30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc.

curated by Bob Nickas

November 6–December 19, 2015 320 West 13th Street
An assortment of printed materials installed along two adjacent walls beside a set of stairs that lead into the gallery. The materials include drawings, photographs and posters.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

A number of artworks installed along two adjacent walls. Among them are framed photographs, vinyl records and sleeves, and a painting of a subject resembling Frankenstein’s monster. A vitrine display table is partially visible in the foreground to the left.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

A number of artworks installed on white walls near the entrance of the gallery. Beside the stairs, two posters are mounted on the accessibility ramp panel.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

An assortment of materials installed in a gallery. Along the nearest two adjacent walls, a large array of printed text and black and white images are installed, interspersed with paintings and framed photographs. A range of materials are placed near the walls, including a tall stack of books and three racks on which graphic tees are hung. In the foreground, a vitrine display table is installed. Further off to the right, five more vitrine tables and a mannequin occupy the gallery space.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

A number of artworks installed along two adjacent walls. Among them are framed photographs, printed text, multimedia pieces and vinyl records and sleeves. There is a large wall decal of an insignia with an owl and the text “WEAVING SPIDERS COME NOT HERE.” In the foreground, a vitrine display table is visible.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

An assortment of works and materials installed inside a gallery near the reception desk, including photographs, printed text and graphic tees. Three vitrine display tables are visible in the foreground.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

A number of artworks installed along the walls of a gallery. Five vitrine tables and a mannequin wearing a graphic tee and cap and holding a magazine occupy the space.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

A number of artworks installed nearby the reception desk in a gallery. Behind the desk, there is a poster with the text “STOP. DESTROY. FORGET.” On a nearby wall, there is a large, yellow trompe l’oeil stain or splatter surrounding a rectangular black and white artwork.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

Five vitrine display tables and a mannequin installed in a gallery. A large array of artworks and materials are installed on the nearby walls.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

A number of artworks installed on a white wall, including two large posters. Four vitrine display tables are arranged around the space.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015.

Press Release

This exhibition presents 130 publications that comprise the bibliography of critic and curator Bob Nickas, an essential figure in the New York art world of the past thirty years. He marks his 30th anniversary by emphasizing the importance of books, catalogs and publishing, of writing and documentation in an increasingly market-driven period. In commissioning a number of artist-designed posters for the show, he also reaffirms his love for printed matter, and for how ephemera allows ephemeral situations—exhibitions and events—to live on. For 30 / 130, posters by Anne Collier, Trisha Donnelly, Ryan Foerster, Wayne Gonzales, Louise Lawler, Amy O’Neill, Nikholis Planck and Dan Walsh will be exhibited in both unique and multiple copies, some made available as take-away or modestly priced prints.

For Nickas, books and catalogs also represent a democratic aspect to art. In addition to inscribing history within the lived texture of the present, they are relatively affordable, an alternate means of collecting art that deals with its meaning and its contextualization rather than its object status. Books and catalogs can circulate much more freely than works of art, allowing for the ideas within to be shared and distributed to a far greater extent. But Nickas is also himself a collector, and the show will incorporate art acquired over thirty years, whether as gifts, in trade or purchase. There will also be a number of works made especially for the occasion, including an installation by Lisa Beck, a wall painting by Gardar Eide Einarsson, and a mannequin sculpture by John Miller.

The publications in this show represent books written by Nickas, catalogs from the numerous exhibitions he’s organized since 1984, catalogs and artist monographs to which he has made significant contributions, and self-published ‘zines created in limited edition. Long involved with music, he will be showing albums released on his label, From The Nursery, including a new record produced to accompany a series by artist Kelley Walker, with cover artwork by Walker. The exhibition will include a 1989 edition of prints made collaboratively with Olivier Mosset, originally shown at Pat Hearn Gallery, and not seen in more than twenty-five years. Covers and page spreads from Index magazine, published by artist Peter Halley, and edited by Nickas between 1996 and 2000, will also be on view.

30 / 130 is accompanied by an Annotated Bibliography in which Nickas has written an entry for each of its 130 publications. Book-by-book, year-by-year, he relates his engagement with art over thirty years’ time, acknowledging the project’s biographical dimension as well as commenting on the moment in which we find ourselves today. As he remarks in the final entry for 30 / 130:

“A complete bibliography has the potential to tell not only the story of its author but of all the characters who come and go and inevitably reappear, the editors and designers behind-the-scenes, and the times in which the texts were written, how they serve to reflect the past on the present, and also of the publishing houses that issued them. Looking back on my bio / bibliography, certain artists appear over and again (in theater this is referred to as a company, and in the art world a rarity, since tastes change and allegiances with them), while the names of various publishing partners recur as well: Les Presses du Réel, JRP/Ringier, Phaidon, Karma Books, and White Columns.”

