Art & Project. Bulletin
 

Title Bulletin
Location Amsterdam
Publisher Art & Project
Periodicity Irregular
ISSN n/a
URL Bulletin Worldcat
Published Since 1969-1989
Indexed Holdings 1969-1989
Tags

Accessed

Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA; The Library of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Periodical's Overview

“Art & Project plans to bring you together with the ideas of artists, architects and technicians to discover an intelligent form for your living and working space. Art & Project invites you to participate in its exhibitions which will explore ways in which art, architecture and technology can combine with your own ideas.

Open: Friday 12-22 / Saturday 12-18 / Sunday 12-18 / Wednesday 20-22 h.”[1]

Selected Subject Headings

  • Berghuis, Jaap (1945-2005)
  • Boezem, Marinus (1934)
  • Breuker, Willem (1944)
  • Camesi, Gianfredo (1940)
  • CCC (Centrum voor cubische constructies)
  • Clemente, Francesco (1952)
  • Commandeur, Jan (1954)
  • Geurts, Joris (1958)
  • Giese, Rainer (1942-1974)
  • Gruppe X
  • Matsuzawa, Yutaka (1922-2006)
  • Ørskow, Willy (1920)
  • Paladino, Mimmo (1948)
  • Posenenske, Charlotte (1930-1985)
  • Struycken, Peter (1939)
  • Van Golden, Daan (1936)
  • Verhoef, Toon (1946)
  • Verkerk, Emo (1955) 
  • Visser, Carel (1928-2015)

Notes

An art gallery located in Amsterdam, Art & Project was founded by Geert van Beijeren and Adriaan van Ravesteijn in 1968; even though the gallery continued to operate until 2001, the publication of the Bulletin that concerns us here spanned from September 1968 to November 1989.

One could ask, what makes the ephemera stemming from an art gallery in Amsterdam from the late 1960s to the late 1980s of interest now? Our answer would be that these apparently simple informational devices--a double-sided printed sheet of paper--were, initially, transformed by artists into a significant vehicle for the diffusion of conceptual art, and not in a few instances, in art works themselves.

Thus, the iconic status that Art & Project’s Bulletins have acquired through the years, coveted by collectors and libraries, placed in museum’s collections, and a few of them, exhibited as “works of art.”[2]

In total, 156 Bulletins were published, all sharing the same logo, front page layout, and format: “the Bulletins were typically printed on A3 paper (297 x 420mm) and then folded once to make an A4 (210 x 297mm) letter-size leaflet, which was then simply folded twice horizontally, addressed and mailed.”[3]

Addressed and mailed, a significant detail, as the Bulletins’ circulation seamlessly meshed with a then-ongoing network of aligned institutions and galleries focused on promoting and presenting these works to their audiences, as well as selling them to museums and collectors, mostly European, as described in Sophie Richard’s monumental study on conceptual art’s oft-neglected relationship with the ‘market’, Unconcealed: the international network of conceptual artists, 1967-77. Dealers, exhibitions, and public collections[4]

In Richard’s introduction to her book, she makes an interesting point: “This research makes a distinction between the ‘mode of production’ and the ‘mode of dissemination’ of Conceptual art. The focus is on infrastructure and the display of Conceptual works of art rather than the nature and the interpretation of objects. Thus the relationship between the work and the network is represented as integrated rather than confrontational.”[5]

With “integrated network,” Richard is referring to a specific group of artists working with the same galleries, exhibiting in the same institutions, and participating in the same group shows;[6] as Lawrence Weiner told Christophe Cherix in an interview: “It was a tour. It was like playing football--it went from stadium to stadium."[7]

Art & Project was one of the galleries on the “tour,” and, among many other artists, it exhibited the work and published Bulletins by Bas Jan Ader, Robert Barry, Mel Bochner, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, Hanne Darboeven, Jan Dibbets, Gilbert & George, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol Lewitt, Allen Ruppersberg, Ger Van Elk, Lawrence Weiner, and Ian Wilson, all of them part of what is now considered the conceptual art ‘canon;’ what set Art & Project apart from other galleries in the circuit were the Bulletins, which proved a fitting tool for the artists’ experiments with ideas, language, typography, and photography, as well as with diffusion, being as it was a crucial concern of the times and particularly, of these practices.

