To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book

To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book, currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Pacific Design Center, surveys artists books from the 20th Century to the present. The exhibition’s title comes from a book by artist Raymond Pettibon and an impressive span of artists are included, among them are illusionist and perceptual artist Olafur Eliasson, parodic sculptor Lara Schnitger, Belgian artist and musician Arno Hintjens, multi-talented sculptor and filmmaker Michael Snow, designed-inspired Jorge Pardo, and the ever-relevant Andy Warhol. The work dates back to 1965. All books were printed in editions of 100 or less and some can be handled by viewers in an on-site reading lounge.

MoCA Librarian Lynda Bunting and Director of Publications Lisa Gabrielle Mark co-organized the exhibition and both wrote accompanying essays. The exhibition specifically addresses how artists approach time and interaction, and, as Mark points out, the work explores the ways in which “the book (the embodiment of the intentions of the artist) may concern itself with present, past, and/or future – even suspending time – in myriad different ways.” The above video moves through a self-reflexively subdued 1975 photographic book by Michael Snow called Cover to Cover.

To Illustrate and Multiply continues through March 1, 2009.