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The world exists to be put on a postcard

Artists' postcards from 1960 to now

Jeremy Cooper

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An alternative history of contemporary art told through a unique collection of artists’ postcards from 1960 to today

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The accessibility and familiarity of a postcard makes it an artistic medium rich with potential for subversion, appropriation or manipulation for political, satirical, revolutionary or playful intent. The inexpensiveness of production encourages artists to experiment with their design; the only artistic restriction: that it fits through a letterbox. Unlike traditional works of art, the postcard requires nothing more than a stamp for it to be seen on the other side of the world. Made of commonplace material, postcards invite handling, asking to be picked up, turned over, and shown to friends – to be included in our lives.

The world exists to be put on a postcard features postcards, several reproduced at actual size, designed by notable modern and contemporary artists, including Carl Andre, Eleanor Antin, Joseph Beuys, Tacita Dean, Gilbert & George, Richard Hamilton, Susan Hiller, Richard Long, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Dieter Roth, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and Hannah Wilke, many of which are published here for the first time. Organized thematically into chapters, such as ‘Graphic Postcards’, ‘Political Postcards’, ‘Portrait Postcards’ and ‘Composite Postcards’, this book demonstrates the significance of artists’ postcards in contemporary art.

Written by artists’ postcard expert and collector Jeremy Cooper, this remarkable publication will inspire, educate and delight all fans of the genre and lovers of contemporary art.

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'A fascinating experiment which reimagines design elements that are costly for larger canvases, shrinking them to a new, travel-friendly format'

'Expect to be educated in this alternative history of post-war art'
Arts Society Magazine

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 22.0 x 22.0 cm

Extent: 160 pp

Publication date: 7 February 2019

ISBN: 9780500480434

Contents List

Introduction • Postcards from the 1960s and 1970s • Graphic Postcards • Postcard Invitations • Political Postcards • Altered Postcards • Portrait Postcards • Sets of Postcards • Composite Postcards • Recent Postcards.

About the Author

Jeremy Cooper has written and published widely on art and antiques. He has also published four novels, and won the 2018 Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize. Jeremy has extensive art market experience: as a Sotheby’s auctioneer; in his own business as a specialist antiques dealer; as an expert on the first twenty-four episodes of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow; and as co-presenter of Radio 4’s The Week’s Antiques. He curates specialist exhibitions of contemporary British drawings and is a collector of historic postcard work by Dieter Roth, Richard Hamilton, Carl Andre, Claes Oldenburg and many others.