Gwen Allen

Gwen Allen is Associate Professor of History of Art at San Francisco University. She is the author of Artists' Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art (MIT Press).

  • The Magazine

    The Magazine

    Gwen Allen

    The artist's magazine as a place where new ideas and forms can be imagined and created, from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first.

    The multiple platforms of the digital era have not diminished the role of the magazine for artists as an alternative medium and experimental space. Whether printed on paper or electronically generated, the artist's magazine continues to be a place where new ideas and forms can be imagined as well as a significant site of artistic production. Intrinsically collaborative, including readers' active engagement, the magazine is an inherently open form that generates constantly evolving relationships. It was integral to the emergence of art criticism in the Enlightenment period and to the development of artistic dialogues around notions of culture, politics, and the public from the modern era avant-gardes to the present.

    This collection contextualizes the current condition and potential of the artist's magazine, surveying the art worlds it has created and then superseded; the commercial media forms it has critically appropriated, intervened in, or subverted; the alternative DIY cultures it has brought into being; and the expanded fields of cultural production, exchange, and distribution it continues to engender. In addition to surveying case studies of transformational magazines from the early 1960s onwards, The Magazine includes a wide-ranging archive of key editorial statements, from eighteenth-century Weimar to twenty-first century Bangkok, Cape Town, and Delhi.

    Artists surveyed include Can Altay, Ei Arakawa, Julieta Aranda, Tania Bruguera, Maurizio Cattelan, Eduardo Costa, Dexter Sinister, Rimma Gerlovina, Valeriy Gerlovin, Robert Heinecken, John Holmstrom, John Knight, Silvia Kolbowski, Lee Lozano, Josephine Meckseper, Clemente Padin, Raymond Pettibon, Adrian Piper, Seth Price, Raqs Media Collective, Riot Grrrl, Martha Rosler, Sanaa Seif, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Scott Treleaven, Triple Canopy, Anton Vidokle

    Writers include Saul Anton, Stewart Brand, Jack Burnham, Johanna Burton, Thomas Crow, Edit DeAk, Kenneth Goldsmith, Jürgen Habermas, Martina Köppel-Yang, Antje Krause-Wahl, Lucy Lippard, Caolan Madden, Valentina Parisi, Howardena Pindell, Georg Schöllhammer, Nancy Spector, Sally Stein, Reiko Tomii, Jud Yalkut, Vivian Ziherl

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Artists' Magazines

    Artists' Magazines

    An Alternative Space for Art

    Gwen Allen

    How artists' magazines, in all their ephemerality, materiality, and temporary intensity, challenged mainstream art criticism and the gallery system.

    During the 1960s and 1970s, magazines became an important new site of artistic practice, functioning as an alternative exhibition space for the dematerialized practices of conceptual art. Artists created works expressly for these mass-produced, hand-editioned pages, using the ephemerality and the materiality of the magazine to challenge the conventions of both artistic medium and gallery. In Artists' Magazines, Gwen Allen looks at the most important of these magazines in their heyday (the 1960s to the 1980s) and compiles a comprehensive, illustrated directory of hundreds of others.

    Among the magazines Allen examines are Aspen (1965–1971), a multimedia magazine in a box—issues included Super-8 films, flexi-disc records, critical writings, artists' postage stamps, and collectible chapbooks; Avalanche (1970-1976), which expressed the countercultural character of the emerging SoHo art community through its interviews and artist-designed contributions; and Real Life (1979-1994), published by Thomas Lawson and Susan Morgan as a forum for the Pictures generation. These and the other magazines Allen examines expressed their differences from mainstream media in both form and content: they cast their homemade, do-it-yourself quality against the slickness of an Artforum, and they created work that defied the formalist orthodoxy of the day. Artists' Magazines, featuring abundant color illustrations of magazine covers and content, offers an essential guide to a little-explored medium.

    • Hardcover $40.95 £35.00
    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00