John Latham: Skoob Works
Lisson Gallery, New York
2 May–16 June 2018
Lisson Gallery presents its first New York exhibition of British artist John Latham (1921–2006). The exhibition reveals Latham’s remarkable multi-faceted practice through works made throughout his career, focusing on his “skoob” pieces, and highlighting his powerful contribution and lasting influence on the global development of Conceptual art.
Fom the Lisson Gallery's exhibition text:
John Latham began using books as a medium in 1958, extending his earliest spray-painted canvases into the third dimension by creating reliefs wherein the publication emerged from plaster on canvas. Titled “skoob,” a reversal of “books,” the works invert the traditional function of literature, typically read in a linear and temporal manner, to create an object that can be consumed spontaneously and without structure. Latham was attracted to their flatness and their diverse formal properties when they were opened or manipulated – in some cases sawed, sliced or even burned. And while they also symbolised language and institutional knowledge, Latham noted: “It was not in any degree a gesture of contempt for books or literature. What it did was intend to put the proposition into mind that perhaps the cultural base had been burnt out.”
Lisson Gallery, 504 West 24th Street