Excerpts from the uncataloged Judith A. Hoffberg collection:
a student-curated exhibit
Graduate students from Johanna Drucker’s Information Studies 289 class have prepared an exhibit of uncataloged materials from the Judith A. Hoffberg collection, carefully selected from an extensive inventory undertaken as a class project.
A substantial portion of Judith Hoffberg’s extraordinary collection of artists’ books is held here at the UCLA Arts Library. The bulk of these materials were first acquired by Hoffberg during the later 1970’s through to the early 1990’s, as artists sent her copies of their latest books to be reviewed in her Umbrella newsletter. Hoffberg’s particular focus on issues related to the artists’ book as democratic multiple, to Fluxus art, and to correspondence art is reflected in the materials that found their way into the collection. Judith Hoffberg’s collection represents a broad geographic distribution of artists’ bookworks, with many materials sent to her from international contacts, primarily in Germany and Italy, but with others scattered across the globe.
Her collection highlights both the efforts of visual poets who experimented with the concrete materiality of language, and of conceptual artists who saw the book form as a means of dematerializing artistic expression. Here we find artists’ books from small presses as well as a rich array of self-published materials that demonstrate an idiosyncratic history of the rise of the underground press, the “mimeograph revolution”, the use of Xerox, and other techniques which allowed artists to take control of the means of production and to find alternative modes of distribution. These materials provide opportunities for the study of the culture of alternative publishing in the 1970’s and 80’s, and of the aesthetics, politics, and methods of this generation of book artists.
The exhibit will be on display until the end of the spring quarter at the Arts Library.