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The world exists to be put on a postcard (British Museum)

Artists' postcards from 1960 to now

Jeremy Cooper


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


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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Further 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 is an established author who has written widely on art and antiques. He has appeared as an expert on the BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ and was co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Week’s Antiques’. He is the 2018 recipient of the Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize.