Notebook on Water 1965 – 66 is a book created by Joseph Kosuth that compiles materials from earlier work he did in 1965 and 1966. It was published as part of Artists & Photographs, a collaborative boxed set of artists’ books issued in 1970 by Multiples, Inc. The complete set is exceedingly scarce at this point in time; the portfolio of works was set in a box designed by Dan Graham which contained books, objects, prints, and other materials of various dimensions by nineteen artists along with a text booklet by Lawrence Alloway. The set was published by gallerist Marian Goodman in conjunction with a 1970 exhibition that explored how contemporary artists, including Douglas Heubler, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, and Ed Ruscha, were using photography in their work.
This book takes the form of a titled manila envelope containing a variety of facsimiles. Included are nine facsimiles of the Photostat dictionary definitions for which Kosuth is famous. They all relate to some form of water: water itself, ice, snow, liquid, vapor, and more. An introduction sheet reproducing notes handwritten by Kosuth features statements by the artists Ad Reinhardt and Donald Judd.
Also featured are black-and-white reproductions of photos showing a radiator, a glass of water, and a glass of ice – and are annotated by Kosuth. Another sheet reproduces a mock-up sketch by the artist for a water-related piece, consisting of a melting block of ice with the dictionary definitions of ice and water displayed above it. A folded black-and-white map of the world completes the set of materials. The works in this book are all printed by offset lithography.
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