News & Views » Columns

Art Bar

comment

Barely legal – The year 2004 marked the 20th anniversary of Parkett, the invaluable multilingual artists’ publication that adorably positions itself as a “small museum and large library.” To celebrate two decades of nothing less than perfect work, the staff has recently produced the catalog Parkett – 20 Years of Artists’ Collaborations ($39, 248 pp.).

Parkett was founded in Zurich in 1984, by a creative bunch who liked the art they saw on gallery walls but didn’t “get” the explanations within magazines. The group was unified by their commitment to 1) working intimately with artists who hadn’t yet made it big and 2) presenting the results on an independent international platform. Devoting each issue to a single artist, they named it Parkett, a unique spelling for the word describing the seating area of a theater closest to a performance.

In 1988, Parkett opened a New York office, coincidentally, across the hall from Artforum magazine, a daily reminder of the “pseudo-objectivity” they wanted to avoid. The founders were interested in presenting academic and theoretical material, but also in crafting a visually and mentally stimulating mag. The result: fun and thoughtful writing accompanied by gorgeously edgy works of art, often available as limited-edition prints and illustrations.

In 20 Years, readers glimpse the intimate process of creative collaboration. For instance, accompanying her submission, Cindy Sherman writes: “I hope you like it …’cause I’m not so good at design.” And Laurie Anderson signs off with “Lots of Love.” After 20 years, Parkett’s still at it, proving art can be taken personally and that a magazine can be a truly unique art form. For more info, log on to www.parkettart.com.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.