123 calling cards from an international roster of artists ranging from the 18th century to the present day have been facsimilied and inserted into new book Oracles by Pierre Leguillon and Barbara Fedier. The 256-page book, designed by Clovis Duran and published by Editions Patrick Frey, contains texts by over 70 writers that follows the history of the calling card, the context in which they were produced and an examination of historical and fictional narratives.
Included are the handwritten cards of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, the exacting gothic script on Walter Gropius’ card and the punky pink of the Guerrilla Girls’ card. “The often unexpected graphic qualities of these personalised objects, each designed to capture an individual identity within the narrow confines of a tiny rectangle card, implicitly recount a history of taste and typographic codes in the West,” says the publisher. “But this calling card collection also lays the foundations for a microhistory of art, inspired by the Italian microstoria, or a looser narrative that breaks free from geographic contexts and historical periods. We can imagine how social networks were formed before the advent of Facebook, and how artists defined themselves in the social sphere, whether they were students or teachers, dean of the art school or museum curator, founder of a journal, firm, restaurant or political party, and so on.”
Other artists who have cards reproduced for the book include Anni und Josef Albers, John Armleder, Joseph Beuys, Le Corbusier, Sylvie Fleury, Dan Graham, Paul Klee, Yayoi Kusama, Francis Picabia and Sophie Taeuber.
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