Specific Object (2004 – 20013) was a gallery, bookstore and think-tank dedicated to art post 1960s – specifically pop, Fluxus, minimal and conceptual – with an interest in the art that informed the 1960s and 1970s, as well artists whose works organically followed from the era.
Specific Object worked to isolate distinct works of value – historically, monetarily and / or intellectually valuable – and show them in an isolated context allowing these works, or objects, their own place, space and time. The material Specific Object presented ranged from artists’ publications, ephemera, prints, multiples and other editions to literature, music / audio works and unique artworks of the contemporary world.
In November 2004 Specific Object acquired the inventory of Barbara Moore’s bookstore Bound & Unbound. Through her bookshops Bound & Unbound and its predecessor Backworks, founded in 1976, Moore has been a seminal and innovative champion of artists working in alternative mediums.
From 1998 through 2004 David Platzker was the Executive Director of the non-profit institution Printed Matter, Inc. He is also the co-author, and co-curator – with Elizabeth Wyckoff – of Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process (International Print Center New York & Hudson Hills Press, 2000); and – with Richard H. Axsom – the book and exhibition entitled Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg : A Catalogue Raisonne 1958-1996 (Madison Art Center & Hudson Hills Press, 1997), which was awarded the George Wittenborn Award for Best Art Publication of 1997 by the Art Libraries Society of North America.
He has curated exhibitions of the works of Art & Project, John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Documenta 5, Conceptual Art, Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, Oldenburg, Raymond Pettibon, Dieter Roth, and Edward Ruscha in addition to commissioning or curating exhibitions at Printed Matter of Angelblood, Larry Clark, Erin Cosgrove, Meg Cranston, General Idea, Jenny Holzer, Reverend Jen, Allan Kaprow, Yoko Ono, Ryan McGinness, Sonic Youth, Tom Sachs, David Tremlett, Richard Tuttle and the Guerrilla Girls.
Platzker was also the host of WPS1.org’s Recorded Matter on-line radio program. Archived programs can be found at www.artonair.org.
On May 15, 2013 David Platzker became Curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (until 2018).
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Anonymous user comment: “I have always been intrigued by such naturally placed compositions – one immediately presumes it is from an artist, which it is – it shows Jack Goldstein’s studio wall. Astronauts landing on the moon, wedge tailed eagles…”
The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd was founded by former Tramway director Charles Esche, writer and curator Will Bradley and Toby Webster in 1997 (Esche left in 1999, Bradley in 2001). In 2006, Andrew Hamilton became Webster’s partner. As Time Out puts it: “A perfect example of Glasgow’s internationally renowned contribution to contemporary art, The Modern Institute was once described by Art Review magazine as ‘a model for galleries around the world’.” The flyers were originally done on Riso in an old paper store in Glasgow called Nashes, hand fed into the machine. Until today, they keep their special appeal for their low quality, and their choices of colors, forms and fonts. They always reminded me of flyers for some obscure bands and concerts. More on the gallery’s history here. Daniel Baumann