Exhibition: In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artist Since 1955

In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artist Since 1955, 25 January -25 March 2012
ICA, Institute of Contemporary Art, London

In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955 is a survey exhibition of the often-overlooked genre of serial publications produced by artists around the world from 1955 to the present day. From the rise of the small press in the 1960s, to the DIY zine culture in the 1980s and early 1990s, professional artists have always seized on the format of magazines and postcards as a site for a new kind of art production.

In Numbers does not claim to be an exhaustive survey of serial publications since 1955, but aims to provide the contours of the genre. An extensive collection of artists’ serial publications is arranged into different groupings of periodicals in the Lower Gallery at the ICA, proving a diverse array aesthetically and globally, and requiring close inspection. Although periodicals first appeared in Europe around the end of 18th century, this exhibition features periodicals by avant-garde artists working within the last 60 years who adapted the format in their own ways, coming from movements such as Dada and De Stijl. There is no typical publication on display, although a commonality between the artists featured is that they are outsiders. There are general themes of subversion, resistance, evasion and innovation running through works in the survey.