2023 Fundraising Auction Item: Woolgathering by Patti Smith & Christian Marclay


Title: Woolgathering
Artist: Patti Smith & Christian Marclay
Year: 2022
Materials: Printed by letterpress on mouldmade 125 gsm Zerkall book laid from metal types. Sewn by hand with linen thread over linen tapes. Bound in full pale blue cloth imprinted with a color gradient and foil stamped titling and presented in handmade slipcases silkscreened with a botanical motif on the side panels.
Dimensions: 10.325 x 8 inches, 64 pages with 13 unnumbered leaves for the artwork
Edition size: 250
Publisher: Arion Press
Estimated Value: $1,400

Woolgathering is a collaboration between two contemporary creative masters: author and singer-songwriter Patti Smith and visual and sound artist Christian Marclay. Smith’s first published prose work, written thirty years ago, is an incantatory memoir of the creative process and its wellspring in the world of childhood. Employing a variety of sound ephemera, acrylic LPs, and organic materials, Marclay’s crystalline constructions provide a parallel visual score that reflects and refracts the rhythms of Smith’s verses and tales. The Arion Press edition of Woolgathering uniquely captures their artistic kinship.

About the Artists

Patti Smith (b. 1946) is the author of Just Kids, which won the National Book Award in 2010, and of M Train, as well as numerous collections of poetry and essays. Her debut album of 1975, Horses, has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time and is now considered a seminal recording in the history of punk rock.

In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. Now seventy-five, Smith has since been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and produced eleven record albums. Over her long career she has published poetry, lyrics, and stories as well as four volumes of memoir.

Christian Marclay (b. 1955) is an internationally acclaimed American-Swiss conceptual artist who works at the intersection of art and sound. Trained in visual art, he was among the pioneers of the record turntable as instrument in the 1970s and works across multiple media, sampling and appropriating images and sound to create new forms and meanings in real time. He is best known for his titanic 24-hour video installation “The Clock,” which spliced together thousands of film scenes featuring clocks synchronized to appear at the precise time the film was screened. The work was a global sensation that earned Marclay the Lion d’Or at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

Over four decades Marclay’s practice has ranged from manipulations of vinyl records and ¼-inch audio tape to his “theater of found sound” which incorporated Duchampian DJ performances. His visual representations of sound objects span photographs and sculptures of speaker holes and unspooling cassette tapes to video collages of comic book and found photographic material. “At the center of all my work is sound,” he says. In the early 2000s he began to experiment with the materiality of recorded sound to create photograms— exposures of objects related to musical recording onto light-sensitive paper.

Woolgathering (book and slipcase), 2022. Patti Smith & Christian Marclay

Artwork Images

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