Avalanche 1970-1976 Facsimile Edition
Released by Primary Information
Saturday, May 22, 2010, 5-7 PM
Printed Matter is pleased to host a launch party for Avalanche, the complete reprint released by Primary Information. Please join us for a reception with Primary Information and with Liza Béar, co-founder and editor of the original magazine with Willoughby Sharp, on Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 5-7 PM. Printed Matter is located at 195 Tenth Avenue between 21st and 22nd streets in New York City.
The reprint of Avalanche by Primary Information makes the magazine available worldwide as a complete set for the first time in three decades. Originally published in magazine format for the first eight issues, Avalanche switched to newspaper format for the final five issues. This facsimile edition is a boxed set that houses the individual magazine issues and the newspapers bound in a single book form.
Avalanche magazine was founded by Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar shortly after they met in 1968. At the time, Sharp was a New York-based art historian and independent curator and Béar an underground magazine editor who had recently moved to New York from London. They published the first issue in 1970 and collaborated on 13 issues from 1970 to 1976.
Avalanche focused on art from the perspective of artists rather than critics, and investigated new forms of art that were developing in the U.S. and Europe with a radical new media format—probing interviews and a visionary design that made extensive use of photography and dynamic layouts. For many artists, publication in Avalanche preceded a one-person gallery or museum show. Aside from an eight to twelve-page news section, the editorial content included only* interviews by Sharp and/or Béar, artists' texts and documents of art and art making, also functioning as an exhibition space in print. Fresh, incisive and unpretentious, the Avalanche interviews—now landmarks—illuminate the creative process and give clear voice to the specific issues that permeated the era
Among the featured artists were Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Bill Beckley, Joseph Beuys, Chris Burden, Daniel Buren, Hanne Darboven, Walter De Maria, Jan Dibbets, Barbara Dilley, Simone Forti, Gilbert & George, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Grand Union, Hans Haacke, Jannis Kounellis, Meredith Monk, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Klaus Rinke, Joel Shapiro, Jack Smith, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, George Trakas, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner, the Western Front and Jackie Winsor.
This boxed facsimile edition of Avalanche's complete run reproduces the first eight issues individually, and the final five in a single bound paperback.
The publication, 1,016 pages and illustrated throughout, is housed in a heavy duty, laminated, archival box measuring 10.5 x 19.5 x 2.5 inches. The first eight issues measure 9.25 x 9.25 inches and are exact facsimiles of the originals; the subsequent five tabloid-sized issues, now bound as a single volume measuring 9.25 x 13.5 inches, have been reduced slightly in scale from the original format. Avalanche is priced at $150 and is produced in an edition of 1,000. It is available both in store and online here.
Primary Information is a non-profit organization devoted to printing artists books, artist writings, out of print publications and editions. Primary Information was founded by James Hoff and Miriam Katzeff, who met while working at Printed Matter, a non-profit artist bookstore in New York. United by their mutual interest in artist publications, they formed Primary Information to foster intergenerational dialogue as well as to aid in the creation of new publications and editions.
*The exception is one interview by Nancy Holt in Avalanche 8 with construction worker Sid Feck who helped construct Smithson's Amarillo Ramp.
Printed Matter, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1976 by artists and art workers with the mission to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists' books and other artists' publications.
Printed Matter, Inc. has received support, in part, through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Altria Group Inc, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Gesso Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Schoenstadt Family Foundation, Tekserve, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and individuals worldwide.