Gagosian Quarterly

Spring 2017 Issue

Book Corner

One-Cent Life

Douglas Flamm, a rare-book specialist at Gagosian, highlights 1¢ Life, a 1964 publication created by the Chinese-American artist and poet Walasse Ting and the Abstract Expressionist painter Sam Francis. Text by Anna Heyward.

Photo by Rob McKeever

Photo by Rob McKeever

Anna Heyward

Anna Heyward is a writer and editor in New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, and The Paris Review Daily, among others.

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Walasse Ting, who mixed works on paper with artist’s books throughout his career, was an itinerant Chinese-American artist and poet whose color-saturated paintings refer to calligraphy and Abstract Expressionism. His most ambitious work by far was the loving anthology 1¢ Life, which brought together a community of artists traversing the moments of Abstract Expressionism and Pop: Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mitchell, Claes Oldenburg, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, and Ting himself. It also includes Ting’s poems, which have roots in the asceticism of Chinese poetry but principally express the fitful and vital dynamism of New York. Disjointed, erratic, yet wide-eyed spiritual recitations, the poems are sometimes epic, heartfelt affirmations, screamed out in all-capital letters, sometimes restrained and reflective, almost choked-up abstractions.

One-Cent Life

© Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo by Rob McKeever

The landmark artist’s book of 1964, 1¢ Life is now celebrated, canonical, and rare. Produced with the painter Sam Francis, it was published in 1964 by E. W. Kornfeld of Bern, Switzerland. The 170 lithograph pages were printed in Paris by Maurice Beaudet; the typography is handset letterpress by George Girard. Revolutionary in its assemblage of artifacts of Pop, 1¢ Life is a compact visual manifesto of the 1960s—bright, psychedelic, and pulsating, a collaboration of artists who came together under Ting’s poetic street magic. Setting large areas of white space next to areas of maximum color saturation and layered density, the book exemplifies the searching and schizophrenic design spirit of the time. Ting’s poetry sits on the page in giant colored letters, like fallen rain: “i am fall in love/i sit himalaya/mountain/eat candy/mouth/taste sweet.”

The title 1¢ Life is an impressionistic riff. With a hint of irony, it captures the fragmented but hopeful mood of the moment—but also a timelessness, a reflection of the philosophic eternity in which Ting believed art and poetry lay.

one life too short

one day too long

Walasse Ting
One-Cent Life

© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Photo by Rob McKeever

Richard Phillips on Tom Wesselmann

Richard Phillips on Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann: Standing Still Lifes closes this week at Gagosian New York. In this text, Richard Phillips speaks with Jason Ysenburg about the impact of the exhibition. A video about the exhibition and the artist’s studio practice accompanies the text.

Tom Wesselmann: In the Studio

Tom Wesselmann: In the Studio

Join us for a look at Tom Wesselmann’s New York studio in this behind-the-scenes video. Featuring archival footage of Wesselmann at work, as well as new interviews with his family, studio team, and friends, the film documents the creative process behind his large-scale works, from early still lifes to later abstractions.

Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann

The story behind Tom Wesselmann’s Still Life #59 (1972). Text by Lauren Mahony.

Reinventing the Nude

Reinventing the Nude

Modern master Henri Matisse was a touchstone for American Pop artist Tom Wesselmann throughout his career.

Dorothy Lichtenstein and Irving Blum stand next to each other in front of Roy Lichtenstein's studio in Southampton, New York

In Conversation
Irving Blum and Dorothy Lichtenstein

In celebration of the centenary of Roy Lichtenstein’s birth, Irving Blum and Dorothy Lichtenstein sat down to discuss the artist’s life and legacy, and the exhibition Lichtenstein Remembered: Curated by Irving Blum, at Gagosian in New York.

Steve Martin playing a banjo

Roy and Irving

Actor and art collector Steve Martin reflects on the friendship and professional partnership between Roy Lichtenstein and art dealer Irving Blum.

Richard Avedon’s Marilyn Monroe, actor, New York, May 6, 1957 on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Summer 2023

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2023

The Summer 2023 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Richard Avedon’s Marilyn Monroe, actor, New York, May 6, 1957 on its cover.

A person sitting down behind six paintings

“Tight and Small and Figurative”: Tom Wesselmann’s Early Collages

Susan Davidson, editor of the forthcoming monograph on the Great American Nudes, a series of works by Tom Wesselmann, explores the artist’s early experiments with collage, tracing their development from humble beginnings to the iconic series of paintings.

Two people sit across from each other in front of Tom Wesselmann’s painting “Great American Nude #53”

In Conversation
Susan Davidson and Jeffrey Sturges

On the occasion of the exhibition Tom Wesselmann: Intimate Spaces at Gagosian, Beverly Hills, Susan Davidson sat down with Jeffrey Sturges to discuss the artist’s key works in his Great American Nudes (1961–73) and subsequent series.

Black-and-white photograph: Donald Marron, c. 1984.

Donald Marron

Jacoba Urist profiles the legendary collector.

Alexander Calder poster for McGovern, 1972, lithograph

The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters

Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.

Dorothy Lichtenstein in Roy Lichtenstein’s Southampton studio. Photo by Kasia Wandycz/Paris Match via Getty Images

In Conversation
Dorothy Lichtenstein

Dorothy Lichtenstein sits down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the changes underway at the Lichtenstein Foundation, life in the 1960s, and what brought her to—and kept her in—the Hamptons.