Seth Siegelaub / Egress Foundation
Current and upcoming
Exhibitions at Jan Mot
Works from Stichting Egress Foundation Amsterdam / Seth Siegelaub
Carl Andre, Rosemarie Castoro, Hanne Darboven, Sol LeWitt, Laurent Sauerwein, Lawrence Weiner
Works from the collection
About Seth Siegelaub
Seth Siegelaub was born in the Bronx, New York in 1941 and grew up in New York City. He has been active as art dealer, publisher and independent art exhibition organizer, political researcher and publisher, and textile bibliographer and collector, and most recently, a researcher studying the theories of time and causality in physics.
After working at the Sculpture Center (New York) in the early 1960s, he opened his own gallery, Seth Siegelaub Contemporary Art, in the Fall 1964 which briefly existed through Spring 1966. Later in 1966, he evolved into a private dealer working closely on projects with the artists Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner.
Towards the late 1960s, as part of the politicization of the art world he became active in anti-war activities in the art community as part of the growing mobilization against the U.S. war against Vietnam, including in July 1971 a fund-raising collection catalogue for the United States Serviceman Fund, an organization set up to promote free speech within the U.S. military, and which was especially engaged in anti-Vietnam War activity by means of the funding and support of G.I. newspapers and cultural actions. This activity led to his increasing involvement in the political aspects of art and in 1971, he originated, and then drafted with lawyer Robert Projansky, what is known as the 'Artist's Contract', The Artist's Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, which defined and attempted to protect the rights and interests of the artist as their work circulated within the art world system.
In 1972, he left the art world to pursue other interests in France. In 1973-1974 he edited and published the first issue of the Marxism and Mass Media bibliographic series and began publishing left books on communication and culture, including the classic study on cultural imperialism How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart and founded the International Mass Media Research Center [IMMRC].
From 1979 to 1983, he worked with Armand Mattelart on the 2-volume anthology, Communication and Class Struggle, a basic wide-ranging compilation of 128 left and progressive texts on the history and practice of communication and culture.
Since the mid-1980s, he has been involved with research on the production of popular culture, especially concerning the social history of handwoven textiles throughout the world. In 1986 he founded the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles [CSROT], and in 1997 he edited and published the Bibliographica Textilia Historiae, the first general bibliography on the history of textiles.
1941, New York (US) - 2013, Basel (CH)
On 18 November, Mario Garcia Torres will perform I Am Not a Flopper at Fondazione Ratti, in Como (IT), as part of the program of lectures, round tables and performances organised in relation to the exhibition Seth Siegelaub: Textile Art Theory, on view until 1 January, 2024. The performance is the first of Garcia Torres' stage monologue trilogy in which the artist assumes the role of Alan Smithee – a pseudonym that filmmakers use whenever they want to withdraw directing credit from their films.
The exhibition Seth Siegelaub: textile art theory marks the Antonio Ratti Foundation's recent acquisition of Seth Siegelaub's prestigious book collection, and the subsequent donation of his textile collection by Marja Bloem, director of Egress Foundation. Across two sites, through works, textiles and documents, the exhibition reconstructs the journey of one of the most fascinating figures in contemporary culture. At Triennale Milano, the exhibition celebrates Siegelaub's multifaceted activity of gallery owner, curator, publisher, archivist and collector. In the new spaces of the Antonio Ratti Foundation (Como, IT), the exhibition takes a biographical approach to Siegelaub's work and research. Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, Marja Bloem and Maddalena Terragni. On view from October 8, 2023, till January 7, 2024. (Image: Portrait of Seth Siegelaub. Photo: Marja Bloem.)
Textiles and books from the collection of Seth Siegelaub / Egress Foundation will be included in the exhibition EURASIA − A Landscape of Mutability opening at the M HKA in Antwerp this week. The exhibition seeks to map innovative practices and exchanges that reflect the plurality of cultures, collaborations and conceptions of Eurasia (08/10/2021 - 23/01/2022).
In its May-June issue De Witte Raaf publishes a conversation with Seth Siegelaub entitled Activist ja, maar niet als kunstenaar (NL) that took place in Brussels in 2012.
Jan Mot is participating in Art Basel Online Viewing Room: Pioneers with the presentation Seth Siegelaub: How is Art History Made? focusing on works by trailblazing artists who have been part of Seth Siegelaub’s projects: Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Rosemarie Castoro, Hanne Darboven, Douglas Huebler, Robert Huot, Joseph Kosuth, David Lamelas, Lawrence Weiner and Ian Wilson. The VIP opening starts on 24/03 at 2pm (CET) and will be followed by public days 25/03-27/03.
Image above: Joseph Kosuth, Titled (A.A.I.A.I.) (white), 1967.
Printed Matter, Inc. is organising a conversation on the book Seth Siegelaub Better Read Than Dead. Writings and Interviews 1964–2013 with co-editors Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Marja Bloem and Jo Melvin, along with artist James Hoff. This event will take place online on January 15th, at 5pm EST. Registration via the Printed Matter, Inc. website required.
In celebration of the new book Seth Siegelaub. Better Read than Dead: Writings and Interviews 1964–2013, the Kunstverein in Amsterdam transforms part of its space into Seth’s Books Bookshop and for the coming month will be selling books exclusively by International General (the imprint of Seth Siegelaub) and about Seth Siegelaub.
The newly published book Seth Siegelaub. Better Read than Dead. Writings and Interviews 1964-2013 gathers selected writings, interviews, extended bibliography and chronology filling the historical gaps in the sprawling network of exhibitions, publications, projects, and collections that constitute Seth Siegelaub’s life’s work. Siegelaub chose the title Better Read than Dead for an anthology of his own writings — one of the projects for which he never found the time. The book was edited by Marja Bloem, Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Sara Martinetti and Jo Melvin and published by Koenig Books, London and Stichting Egress Foundation Amsterdam.