Milton Glaser’s sketch for the Working drawings and other visible things on paper not necessarily meant to be viewed as art poster became a part of the artwork.
Next Tuesday, our long-in-the-making exhibition, Primary Sources: Documenting SVA and the New York Art World, 1966-1985 opens at the SVA Chelsea Gallery. A rambling history of the school’s long history of fine art exhibitions scattered with ephemera, we’ve also managed to wrangle up some works as they originally appeared.
The show revisits exhibitions of several decades, curated by the likes of David Bourdon, Douglas Crimp, Lucy Lippard, Phyllis Tuchman, and David Whitney (with posters designed by Milton Glaser, Cris Gianakos, Doug Johnson, B. Martin Pedersen, and many others). Not to forget student exhibitions that took place in SVA’s galleries in Tribeca and SoHo, documentation of performances by Steve Reich and Laurie Anderson, screenings and talks, and (my favorite) lots of little odds and ends—loan forms, hardware store receipts, doodles—gathered together in binders that reproduce the archival files for each show. Come say hi: the reception is next Thursday, November 21, 6-8pm.
The publication featured the work of SVA’s incredible illustration faculty in the early 1960s.
Another riff on Milton Glaser’s indefatigable Dylan poster, here for a book by Roots drummer Questlove. It’s interesting the jacket designer also uses a Baby Teeth-esque typeface (though it looks a little wonky?). Anyway, some amusing stories have been bubbling up from this particular volume, including (on Slate) The Time I Went Roller Skating With Prince. Some of earlier, amusingly candid versions of these stories can also be found at the website Questlove’s Celebrity Stories.
Henry Wolf’s photograph for a student architectural drawing competition.
Wilfrid Sheed, who died in 2011, was a sharp, flinty prose stylist too often overshadowed by his more explicitly experimental or social-commentary-oriented contemporaries. The acerbic flavor of his art may be best enjoyed in Max Jamison (1970). The next novel, People Will Always Be Kind (named after a line in a Siegfried Sassoon poem) was less heralded but continued to refine his style and adapt it to the world around him (somewhat comparably to Saul Bellow’s middle work). In Dwight Garner’s sensitive appreciation, he emphasizes Sheed’s biting essay style:
“Mushy reviews are a breach of faith,” he declared, and the skin on his compositions was salt-crusted. One review began: “Of Ezra Pound, as of Bobby Fischer, all that can decently be said is that his colleagues admire him.” Another began this way: “Scott Fitzgerald is a sound you like to hear at certain times of the day, say at four in the afternoon and again late at night, and at other times it makes you slightly sick.” Another stated: “Books about suicide make lousy gifts.”
He wanted to live in a world in which one could find “Gershwin playing all night in penthouses, while George Kaufman fired one-liners into the guests and Harpo scrambled eggs in their hats.” Milton Glaser’s cover, with its punchy color combined with austere but evocative line, seems neatly suited to such a world.