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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.

Reinventing the Nude

Reinventing the Nude

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

Roy Lichtenstein: 1961 to 1965

Roy Lichtenstein: 1961 to 1965

Gillian Pistell examines Roy Lichtenstein’s aesthetic developments in the years 1961 to 1965.

Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2018

Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2018

The Winter 2018 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available. Our cover this issue comes from High Times, a new body of work by Richard Prince.

The Parameters of Perception

The Parameters of Perception

Michael Craig-Martin and Jeffrey Sturges in conversation on Tom Wessselmann’s Standing Still Lifes. 

Desire

Desire

Diana Widmaier Picasso, curator of the exhibition Desire, reflects on the history of eroticism in art.

Greene Street Mural

Greene Street Mural

Jack Cowart, Executive Director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and Rob McKeever, a former assistant to Lichtenstein, recall the making of the original Greene Street Mural.

Time-lapse: Greene Street Mural

Behind the Art
Time-lapse: Greene Street Mural

More than thirty years after its creation, Gagosian presents a full-scale painted replica of the original Greene Street Mural by Roy Lichtenstein, based on documentation from the artist’s studio and produced by sign painters under the supervision of his former studio assistant.

Marc Newson, London, 2018.

In Conversation
Marc Newson & Derek Blasberg

Marc Newson tells Derek Blasberg about his newest creations, explaining the backstory of these ornate works.

Andy Warhol: Everything Is Good

Andy Warhol: Everything Is Good

Richard Hell writes about the “transcendentally camp” Pop artist, portraitist of daily life.

Time by Dance by Paik

Time by Dance by Paik

Gillian Jakab considers the role of choreography in Nam June Paik’s 1989 video installation Fin de Siècle II.