more info or to place order:
scott (at) westernexhibitions(dot)com
is the artist books and multiples wing of Western
Exhibitions, a contemporary art gallery in Chicago. Many
of our artists utilize artist books, prints and multiples as key components
of their artistic practice; indeed, these items are amongst their most
ambitious works. Within the framework of WesternXeditions, we group these
efforts together to showcase the possibilities of utilizing these techniques
in conceptual, progressive and ambitious manners.
The serial nature of the book provides a logical extension
for artists like Stan Shellabarger
who uses repetition in his work and the performance work of the collaborative
team, Miller & Shellabarger,
while the inherently narrative aspect of books is relevant to artists
like Paul Nudd, Kristen
Romaniszak, and Deb Sokolow.
Vincent Como’s work in this
arena does not typically rely on the editioning aspect of these mediums;
he uses the inherent properties of a medium like drypoint for his further
investigations of black.
WesternXeditions will carry works by Western Exhibitions gallery artists
as well other artists who use the formats of artist books, prints and
multiples in intriguing and highly conceptual ways.
The WesternXeditions site is organized by sections: Artist
Books; Collections and Objects;
Multiples; and Prints.
In each of these sections, the works are organized alphabetically by title.
Viewers can also click on the Artists
link or click on an artist name in the left hand column to see the entirety
of offerings by an individual artist.
These works are, of course, for sale – there is
a downloadable PDF on each page containing
the price list. Much thought was put into the decision to include a price
list on the site. Most proper contemporary galleries understandably frown
upon listing prices on their websites, however, WesternXeditions is not
a bricks-and-mortar space, existing solely on the web (and at times, art
fairs). WesternXeditions will attempt to align itself with fellow artist
book purveyors and fine printmaking shops where listing prices is more
prevalent, as is the practice at favorite organizations like Printed
Gallery, and locally here in Chicago, Golden
Age and Spudnik
WesternXeditions offers works that range from a low of $5 to upwards of
$12,000; ‘zines to unique books-slash-objects. A downloadable 1.3mb
PDF accompanies each page on the site. The PDF should somewhat mimic
each artist’s individual page to ease your navigation. As this is
contemporary art, prices are subject to change and editions are liable
(hopefully) to run out. Some of the work on this site is no longer available
but is still included to give viewers a context to an artist’s manner
of working in this arena.
"Artists' books are books or book-like objects over
the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control;
where the book is intended as a work of art in itself." Stephen Bury,
Artists' Books: The Book As a Work of Art, 1963-1995, Bury, Scolar Press,
1995. Also see the Wikipedia entry for Artist
The contemporary artist book, as well as the multiple, was influenced
by Fluxus notions
of democratizing art in response to the commodification of the modernist
singular object. WesternXeditions artists Miller
& Shellabarger are an excellent example of working in a Fluxus
inspired vein, with a particularly strong connection between what they
are doing with their Butter Books and what Al Hansen did with the Hershey’s
chocolate bar. Taking a mass-produced object – a butter wrapper
in Miller & Shellabarger’s case and a Hershey bar wrapper with
Hansen, and making something one of a kind from it: each case shows the
artist as collector, gatherer, and noter of the passing of time. They
both introduce the everyday into the realm of acceptable content for so-called
On this site, Artist Books will encompass a broad range of approaches
– mass-produced zines, limited edition hand-made books, unique hand-drawn
editions, catalogs and artist publications and one-of-kind book-slash-objects.
Collections and Objects
Some of our artists organize their work in groupings –
often studies or variations on a theme – that WesternXeditions offer
as a collection of works. The objects in this section share a conceptual
affinity with the spirit of multiples and books.
These are editioned items that are not necessarily prints
and/or books, sometimes three-dimensional, but can also be printed material
that fall outside the parameters of traditional printmaking.
Prints are (usually) editioned original works of art made
by varying printmaking processes, including intaglio and etching, lithography,
screenprinting and relief printing as well as digitally produced images
realized as archival inkjet prints.
WesternXeditions considers submissions, looking for artists
who use the above techniques and approaches in innovative, personal and
conceptual ways. If interested in showing work on the WesternXeditions
site, please contact the gallery
This site is still under a bit of construction, and will
continue to grow as we add new work and artists. Should you find dead
links, please let us know.