August 19, 2007

More Odds and Ends


Hand of Buddha, 15th-16th century bronze from Thailand Ivory carving by anonymous artist, 1640
The four Elements by Louis Finson, 1611 Tondo 87-3 by Emilio Vedova

Wildly eclectic and full of surprises, Artempo is the best show I have seen in years. I will direct you to Roberta Smith’s enthusiastic review of Artempo on the New York Times for more information. Let me just say that if you happen to be in Venice before October 7, 2007, I would forgive you for missing a rather unremarkable Biennale, but please do not overlook this gem.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Anonymous (Thailand), Hand of Buddha, bronze, 15th–16th century
  • Anonymous, ivory carving, 1640
  • Louis Finson, The Four Elements, 1611
  • Emilio Vedova, Tondo ’87-3, 1987

Brian Dettmer

Itch with Service Angle, by Brian Dettmer

In a recent Giornale comment thread we mentioned Tom Phillips’s A Humument. I was reminded of that work as I saw Brian Dettmer’s exquisite carved books at Urtopia, a group show curated by Kelly McCray at Toronto’s Edward Day Gallery. In a sense, these works are the opposite of collage. Using surgical tools, Brian Dettmer removes paper like an archeologist releasing a fossil from layers of sediment, thereby unveiling connections between words and images hundreds of pages away from each other. The results are breathtaking: solid and sculptural, with a texture resembling the wood from which the paper pulp once came.

Dairy Nets Soda Angle by Brian Dettmer

The Vanishing City

The Vanishing City by Tiger Tateishi

I just found this page in a pile of old magazine clippings. It is a late seventies wordless comic by Tiger Tateishi. I believe Tiger is currently active as a Manga artist; at the time he painted this, he was working at the Ettore Sottsass architecture and design firm. The city being wiped away, Hiroshima-style, by the emptiness emanating from the homeless guy is unmistakably Milan, although I can’t quite place the neighbourhood. If anyone knows more of Tateishi’s works in this vein, I’d love to see them.

Posted by michelangelo at August 19, 2007 09:12 AM

I really enjoyed the Tiger Takeishi comic, easily one of the best single page comics I've ever seen.

Posted by: Aeron on August 23, 2007 05:46 PM

I'd love to see more of Tiger Takeishi's work as well. The above comic is pretty great.

Posted by: Ezra on August 25, 2007 11:59 PM

Oops—It’s Tateishi, with a T. My apologies; I corrected the original post accordingly. It’s amazing what correct spelling can do for web searches! I just found out one more of his paintings and a brief bio at the Yamamoto Gendai Gallery. The bio reveals that unfortunately our man passed away in 1998.
In 1972, Tiger had an exhibition at Alexandre Iolas Gallery in Milan, whose catalogue is available from Abebooks and Bookfinder among others. You can also see some of Tateishi’s renderings of Mendini designs for Alessi at Retromodern. (nothing says late seventies like that sickly-looking airbrush finish). Finally, here is another comic, which seems to be about a Buddhist monk reaching enlightenment.

Posted by: Michelangelo on August 28, 2007 02:52 AM

Oh, and Brian Dettmer has the following to say about Book Dissections:

In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the cover of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

Posted by: Michelangelo on August 28, 2007 03:29 AM
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