TAM Rubberstamp Archive

The TAM Rubberstamp Archive started in 1983 by sending out the first sheets into the network Ruud knew then, and is now over 35 years old. Still more contributions come in and only rarely the normal public can get a glimpse of what the archive contains. Several documentations about this archive are previously made, and online a large catalogue is available. (You can find an overview of all important details mentioned in previous publications (see also www.iuoma.org).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How the sheets hang at the Stendhal Gallery - NYC

This video gives a good idea of how the TAM Rubber Stamp Sheets are hanging in the Stendhal Gallery since you get a partly tour through the Gallery in New York.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stamps from Robert Rocola - USA

These original stamps by Robert Rocola (USA) from the collection of John Held Jr. are now exhibited at the Stendhal Gallery in NY. Rocola always printed his new rubber stamps on the sheets for the TAM Rubberstamp Archive. Some of these sheets are exhibited at this moment too.

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First review of the Stendhal Exhibition

Stendhal Gallery, New York
Through May 29, 2010

The rubber stamp is the twentieth century's definitive emblem of bureaucracy, providing an official mark of acceptance or rejection of governments and corporations. Military, housing, and job applications have been sealed with a stamp, as have births, marriages, and deaths. “Greetings from Daddaland,” curated by John Held Jr. - who ran the Stamp Art Gallery in San Francisco in the mid-1990s - provides an alternate history of that tool, charting its renegade use by countless artists and pranksters over the past century.

Dadaists Kurt Schwitters and Marcel Duchamp were early adopters, with the latter represented here with reproductions of chess-themed stamps that he made around 1919 and used during his stay in Buenos Aires. After the wars, Nouveau Réalist Arman popularized the stamp, and Held includes a long, thin stamp of a paintbrush that the artist made in the mid-1950s - a perfect complement for his art, which was created through the obsessive accumulation of the same objects. Next, Fluxus members and other radicals (like Ray Johnson and Robert Watts) picked up the stamp in the 1960s, and their experiments are catalogued in voluminous detail.

The walls of one room are lined with dozens of selections from the Traveling Art Mail (TAM) Rubber Stamp Archive, strips of paper mailed by the Dutch stamp-art collector Ruud Jansssen to other artists and enthusiasts over the years that read, “I kindly ask you to print a few of your (funniest…) stamps on this paper.” The responses he received range from opaque, banal messages - “NO SPITTING,” “BE BLANK,” one card reads - to ornate prints of wristwatches and detailed portraits and still lifes that have the detail of fine woodcuts, highlighting the medium's remarkable range.

The prints in the TAM Archive also encapsulate the strange characteristics of the stamp as an art medium: they are usually anonymous, and they are endlessly reproducible. (One wonders whether the art resides in these coveted rubber stamp or their free prints.) Authorship and uniqueness are tossed aside by the medium, which was designed to create fleeting pleasures, not everlasting masterpieces - exactly how these artists wanted it. Today, when bureaucratic processes have moved into an unseen digital world, it all looks almost quaint.

By Andrew Russeth

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Lecture at the Stendhal Gallery - April 2010

This is me doing the Lecture at the Stendhal Gallery in New York (photo by Jennifer Zoelner, USA). Explaining the connections between Dadaland, Fluxus, Mail-Art and Rubberstamps. The slides I used in the lecture are published in bookform now as well. See the link somwhere in this blog to download it or to order a hardcopy print.

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Tampon Trouvé - The Found Stamp

This poster hangs at the Stendhal Gallery till may 29th 2010. The original collection of this Found Stamp show is still in the TAM-Archive. A donation by Bill Gaglione after the show in 1995 at the TAM-Gallery I run in the 90-ies in Tilburg, Netherlands

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