Faux Pas. Selected Writings and Drawings
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A key figure in the New York art scene, Amy Sillman is renowned for her singular approach to painting and drawing. Her writings extend a practice that challenges traditions and theoretical frameworks with criticality and humor, and advocates subjectivity: she reevaluates Abstract Expressionism with a queer eye, explores the meanings of color and shape, and discusses in depth the work of other artists—from Delacroix to Maria Lassnig to Laura Owens. In Faux Pas, a collection of her most recent essays, alongside her cartoons and original drawings, art—as personal as it is political—is a practice that responds to today’s struggles.
“In these seventeen scintillating essays Amy Sillman excites, provokes ideas, plunders and aggravates language, detonates words with innovation, the way she does paint, pencil, color, line, stroke, mark, etc. She uniquely renders words to foreground pictures and picture-making, and builds avenues, pathways to lead to other ways of apprehending art.”
—from the foreword by Lynne Tillman
Amy Sillman's richness of personality and world view shines so beautifully throughout "Faux Pas," that it becomes a kind of illumination, lighting the reader's way through a world of ideas and language and images no one but Sillman, in all her brilliance, could have produced. A generous triumph.
— Hilton Als, writer
These essays together are a wonderful mental embrace. Sillman’s voice is cool, patient, incessant, vulnerable, nostalgic, hilarious; actually what's the word for when someone is kind, clear, sharp and opaque all at once?
Someone who speaks straight from the shoulder? Or maybe the elbow: I think Sillman is speaking from the hand in that the ligaments joining feeling and action are lovingly prodded. She is explicit, she’s serious in that she isn’t always that serious, but she’s serious, she’s plain, direct, I mean, I hung on her words.
— Rindon Johnson, artist & poet
These dispatches from a decidedly un-straight thinker – a mind that IS an artist’s studio with a sustained curiosity as her main medium – is an exuberant, massively heterogeneous, exhilarating bundle of texts, diagrams, drawings, that document, activate and irritate. With a never-ending love for time space complications Amy Sillman insists on an informed openness, and shows us her tools.
— Jutta Koether, artist
Amy Sillman tells us that a tube of cadmium red has a different weight than say cobalt violet and that all painters know this and art historians mostly don’t. Sillman is shocked to think about someone who beholds paint but has never held it and she stands in the doorway of that thought, bleeding back and forth and she writes in it & it’s a rare rare place she’s standing in. Pick up her Faux Pas. You’ll be dazzled as I am by this knowledge, her rarity.
— Eileen Myles, writer
Edited by Charlotte Houette, François Lancien-Guilberteau, and Benjamin Thorel.
Foreword by Lynne Tillman. Extra drawings on the life of John Chamberlain by Michael Smith.
Published in collaboration with Gladstone Gallery and galerie Campoli Presti, and the support of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques.
12 x 18.5 cm / 4.75 x 7.25 in
256 pages; softcover; with 50 b/w illustrations
Published by After 8 Books, 2020
Design by Marco Caroti