The Esopus Foundation is excited to announce that an exhibition focusing on the Esopus archive will take place at the Colby College Museum of Art from February 15 to May 12, 2023.
From the Museum's website:
"Published for fifteen years, from 2003 to 2018, and documented in a comprehensive archive held by the Colby College Libraries Special Collections, the celebrated alternative arts magazine Esopus remains “a thing of lavish, eccentric beauty.” Artist and Esopus contributor Kerry James Marshall heralded the periodical as “the best and most extravagant platform for artists’ projects that I knew of. There seemed to be no restrictions on what it was willing to do, and the results were of the highest quality.”
The exhibition A Lot More Inside: Esopus Magazine presents archival materials and original artworks associated with the abundant publication. It includes audio and video artifacts, photographs of studio visits and press runs, handwritten notes and diagrams, email exchanges, issue mockups, printers’ proofs, and artists’ notes. These are contextualized by select loaned and commissioned works. The show offers a behind-the-scenes vantagepoint on an innovative magazine committed to providing an unfiltered, unmediated (ad-free) experience of pure creative expression.
Esopus’s unique archive is filled with art, photography, literature, music, history, and popular culture. The publication featured contemporary artists’ projects by both established and emerging figures such as William Christenberry, Mary Lum, Alex Masket, Mickalene Thomas, and Richard Tuttle. It presented personal reflections by creative practitioners, for instance novelist Karl Ove Knausgård and theatrical lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, alongside short plays, visual essays, film excerpts, poetry, and fiction. Each of the twenty-five issues concluded with a themed audio compilation of new songs by genre-spanning musicians.
Esopus also connected with, and involved, readers through “subscriber invitationals,” in which people were asked to submit content that was then used as source material for contributors. For instance, in Esopus 4, readers were invited to send in descriptions of their childhood imaginary friends, which then inspired songs by musical acts such as Low and Kimya Dawson (available to listen to in the exhibition).
A Lot More Inside: Esopus Magazine will encourage a similar level of engagement with its audience by making available all issues of the magazine and other Esopus publications for perusal; visitors can complete and use “Esopus Picks” bookmarks to indicate their favorite contributions. There will also be a range of materials related to the magazine’s exhibition venue, Esopus Space (2009–12); and a hammock—commissioned from Esopus contributor Paolo Arao and Gregory Beson—will help to turn the Davis Gallery alcove into a relaxing space that evokes the publication’s namesake, the Esopus Creek in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The creek will be depicted in an animated projection commissioned from Esopus contributors Hinterland Studios. A number of related events, from magazine-making workshops to film screenings, will take place on campus and in downtown Waterville throughout the run of the exhibition.
A Lot More Inside: Esopus Magazine is accompanied by a special edition of the publication. The exhibition is co-curated by Tod Lippy, Esopus founder and sole editor, and Megan Carey, Barbara Alfond Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Colby Museum of Art. Colby professors Gary Green and Gianluca Rizzo serve as faculty advisors."
The comprehensive exhibition, running from February to May 2024, will focus on the Esopus archive, acquired by Colby College in 2019.
The latest installment of our collaborative podcast series with Access Contemporary Music focused on the dissonant relationship between art and commerce.
Our second live podcast event copresented with ACM centered around Italo Calvino's short-story collection Cosmicomics.
A panel discussion at MoMA focused on contemporary artists" use of archival materials for Modern Artifacts (2002).
The first of three live podcast events copresented with ACM focused on a popular New York Times obit series.
The launch was held in conjunction with an installation at Baryshnikov Arts Center by Esopus contributor Jennifer Tipton.
This 448-page hardcover anthology of written contributions to Esopus from 2003 to 2018 will be in bookstores on February 15, 2022.
Michelle Elligott and Tod Lippy discuss their collaboration on Modern Artifacts, the acclaimed 2020 volume published by Esopus Books.
The Times's chief art critic Roberta Smith has selected Modern Artifacts for the paper's coveted list of "Best Art Books of 2020."
Modern Artifacts has been named one of the "10 best coffee-table art books for the museum-obsessed" by Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight.