Making History: Case Histories, March 2014: Philip Aarons, 2014
Pen and ink on Bristol Bristol Board
41.9 x 43.5 cm
16 1/2 x 17 1/8 in
16 1/2 x 17 1/8 in
Information: Martin Wilner (b. New York, USA, 1959) began making art in the 1990's after previously studying medicine and being a practicing psychoanalyst. As both an artist and a psychiatrist by training, Wilner uses imagery to locate the unconscious elements in language and life, his practice posing profound questions about the creative process, collaboration and the imagination. He lives and works in New York. Making History is a time-based project initiated in January of 2002 that utilizes the convention of the Roman calendar to telegraph the notion of the passage of time over the course of each month. Wilner selects a daily subject of interest to him from a variety of media sources and visualizes them each day as a drawing that would coalesce into a completed work by the end of each month. Elements of cartoon, cartography, text, micrography, and music have evolved into essential aspects of his creative vocabulary. On the verso of each drawing are descriptive texts or images that are integral to the work. Upon completion of a decade of this project in 2012, Wilner elected to push the creative envelope of this parameter-based body of work by inviting individuals familiar with his work to correspond with him daily for a month-long period and send him messages describing what they found of compelling interest to them on each day of their assigned month. He would then visualize each correspondence daily to produce the composite work by month's end. ‘I was drawn to the idea of collaboration […] and so I've been inviting people to correspond with me, asking them to send me what's on their mind, what's compelling to them, each and every day for a month. And I do a drawing on each day—a visualization based on that experience. Over the course of the month it coalesces into a kind of portrait of the subject over time.’ (quotation from ‘Artists in Conversation’ with Francis Levy, BOMB 130, Winter 2015). Philip Aarons (March): Philip Aarons is a contemporary art collector along with his wife, Shelley Fox Aarons. He is also president of the board of Printed Matter. Printed Matter is one of the world’s largest publicly available sources for artists' books and is considered an important voice in a vibrant and expanding field. At the heart of Printed Matter’s mission is a longstanding open submission process, inviting artists and independent publishers to submit their books for sale at Printed Matter. They circulate over 32,000 publications annually on behalf of artists and small presses through their non-profit store in Chelsea, online catalogue and other distribution channels. As a collector, Aarons sees it not just about the objects, but about the people making the art, particularly with their process. Phillip Aarons is on the board of PS1, Creative Time, Printed Matter, and other institutions, and Shelley Fox Aarons is involved with the New Museum. He is known for having a close connection to the artists he collects.