Peter Rosman: Spiral Notebook no 15

Our guest blogger, artist Normana Wight has chosen Peter Rosman's artist's book Spiral Notebook no 15 to review this month. The selection  prompted contact with Peter regarding his work. The catalogue record has now been updated to reflect Peter's title for the work which was previously recorded as  'Artist's book'.

Artist’s book by  Australian artist, Peter Rosman.
Artists’ books as sculpture
Artists’ books in the spirit of Fluxus.

Born in Melbourne in 1944, Peter Rosman is a sculptor whose works have Fluxus overtones.
He has made other sculptural works, but the State Library has acquired two of his book works.
The metal books that he has made lend a weight to the genre, but not necessarily gravitas.
This particular book that we are looking at gives the opportunity to refer to the 'Fluxus Movement'.

Fluxus was a free-wheeling art movement centered around anarchy, performance, music, the printed image – in the service of all kinds of things.


Fluxus was a free-wheeling art movement centered around anarchy, performance, music, the printed image – in the service of all kinds of things.

Operating from 1960 when George Maciunas, a Lithuanian-American artist/ architect proposed activities which extended the idea of Dada, the semi- lunatic  art movement that followed the end of the First World War, initiated by Tristan Tzara, and famously anarchic. The ideas, free-ranging and also rather ’unruly’, have attracted artists like Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik.

This book reflects that Fluxus spirit, but is also an obvious work of sculpture; for handling and looking at , not reading.

This book reflects that Fluxus spirit, but is also an obvious work of sculpture; for handling and looking at , not reading.

One of the major roles of the loose category, ‘Artists’ Books’ is the challenge to think ‘outside the square’.

'expect the unexpected'

‘explore the unknown’

For a modest collector of book related art works, it is an opportunity;  and  works like this one shake up the idea of a row of books lined up on a shelf.
The previous blog; that of Madonna Staunton’s  'Pennant', also reflects these Fluxus principles.

I’m sure that Peter has many other influences in relation to his work, but in this instance the relationship to Fluxus is worth noting. The State Library of Queensland has a few excellent books related to the movement  in the  information collection. Fluxus is adventurous, more of an attitude than anything else. ‘Anything Goes’. Anything can be art if you say so.
A bit like grown-up Dada? Or Dada’s grandchildren??

 

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