Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Feel the width

The John Reynolds’s book Certain Words Drawn, which Reynolds describes as “an artist’s book, a series of buy-ins by critical people,” has appeared in bookshops. It is a massive 480 pages. Did we say massive? We meant slim, given that the Michael Parekowhai book was 600 pages, or 650 if you count the separated text booklet. But both are but dust when compared to the Mike Parr book just published by Anna Schwartz in Australia. To get a full understanding of Parr’s work you need 900 pages. Of course overseas these behind-the-bike-shed books are commonplace. Gilbert and George shamed the Tate into 1239 pages for their two-volume monster, Jeff Koons is 605 pages but weighs a ton (well 11.6 kilos anyway), Andy Warhol volume 1 comes in at 503 pages. Poor old Gordon Brown had to put McCahon’s whole life into 237 pages and even Jeffrey Harris at 208 and Bruce Nauman at 388 can now consider themselves page-challenged.