Paper Revolutions

The experimental practices of a group of artists in the former East Germany upends assumptions underpinning Western art’s postwar histories.

In Paper Revolutions, Sarah James offers a radical rethinking of experimental art in the GDR. Countering conventional accounts that claim artistic practices in the GDR were isolated and conservative, James introduces a new narrative of neo-avantgarde practice in the Eastern Bloc that subverts many of the assumptions underpinning Western art’s postwar histories. She grounds her argument in the practice of four artists who, uniquely positioned outside academies, museums, and the art market, as these functioned in the West, created art in the blind spots of state censorship. They championed ephemeral practices often marginalized by art history: postcards and letters, maquettes and models, portfolios and artist’s books. Through their “lived modernism,” they produced bodies of work animated by the radical legacies of the interwar avant-garde.

James examines the work and daily practices of the constructivist graphic artist, painter and sculptor Hermann Glöckner; the experimental graphic artist and concrete and sound poet Carlfriedrich Claus; the mail artist, concrete poet, and conceptual artist Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt; and the mail artist, visual poet and installation artist Karla Sachse. She shows that all of these artists rejected the idea of art as a commodity or a rarefied object, and instead believed in the potential of art to create collectivized experiences and change the world. James argues that these artists, entirely neglected by Western art history, produced some of the most significant experimental art to emerge from Germany during the Cold War.

The MIT Press,


ChertLüdde Books & MIT Press are glad to invite you to a Book Launch of:

Paper Revolutions: An Invisible Avant-Garde
by Sarah E. James &

Parallel Public: Experimental Art in Late East Germany
by Sara Blaylock 

On Friday, June 24. 2022
From 5.00 pm onwards


Sara Blaylock (left) & Sarah E. James (middle) June 24. 2022


Doo Da Forever! Ed Higgins III Solo Exhibition

May 12th – June 5th, 2022  |  Opening Reception: May 12th, 6 PM – 8 PM

E.F. Higgins III (1949-2021) grew up in a small town outside of Chicago, IL. He majored in Fine Arts at Western Michigan University but quit school two weeks before graduating. Higgins later attended the University of Colorado to receive his BFA and then went on to receive an MFA in 1976 from the same school, majoring in Painting and Printmaking. In the same year, Higgins left for New York City where he lived and worked s as a professional artist. He was a member of The Rivington School.

While at university, his interests in painting and printmaking led him to create a number of works including play money, stock certificates, stamps, mining claims, postcards, posters, letterheads, labels, maps, and blueprints. These are all considered “non-art” or commercially produced 2-D visuals. After moving to NYC, he began extensively producing correspondence art, leading to his invention of the Doo Da Post. The Doo Da Post is a stamp created for the made-up country of Doo Da. He has created 780 editions of Doo Da stamps. Higgins continued to develop his creative language with stamp-making in his back pocket. The painting of his most recent works, The Fire Cracker Label Series, applied strong colors and graphic lettering–trademark designations that Higgins carried on from his stamp-making. This series is painted on canvas with acrylic paints and then mounted on cardboard tubes. These pieces incorporate a pop art aesthetic, availing imagery of the American West placed in a logotype context to portray playful renditions of folklore, nostalgia, and circumstances.

Van Der Plas Gallery

156 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Sun-Wed: 12pm-5pm
Thurs-Sat: 12pm-6pm

The Daily Heller: What Does It Take to Be a Well-Known Outsider?

Article by MARK BLOCH in Whitehot Magazine, May 2022

Article by Steve Heller from Print Magazine, May 26, 2022

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