A new collection of Nickas’s essays and interviews, The Dept. of Corrections, published by Karma, will be available at the time of the show.

30 / 130 is Nickas’s fourth exhibition at White Columns since 2008. Previously he organized Recent Acquisitions, Gifts, and Works From Various Exhibitions 1985-2007, Doug Biggert: Hitchhikers, and the 2010 White Columns Annual.

For more information contact: info@whitecolumns.org

An assortment of printed materials installed along two adjacent walls beside a set of stairs that lead into the gallery. The materials include drawings, photographs and posters.
A number of artworks installed along two adjacent walls. Among them are framed photographs, vinyl records and sleeves, and a painting of a subject resembling Frankenstein’s monster. A vitrine display table is partially visible in the foreground to the left.
A number of artworks installed on white walls near the entrance of the gallery. Beside the stairs, two posters are mounted on the accessibility ramp panel.
An assortment of materials installed in a gallery. Along the nearest two adjacent walls, a large array of printed text and black and white images are installed, interspersed with paintings and framed photographs. A range of materials are placed near the walls, including a tall stack of books and three racks on which graphic tees are hung. In the foreground, a vitrine display table is installed. Further off to the right, five more vitrine tables and a mannequin occupy the gallery space.
A number of artworks installed along two adjacent walls. Among them are framed photographs, printed text, multimedia pieces and vinyl records and sleeves. There is a large wall decal of an insignia with an owl and the text “WEAVING SPIDERS COME NOT HERE.” In the foreground, a vitrine display table is visible.
An assortment of works and materials installed inside a gallery near the reception desk, including photographs, printed text and graphic tees. Three vitrine display tables are visible in the foreground.
A number of artworks installed along the walls of a gallery. Five vitrine tables and a mannequin wearing a graphic tee and cap and holding a magazine occupy the space.
A number of artworks installed nearby the reception desk in a gallery. Behind the desk, there is a poster with the text “STOP. DESTROY. FORGET.” On a nearby wall, there is a large, yellow trompe l’oeil stain or splatter surrounding a rectangular black and white artwork.
Five vitrine display tables and a mannequin installed in a gallery. A large array of artworks and materials are installed on the nearby walls.
A number of artworks installed on a white wall, including two large posters. Four vitrine display tables are arranged around the space.

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (An assortment of printed materials installed along two adjacent walls beside a set of stairs that lead into the gallery. The materials include drawings, photographs and posters.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (A number of artworks installed along two adjacent walls. Among them are framed photographs, vinyl records and sleeves, and a painting of a subject resembling Frankenstein’s monster. A vitrine display table is partially visible in the foreground to the left.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (A number of artworks installed on white walls near the entrance of the gallery. Beside the stairs, two posters are mounted on the accessibility ramp panel.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (An assortment of materials installed in a gallery. Along the nearest two adjacent walls, a large array of printed text and black and white images are installed, interspersed with paintings and framed photographs. A range of materials are placed near the walls, including a tall stack of books and three racks on which graphic tees are hung. In the foreground, a vitrine display table is installed. Further off to the right, five more vitrine tables and a mannequin occupy the gallery space.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (A number of artworks installed along two adjacent walls. Among them are framed photographs, printed text, multimedia pieces and vinyl records and sleeves. There is a large wall decal of an insignia with an owl and the text “WEAVING SPIDERS COME NOT HERE.” In the foreground, a vitrine display table is visible.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (An assortment of works and materials installed inside a gallery near the reception desk, including photographs, printed text and graphic tees. Three vitrine display tables are visible in the foreground.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (A number of artworks installed along the walls of a gallery. Five vitrine tables and a mannequin wearing a graphic tee and cap and holding a magazine occupy the space.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (A number of artworks installed nearby the reception desk in a gallery. Behind the desk, there is a poster with the text “STOP. DESTROY. FORGET.” On a nearby wall, there is a large, yellow trompe l’oeil stain or splatter surrounding a rectangular black and white artwork.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (Five vitrine display tables and a mannequin installed in a gallery. A large array of artworks and materials are installed on the nearby walls.)

30 / 130: Thirty Years of Books and Catalogs, etc. curated by Bob Nickas, installation view, 2015 (A number of artworks installed on a white wall, including two large posters. Four vitrine display tables are arranged around the space.)