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The Swiss-born artistic nomad Dieter Roth, spent much of his 5-decade career flitting between styles and media and means of production. But for me, the most exciting slice of this vast and varied career is that moment in the 1950s and early 60s knows as his “Concrete Period“.

During this phase of geometric, op and process-oriented art Roth created over twenty version of what he usefully called “Bok”. These “books”, were collections of loose-leaf pages, that had slots handcut from them according to certain rules and patterns. The pages in each book were largely 2 colors (with one exception), and ranged in number from 10 to 24. The pages in each could be rotated, arranged and stacked to create millions of patterns.

Each book was about 40cm square and the edition sizes were small. Many versions were one-of-a-kind, only four were printed in editions of more than 20 copies. Eventually, in his Collected Works, Volume 8, (Gesammelte Werke Band 8), 2 of these were reproduced in a die-cut edition of 1000.

dieter roth hand cut books

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More information about these books at MoMA’s website, as well as at sites maintained by the Grahame Galleries and Zucker Art Books. In print, the volume Dieter Roth Books + Multiples: Catalogue Raisonne has plenty of information about the various iterations of this idea, and is the source of some of the images in this post.

dieter roth javascript sketechAdditionally, in my fascination, I’ve recreated one of these books as an interactive web app project, you can play with it here. (Thanks to Zucker Art Books for providing the measurements.)

shelf / / dieter roth — posted on November 10th, 2014

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Andrew McLeod is a ridiculously prolific artist. So said the gentleman at the DDMMYY table at the LA Art Book Fair earlier this year. DDMMYY is a small press based in Auckland, New Zealand, that puts out a zine series featuring a single artist in each issue. This issue is only the tip of the iceberg of Andrew McLeod’s work:

He remixed the Te Papa Museum’s collection of historic paintings into this series of amazing posters.

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640 (2)

He had a show of these paintings and collages earlier this year.



He designs textiles for fashion designer Jimmy D.



He has a publication called BMCT, which stands for blackmetalcytwombly.



shelf, wall / / Andrew McLeod — posted on October 22nd, 2014

Shelby Arnold Concertina Shelby Arnold Concertina Shelby Arnold Concertina Shelby Arnold Concertina Shelby Arnold Concertina Shelby Arnold ConcertinaA lovely, simple and inspiring concertina book created by Shelby Arnold. We found this one at the excellent Desert Island. Enjoy.

shelf / / Shelby Arnold — posted on June 11th, 2014

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Some select favorite collages and sculptures from the past several years of work by Dutch artist Louis Reith. Prints are available from Little Paper Planes. Reith also founded Jordskred, an indie publisher of artist books and music.

Louis Reith with his submission to a Nike/YOUR:OWN collaboration in 2010

Louis Reith with his submission to a Nike/YOUR:OWN collaboration in 2010

wall / / Louis Reith — posted on May 9th, 2014

P1040128 - cropped 1P1040133 - croppedgood--P1040131---croppedP1040127 - cropped P1040130 - sliceP1040136 - croppedP1040126 - croppedP1040135 - cropped 1Auta z Dakaru, a Czech pamphlet of paper model truck plans by Richard Vyškovský.


shelf / / Richard Vyškovský — posted on February 16th, 2014

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

This is a companion to our recent post of Lebbeus Woods’ illustrations.

Prior to his wider recognition as an architect and theorist, Lebbeus Woods provided illustrations for several works of science-fiction. One of which was a book club edition of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sentinel publish in 1983 by Berkley Books. This hardcover was simultaneously offered in a deluxe slip-cased edition of 465 copies, each signed by both Clarke and Woods. Nice.

While these illustrations are fantastic, perhaps Woods’ best-known intersection with science-fiction came later when he sued the makers of the film 12 Monkeys for undeniably appropriating some of his images for the film.


For more Lebbeus Woods work, info and links, see our earlier posts on his illustrations for the Red Herring Poets, and on OneFiveFour.

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods
Illustration by Lebbeus Woods Illustration by Lebbeus Woods  Illustration by Lebbeus Woods Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

shelf / / Lebbeus Woods — posted on October 13th, 2013

Fall is here! Here are some books we’re excited to see coming out this season:


Images courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press blog:

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1. In the City by Nigel Peake, Princeton Architectural Press. This is the urban-focused follow up to Peake’s excellent illustrations of rural life, In the Wilds. Earlier this summer PAP put out a set of 12 full color note cards by Peake, including 6 illustrations from the City series and 6 from the Wilds. In the City is available on PAP’s web store now.


Images courtesy of the artist’s website:

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2. Burtynsky – Water, Edward Burtynsky, Steidl Verlag. The release of this book coincides with exhibitions of Burtynksy’s photographs at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York (through November 2), a touring museum exhibition organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art (October 5 – January 19), a documentary film called Watermark, and an iPad app. Through all of these formats, Burtynsky explores the relationship between civilization and water, and the impact of that relationship on the landscape.

photo from W.W. Norton

3. The Great War, Joe Sacco. This looks exciting. We snap up a lot of accordion books, and we’re eager to get our hands on this 24 foot long drawing. The project reminds us that just before the advent of the motion picture, battlefield cylorama toured the world providing 19th century audiences with sprawling narrative, pseudo-cinematic experiences. This looks like the kind of project that reveals new details each time you pick it up. Check out some more pictures at W.W. Norton, and more still at NPR.

Bonus Track: And once fall is over, you can look forward to something new from James Turrell. Details are scarce but he…

is currently working on a book with LACMA and Kulturforum Järna that he hopes to debut at the end of this year called “The Turrell World Tour”, which challenges fans to visit all 82 of his site-specific works across 26 countries. “You go and visit a place and you have that signed,” says Mr Turrell. “If you visit all the spaces, then you’ll be our guest at Roden Crater.”

That’s according to The Economist. For more details on the “World Tour” and Turrell’s “masterwork” at Roden Crater, here’s a post at ArtInfo. The Roden Crater project has site now too.


Photo from

shelf / — posted on October 2nd, 2013

lebbeus woodsLebbeus Woods, who passed away just last year, was lucky enough to spend his last decades as a professional visionary, architect and theorist. His first widely available published work, OneFiveFour, came from the Princeton Architectural Press in 1989, which we wrote about last year. He did, however, have a string of smaller press titles previous to OneFiveFour.

The images in this post are from our collection of Lebbeus’ early published drawings which appeared alongside poetry, not architecture, although they are clearly characteristic of the later Lebbeus Woods aesthetic.

lebbeus woods lebbeus woods lebbeus woods lebbeus woods lebbeus woodsDetails:

In the Dream Museum — Red Herring Chapbook No. 6.
Robert Bensen. Swamp Press, 1980

Matrix — The Red Herring Poets
Robert Bensen (ed.). Channing-Murray, 1976.

Here is some information about The Red Herring Poets from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

Formed in 1974, the Red Herring Poets hosted weekly poetry workshops and monthly meetings at the Red Herring Coffeehouse, located at the Channing-Murray Foundation in Urbana, Ill.

SFMoMA had an exhibit on Lebbeus Woods earlier this year, described as follows:

The extensive drawings and models on view present an original perspective on the built environment — one that holds high regard for humanity’s ability to resist, respond, and create in adverse conditions. “Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules,” he once said.

And Woods’ sizeable blog is still available and full of content for you to browse.

shelf / lebbeus woods — posted on September 20th, 2013