Untitled (The Roseprint Detective Club)
  • artists' book
  • wrappers
  • offset-printed
  • staple bound
  • black-and-white
  • Book: 17.9 x 12.5 cm. ; slips : 2 x 7 cm. each
  • 12 unnumbered leaves with 6 slips laid-in between leaves
  • edition size unknown
  • unsigned and unnumbered

Untitled (The Roseprint Detective Club)

The Roseprint Detective Club, Joanne Caring, Louise Lawler

Untitled (The Roseprint Detective Club)


Collaborative artist's book by Joanne Caring and Louise Lawler under the pseudonym The Roseprint Detective Club. Composed of an unprinted series of pages, except for colophon, with six loose inserts similar to fortune cookie fortunes--five of which were drafted by Caring and Lawler with the sixth being an actual fortune cookie fortune. Each book containing a unique found fortune. "Untitled (The Roseprint Detective Club), which had been included in the The Roseprint Detective Club's exhibition at the Protetch-Rivkin Gallery in Washington, D.C., [in 1972], cunningly embodies how an artist's book can be a locus for engagement between artists and readers. A pure white, blank book--the same dimensions as Ruscha's book Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963)--it has no title printed on its cover, and its only content comprises six small, loose strips of paper printed with texts like those in fortune cookies and interspersed among unadorned pages. An unsuspecting reader might mistake the interleaved texts as sentimental keepsakes squirreled again in a book, perhaps mementos of first dates or pleasurable meals. Unlike, however, the folksy wisdom of fortune cookies, the first five texts read, 'If you don't listen' said the sheriff, 'I'll fall'; 'Forty cents of humor'; 'New shoes, blue shoes, red and pink and blue shoes, tell me what would you choose, if you were to buy'; 'You do it'; and, finally, 'I think naps are a good idea.' These non sequiturs seem lifted from a dime-store paperback, and tempt the reader to find meaning not only in what is found in the book but also in what isn't, in what is teasingly dangled by Charing and Lawler. Only by being a good detective and looking at multiple copies of the book at once might a reader discover that those same five texts appear in the same sequence and placement in every copy of the book, with only the sixth one varying, a different text in each copy of the edition. Two of them read, 'Remember your mother's advice 41338,' and 'You will shortly be called upon to decipher an important message'; they function against the prodded five in a charming kind of logic. This sly, self-effacing, oddly humorous book of misdirection and nonspecific readings hits at what would emerge in Lawler's art in subsequent years. Most important, it raises the question of who the artist(s)--or author(s)--might be, as well as the more profound and confusing question of it's intent." -- from "Object Confusion: Louise Lawler's Printed Matter" by David Platzker, Louise Lawler: Receptions, pp. 83-85.


"Louise Lawler : Receptions" by Louise Lawler, Roxana Marcoci, Rhea Anastas, Mieke Bal, Douglas Crimp, Rosalyn Deutsche, Diedrich Diederichsen, David Platzker, Julian Stallabrass. New York, NY : The Museum of Modern Art, 2017, pp. 82-89.
out of stock
Let us know if you’d like to be notified if this item becomes available: send us an email.