Art and Art Professions and 80WSE Galleries, the NYU Humanities Initiative, and The Fales Library. Printed Matter is located at 195 Tenth Avenue, New York, at 22nd Street.
Beginningless Thought/Endless Seeing is a fully illustrated color catalog documenting the acclaimed 2009 retrospective exhibition of the artist Stuart Sherman curated by John Hagan, Yolanda Hawkins, and John Matturri. It is the first and only monograph of Sherman’s work, surveying the wide spectrum of media that constituted the entirety of the artist’s creative practice including performance, writing, drawing, collage, sculpture and film.
The exhibition Beginningless Thought/Endless Seeing was organized by Jonathan Berger in conjunction with the exhibition Stuart Sherman: Nothing Up My Sleeve, presented at Participant Inc. Gallery in 2009.
Beginningless Thought/Endless Seeing: The Works of Stuart Sherman is available at the Printed Matter storefront or online here
About Stuart Sherman:
Stuart Sherman, one of the most protean of the American avant-garde artists who rose to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, developed his own unique style across various media, the impact of which continues to resonate a decade after his death. He devoted a large amount of his time to the creation of performances he called “spectacles” which often took the form of small tabletop performances. These performances involved the manipulation of both familiar and unfamiliar everyday objects atop one or more folding TV dinner tables. Performed by a poker-faced Sherman, the spectacle performances sit in a uniquely hybrid space that moves between references to various genres including comedy, magic, musicals, minimalism, surrealism, opera, three-card monte games, Fluxus, and vaudeville. While the spectacle performances were generally miniature in scale they were certainly not miniature in ambition, exploring with great wit topics such as time, language, mortality, eroticism, and personal identity. Through these performances he crafted a unique identity both as creator and performer.
Although Stuart Sherman is perhaps best known for his object spectacles as well as for his films (currently being restored by the Museum of Modern Art) and videos (available through Electronic Arts Intermix), the 2009 exhibition presented a much broader view of his artistic achievements through documentation of his large-scale theatrical productions, sculptural proposals, daily collages from the 1990s, and poetry. Exhibited for the first time was an extraordinary series of ideographic and language-based drawings executed in the 1970s, which provide the immediate context for spectacle performances.
The title of the exhibition and publication Beginningless Thought/Endless Seeing was taken from a class syllabus Sherman taught, and defines his work and the nature of his process. In combining these disparate and largely unknown materials for the first time this exhibition and publication highlight the various manifestations of his endless thinking, the richness and depth of his artistry across genre boundaries, and the philosophical themes that informed his artistic identity and personal identity, in equal measure.
Printed Matter, Inc.
Printed Matter, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1976 by artists and art workers with the mission to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists’ books and other artists’ publications.
Printed Matter, Inc. has received support, in part, through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Morris B. and Edith S. Cartin Family Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Erste Foundation, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, The Gesso Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Schoenstadt Family Foundation, Shapco Printing, Inc., the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and individuals worldwide.
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