Some of the Bulletins were published in conjunction with an exhibition taking place at the gallery, but in some instances, no exhibition was need for a Bulletin to appear, as that was already “the work.” In this phase of the Bulletins, one can encounter Dibbets’ photographic traces, Broodthaers’ museological considerations, Brouwn’s measurements, Lewitt’s drawings, Posenenke’s conceptual sculptures, Huebler’s location pieces, Barry’s immaterial gestures, Kosuth’s philosophical ruminations, Darboven’s markings, Weiner’s sculptural language, Ruppersberg’s homage to Duchamp, Buren’s stripes and art collecting considerations, Ader’s search of the miraculous, and so on.

The Bulletins are indeed a treasure trove of conceptual art practices, and there’s no question that they were instrumental in providing a unique platform for the artists’ experimentation, but their history is more complex than the standard accounts of the publication’s trajectory would make us think. Covering a long span of an art gallery located in Amsterdam, the Bulletins were bound to reflect a local scene[8], and importantly, it is a valuable document to observe the vagaries and shifting trends in the commercial art world, say, from conceptual art’s whimsical gestures and ‘immateriality’ to neo-expressionist very material paintings.

Hence, representative of this last phase of the gallery are the Bulletins dedicated to painters like Francesco Clemente, Mimmo Paladino, Sandro Chia, or David Tremlett, and sculptors like Adam Colton or Tony Cragg. Yes, some of the conceptually leaning artist from the previous phase continued to exhibit and have dedicated Bulletins, but these were far apart, as it appears that the interest of the gallerists, and by inference, the institutions and the collectors Art & Project attended to, had moved on.

What has remained though is a handsome set of 156 Bulletins tracing a gallery’s history and its effect on the international and local scene; and importantly, the Bulletins provide us with a unique perspective, a serial one, to the extraordinary inventiveness of some artists when offered a blank piece of paper.

In Anne Rorimer’s words concluding her comprehensive assessment of these conceptualist practices she states, “Whether or not works of art from the late 1960s and 1970s make overt political statements or directly comment on the current social situation, all of them, in one form or another, present themselves as models of resistance to a status quo.”[9]

That these “models of resistance” were being embraced by art galleries, collectors, and institutions as they were coming into touring existence, provides a salient reminder of the imbrication of all agents and actors involved in the collective undertaking that art is. One Bulletin after another.

To peruse the indexed contents of Art & Project. Bulletin, please log into the database.

References

[1]“[Art & Project Statement]”, Bulletin (Amsterdam), no. 1 (September 1968).

[2]Art & Project’s exhibitions and Bulletins have been the object of sustained interest through the years. We have used the following exhibition catalogs and books to further our understanding: Sophie Richard. Unconcealed: the international network of conceptual artists, 1967-77. Dealers, exhibitions and public collections. London: Ridinghouse; Norwich: Norwich University College of the Arts, 2009; Christophe Cherix. In & out of Amsterdam: travels in conceptual art, 1960-1976. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2009; Art & Project Bulletins 1-156: September 1968-November 1989. London: Cabinet Gallery, 2011. It is important to note here that the In & out of Amsterdam exhibition and catalog stemmed from a gift: “The Art & Project/Depot VBVR Gift is a collection assembled by Geert van Beijeren and Adriaan van Ranesteijn from the late 1960s to Van Beijeren’s death in 2005 and donated to the Museum of Modern Art in 2007,” ibid., p. 131.

