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artists' books collection


autobiography, by sol lewitt

Sol Lewitt, Autobiography.  (New York: Multiples; Boston: Lois and Michael K. Torf, 1980)

This fascinating book arranges 2 ½” square photographs in grids of nine photographs on each page to create a catalog of every object in the artist’s living and working space in New York City in the 1970s.   It begins with a general depiction of the space - floor, ceiling, pipes, plumbing – and across subsequent pages it arranges objects from the general to the specific in a narrative that, in addition to being arrestingly beautiful, allows the viewer to accumulate information about LeWitt’s work space, tools, cabinets, furniture, books, appliances, clocks, records and tapes, works of art, family photographs, and many other things/categories of things.  The book builds up a personal and revealing account of the artist and  his interests; at the same time it frustrates any attempt at intimate knowledge given that every photograph is the same size and therefore no object in the artist’s living space is more important than any other.