May 1968-May 1981 (incomplete)
In 1956 the U.S. and Soviet governments agreed to a mutual propaganda plan modeled on Life. From them we got The USSR which became Soviet Life which became Russian Life. From us they got Amerika which became America Illustrated. “Soft” propaganda for a Cold War. Gentle cultural competition. Achievement, progress, beauty, tourism. Soviet Life could celebrate the cosmonauts and the construction of a dam as though ballistics and explosives were signs of society’s liberation. One can just imagine what Amerika looked like.
Somewhat relatedly, the U.S. Information Agency, which seems to have had a hand in all this, also employed Chermayeff & Geismar (which later added & Haviv) for a traveling Russian-language exhibition that showcased American design. Featured among the designer portraits, which can be found in the Milton Glaser Archives, was none other than Milton Glaser.
Find Soviet Life bound in green in the back near the bathrooms.
Fall 1998-Fall 2004
In the Winter 1999-2000 issue of Nest, architect and urban theorist Rem Koolhaas wrote in critical appreciation:
“Nest goes for the jugular of the secretive. Sometimes the intimacies revealed are almost voyeuristically painful. It is significant that in the era of celebrity and the relentless confessional, the glimpses of previously hidden lives that Nest reveals are shocking in their acute, slightly obscene quality. They show the extent of editing, pruning and laundering that the professional press of revelation performs before launching its “surprises” for the public. By insisting on the intricacies of private life Nest reveals the complete flattening of the public at the end of the 20th century.”
Founding editor Joseph Holtzman “believed that an igloo, a prison cell or a child’s attic room (adorned with Farrah Fawcett posters) could be as compelling as a room by a famous designer” (NYT). His relentless magazine ran for 26 issues. The SVA Library has all but the first issues (donations encouraged).
These scans don’t do its vibrancy justice.
And if beautifully published periodicals on realistic interior design (i.e. not Architectural Digest–which we also have) is your thing, have a look at Spain based Apartemento .
Librarian Judith Hoffberg created Umbrella in 1978 as “a means of intercommunication for art historians, artists, librarians and anyone else who is interested” in “news and information relative to a part of art history that usually never gets discussed in the mainstream.” This meant artist books and mail art, mostly, but the journal’s blue and black pages were open to more.
In the listings section of each issue is the heading Lost and Found, under which went news briefs related to artistic heists and recoveries. Below is a sampling of the reach of art’s underworld.
Find our incomplete collection (30+ issues) of the irregular journal in Periodicals.
The Sienese Shredder
nos 1-4; 2006-2010
The Sienese Shredder #1 has a mango cover with a fox and a clock. Inside, right off the bat, is History and Truth (a commencement address), followed by Gérard de Nerval’s Chantilly (“filled with very old retired servants, walking their limping dogs”), postcard collages by John Ashbery, music by Alan Shockley, the marketing of surrealism, Ron Padgett, Harry Mathews, A Parliament of Refrigerator Magnets, delirious episodes in contemporary art, a poem played out through a lyrical Twister, a Duchampian chess challenge bearing a cupid, Honey’s Metaphoric Energy Transfer, The New Crustacean, and more, ending after over 200 pages with J-K Huysmans, of Against Nature, in Haarlem.
Flip through the next three and find currency collages, mute critics, bughouse poets, Whitman’s glasses, Toilet Rolls, Macintoshages, octopussarian impulses, de Kooning’s last drawing, epitaphs by William Beckford, eyeballs, giant-size mini books, spools by Crumb, and Jesus Christ. These aren’t even the highlights.
Founded and edited by Brice Brown and Trevor Winkfield, The Shredder ran for four issues, 2006-2010. Each issue contained an audio CD. “Contents can include writings by visual artists; art by writers; poets as installation artists; photographers as poets, and the range of contributors moves from the well-known and up-and-coming to the unknown or forgotten,” says the website (which has excerpts and issues for sale).
The complete series is available in our Periodicals archive.