[3]Clive Phillpot. “Everything just floating: the Art & Project Bulletins,” in Art & Project Bulletins 1-156: September 1968-November 1989. London: Cabinet Gallery, 2011, p. 7. Besides its erudition and detailed descriptions of the Bulletins, we highlight Phillpot’s essay as it diverges from standard narratives, noting the different phases of the gallery’s trajectory, and by extension, the Bulletins’ contents. Or, as it is described in In & out of Amsterdam, “… a testament to Van Beijeren and Van Ravesteihn’s extraordinary vision and unwavering commitment to the art of their times,” ibid., p. 131.

[4]Sophie Richard. Unconcealed: the international network of conceptual artists, 1967-77. Dealers, exhibitions and public collections. London: Ridinghouse; Norwich: Norwich University College of the Arts, 2009. Richard’s outstanding research provides a fascinating glimpse into these artistic networks, providing databases, documents, and interviews with key figures, artists, gallerists and museums’ personnel.

[5] Ibid., p. 36. In particular, Richard’s "Appendix 3: Chronological lists of exhibitions in European Conceptual art dealer galleries, 1967-1977" provides detailed information about the following galleries' program: Art & Project (Amsterdam), Nigel Greenwood Inc. Ltd. (London), Françoise Lambert (Milan), Yvon Lambert (Paris), Lisson Gallery (London), MTL (Brussels)/Art & Project/MTL (Antwerp), Rolf Preisig (Basel), Ileana Sonnabend (Paris), Jack Wendler (London), Konrad Fischer (Düsseldorf), Heiner Friedrich (Munich & Cologne), Paul Maenz (Cologne & Brussels), Gian Enzo Sperone (Turin), Sperone & Fischer (Rome, 1972-74) & Gian Enzo Sperone (Rome, 1976-77), and Wide White Space (Antwerp/Brussels). See, Richard, p. 363-393; for further network node information, please refer to Richard’s Chapter 4, "Purchase of Conceptual art by private collections," pp. 175-202, and Chapter 5, "Purchases of Conceptual art by European museums," pp. 203-258.

[6]A selection of these group shows would include, Harald Szeemann's Live in your head: when attitudes become form. Works, concepts, processes, situations, information (Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, 1969), and Documenta 5 (Kassel, Germany, 1972); Wim Beeren's Op losse schroeven: situaties en cryptostructuren (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1969); Seth Siegelaub's Xerox Book (1968), July-August-September 1969, and 557,087 (Seattle, 1969); and lastly, Kynaston McShine's Information (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1970).

[7]Weiner continues: “If you didn’t show with Konrad Fischer, you showed with Paul Maenz. You were always represented. It was not about exclusion.” From, “Lawrence Weiner,” in In & out of Amsterdam, pp. 123-128, interview conducted by Cherix on August 13, 2008, New York. In Richard’s Unconcealed there’s an interview with Lisson Gallery’s Nicholas Logsdail, providing yet another perspective about the network; Logsdail is talking about Tony Cragg, who had an Art & Project exhibition and Bulletin in 1985: “I remember Tony felt excluded because he was too late with this sort of graphic work and photographic work that had the look of that era. They’re from the early Conceptual period, but they don’t go before 1972. So they were too late to be early. I remember having long conversations with him; he realised that he couldn’t be one of them.”

[8]Our infoweb records’ Selected Subject Headings hardly focus on individuals; given the Bulletins’ focus on a single artist or group, we have made here an exception in order to bring attention to the often times neglected other participants in the gallery’s history. For a more granular history of these artists and practices, please refer to Conceptual art in the Netherlands and Belgium, 1965-1975: artists, collectors, galleries, documents, exhibitions, events. Amsterdam: NAi Publishers, 2002.

[9] Anne Rorimer. New art in the 60s and 70s: redefining reality. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001, 275. Here, we'd like to quote our note 4 in our VH 101 infoweb record: “Rorimer’s rigorous history of conceptual art is purposely focused on American and European practices. For a more international view of this artistic development, please read our Art margins's infoweb record and its related references.”