Friday Finds – “The Machine”

We are immersed in Photorealism these days with the opening of our next exhibition Still Life: 1970’s Photorealism upon us (the show opens tomorrow 1/24) but this recent find in themachine-cover-MOMAthe rare book’s stacks reminded us of a complimentary conversation of the 1960’s and 70’s. The Museum of Modern Art’s “The Machine: As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age” opened on November 27, 1968. You can see a scan of the original press release from the archives at MOMA. The exhibit was billed as “a collection of comments on technology” which explored the age of the “mechanical machine – which can most easily be defined as an imitation of our muscles.” Much like the catalog Billy produced in the same year, this exhibition catalog fits in the category of artist book. The book is bound in metal with an intensely modern image on the cover. Similar to the photorealist model of developing a painting from source photographs, the cover design by Anders Österlin was based on a photograph, in this case by Alicia Legg a curator at the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit concerned itself with two machines in particular, the car and the camera and the human relationship to each. What do you make of the flyleaf below?

Flyleaf from "The Machine" 1968 exhibition catalog.

Flyleaf from “The Machine” 1968 exhibition catalog.

themachine-titlepage-MOMA

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