RUSCHA, Ed. Babycakes.
: Multiples Inc., 1970. New York
12mo.; illustrated throughout in black and white; hole punch bound with pink ribbon; green velour letter on blue wrappers. Fine.
First edition; one of 1,000 copies. Ed Ruscha’s contribution to the Artists + Photographs box set published by Multiples Inc. in 1970 is one of his most perfectly realized books. Babycakes begins with an image of a baby captioned with its weight and then continues with a series of snapshots of cakes, all likewise captioned with their weight. Ruscha takes the convention of listing a newborn’s weight in announcing the birth of a child and skews it so it becomes a kind of tongue-in-cheek information art, then wraps it up in a cute blue, pink, fuzzy-lettered package. It is not only the odd mixing of the vernacular with the conceptual that is so characteristic of Ruscha, but the attention paid to the book as a physical object, and the typically deadpan delivery of it all. The book has that inexplicable thing, that “kind of Huh?,” that Ruscha said he was always looking for.
S + H Green Stamps
22 ¾ x 22 ¾ inches
Offset print on paper
A perfectly preserved copy of the folded poster invitation Warhol created for his first museum exhibition. The exhibition was organized for the Philadelphia ICA by its new curator, Sam Green, who until a few months earlier had been a frequenter of Warhol’s Factory and a young gallery director at Dick Bellamy’s legendary Green Gallery in
. That Green and the gallery had the same name was purely coincidental, but Green was happy to let people think he owned the place and the famously shy Bellamy didn’t mind either if it meant he was called upon less often to leave his back office and schmooze with the clientele. Green’s gregariousness, combined with the impression he gave of being a young gallery owner, rather than mere employee, allowed him to advance quickly in art and society circles and this in turn helped him get the ICA job while still only 25-years-old. New York
Warhol had made several paintings with S+H Green Stamps as a motif in 1962 and one of these works was included in the
exhibition, but it was primarily as a sly nod to the resourceful young curator that Warhol chose to use the image again as the invitation for the show. Green seized the opportunity and with his natural gift for self-promotion, used it for all it was worth. He had 6,000 copies of the invitation printed, an extravagant number, given that the space could hold only 300, and used some of those that were not mailed out as wallpaper, and as the backdrop for pre-exhibition publicity photos. Then, on the day of the opening, Green made a grand entrance alongside Warhol and Edie Sedgwick wearing a tie silk-screened with the same S+H Green Stamp motif. ICA
6 Decades Book opens this weekend at its new location, a loft space at 265 Canal Street on the sixth floor. The space will be shared with the Boo-Hooray Gallery (currently featuring a sound installation by Angus MacLise). To those who read this site regularly, apologies for the recent lack of new content--we've been preoccupied moving the shop, but in the new space there will be a great deal of new material and selected pieces will be featured here in coming weeks. In the meantime, please drop by the shop. We are open Thursday-Saturday 11-6 (additional days coming soon).