The accessibility and familiarity of a postcard makes it an artistic medium rich with potential for subversion, appropriation, or manipulation for political, satirical, revolutionary or playful intent. The inexpensiveness of production encourages artists to experiment with their design; the only artistic restriction: that it fits through a letterbox. Unlike traditional works of art, the postcard requires nothing more than a stamp for it to be seen on the other side of the world. Made of commonplace material, postcards invite handling, asking to be picked up, turned over, and shown to friends— to be included in our lives.
The World Exists to be put on a Postcard features postcard designed by notable modern and contemporary artists, including Carl Andre, Eleanor Antin, Joseph Beuys, Tacita Dean, Gilbert & George, Richard Hamilton, Susan Hiller, Richard Long, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Dieter Roth, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and Hannah Wilke.
An accompanying catalogue published by Thames and Hudson will reproduce in print many of the postcards for the first time. Organized thematically into chapters, such as ‘Graphic Postcards’, ‘Political Postcards’, ‘Portrait Postcards’ and ‘Composite Postcards’, this book demonstrates the significance of artists’ postcards in contemporary art.
The World Exist to be put on a Postcard. Artists’ postcards from 1960 to now, will run at the British Museum (Room 90) from 7 February to 4 August 2019.
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