Two Siglio books chosen by the New York Times! Best Art Books of 2020 & Best Books to Give!

News Section, Reviews

December 1st, 2020

New York Times art critic Holland Cotter has selected Frog Pond Splash: Collages by Ray Johnson with Texts by William S. Wilson for one his “Best Art Books of 2020”!

The artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995) and the writer William S. Wilson (1932-2016) were decades-long friends — soul mates really is the word — and comparably skilled acrobats of images and words. This lovely little book pairs well-known collages by Johnson, the inventor of Mail Art, with little known writing on him by Wilson, and it’s a serious pleasure, just the thing to light up a dark-early, late-year night. (original text here)

And critic Luc Sante has chosen Memory by Bernadette Mayer for one of his Best of Photography books for the New York Times special holiday gift-giving guide!

In July 1971, the poet Bernadette Mayer undertook another act of documentation: her life for a month, at a rate of one roll of film per day, accompanied by a journal. In 1971 artists — such as Vito Acconci, then her brother-in-law and co-editor with her of the little magazine 0 TO 9 — were keen on documentation, especially of routine, unglamorous, interstitial situations and processes. At the same time, Stephen Shore was driving across the country, documenting his meals and motel rooms as well as the fortuitous tableaus he caught and framed. Mayer’s Memory resembles both of these processes in alternating ways, her more than 1,100 artfully artless photographs collecting rooms, skies, flowers, streetscapes and landscapes, friends and family in vibrant 1970s color. The photos are necessarily small (roughly 2½ inches by 1¾ inches), arrayed in grids of nine, along with intermittent full-page blowups, and as lovely as individual images are, their power is cumulative: a wide-ranging work of personal cinema, in stills. Her journal provides the narration in galloping long-breath prose poetry that feels as spontaneous and alive as the pictures. (original text here)