Jacob Kassay is an artist whose monochromatic paintings draw inspiration from earlier artists such as Robert Ryman and Robert Rauschenberg. It is therefore fitting that his first, and to date only, artist’s book references Rauschenberg’s White Paintings (1951) and his famous piece Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953).

In 2011, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London hosted a solo exhibition of Kassay’s work. The exhibition included a series of silver-plated canvases as well as a number of shaped white monochromatic paintings. As part of this exhibition, the Institute of Contemporary Arts published a catalogue entitled Jacob Kassay, and it was this book that Kassay chose to alter in order to create an artist’s book. Kassay disassembled the binding of the softcover book and then sanded away all of the text and all of the illustrations within the catalogue.

At first glance, the resulting book looks entirely blank. Upon closer examination the book reveals subtle traces of Kassay’s hand. The sanding of the glossy, clay-coated, machine-made paper has left behind faint scratches and a slight chalky residue on the pages.

Kassay created this book in a limited edition of 10 with two artist’s proofs. This copy is signed and dated by the artist in pencil on the last page of the book. It is housed in a white cloth-covered clamshell box. Like the book, the box has no labels or identifying information.

 

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