ART & PROJECT BULLETINS
Full Set, 1968-1969
16 Oct – 18 Dec 2015
“Artists like Sol LeWitt and Lawrence Weiner were eager to work with Amsterdam’s gallery Art & Project, which existed until 2001. Their entire legendary collection of Bulletins is now on view at The Merchant House.” —Het Financieele Dagblad (EN / NL)
TMH opens its fall program on 16 October 2015 with a historical exhibition of ART & PROJECT BULLETINS 1-156, 1968-1989, presented in dialogue with the recent work of the Dutch multimedia artist Hilarius Hofstede.
With their Bulletins, Art & Project’s late founders, Geert van Beijeren and Adriaan van Ravesteijn, ingeniously merged an information tool and art form. Each Bulletin—an A3 sheet folded and mailed to and from the great peripatetic masters, such as Ger van Elk, Lawrence Weiner, Jan Dibbets, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Daniel Buren, Marcel Broodthaers, and Gilbert & George, who vied for the reductive dominance over its paper grid—is an artist’s book par excellence. All 156 as a set are a 21-year log of the unique gallery experience, which helped propel Amsterdam to the nexus of the international conceptual avant-garde in the 1970s.
In Bulletin 28, Hanne Darboven’s strings of numbers mark the passage of time. Darboven’s time-marks prompted Sol LeWitt, the author of five famous bulletins, to express a succinct manifesto: “The idea becomes a machine that makes art.” Ger van Elk’s popular Bulletin 33, Paul Klee—Um den Fisch, 1926 (Around the Fish), is about him devouring a fish dinner, while Bulletin 66 is aboutMarcel Broodthaers affirming himself as “director” and “curator” of his radical museum. Lawrence Weiner, a founding authority who contributed six bulletins over 15 years, summed up the experience as “language + the materials referred to.”
Referring to the 1970s and 80s Conceptual zeitgeist and his Art & Project experience, Adriaan van Ravensteijn commented in retrospect: “I still feel the excitement of weightlessness! …The dematerialization of the artwork at full speed.”