RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

07 July 2007

This is Tomorrow. Whitechapel Art Gallery 1956



Lawrence Alloway (ed.,) THIS IS TOMORROW. Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 1956.

Current Selling Prices
$1000- $2000 / £500-£1000


Small blue catalogue of an important exhibition -"This is Tomorrow" -variously described as 'seminal' 'landmark' 'watershed' and 'groundbreaking.' Something of a sleeper - in the sense that it can be cashed in with almost any art reference dealer for $1000 but to the unhip eye looks like a $15 fifties art catalogue. Not impossible to find, it was a popular exhibition, we have had 3 copies in the last 10 years. We desrcibed the last thus:
'8vo. Unpaginated--about 60 pages and some product ads. Illustrated throughout. Groundbreaking exhibition devoted to the possibilities of co-operation between architects, painters, musicians, graphic designers and sculptors. 4 pages of poems by Reyner Banham. Exhibition featured work by Erno Goldfinger, Victor Pasmore, Paolozzi, Anthony Jackson, Germano Facetti, Theo Crosby, John Ernest, William Turnbull etc., Highly important and difficult to find, especially in this condition. Small oblong rung bound catalogue; slight spotting to covers, one corner sl creased ; vg+.'
Sold it for about £400 in 2002. For some reason we forgot to mention the early appearance of Richard Hamilton, curently selling for mindblowing sums. His room was the most visited of the show-- he shared it with John Voelcker and John McHale, with collaboration from Magda and Frank Cordell. It included the Op Art Dazzle panels, and Pop Art readymades of a film advertising billboard of the Forbidden Planet, Robby the Robot and a Jukebox that were provided by McHale.

It can be found reproduced at thisistomorrow2.com. There is thus no need to buy it - but it has become an iconic object marking the beginning of a great new spirit in art.



VALUE? A book dealer from the NY art /vernissage coterie had a copy at $5000 in late 2006, possibly a 'having a laugh price' aimed at a hedge fund art trendy or super rich artist/collector like Richard Prince--anyway it went or was not there a week later. Likely to have been an "I saw you coming" price - while on the subject of comedians note the resemblance of the stout artist Paolozzi to comic and hoaxer Dom Joly (above) + those are not Ipod earphones Smithson is wearing but the drawstrings of a sort of khaki army pullover affected by cool Bohemians of the 1950s. TRIVIA. One wonders whether architect Erno Goldfinger's name was the inspiration for Ian Fleming's 1959 novel. [ W/Q ** ]

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