Amy Sillman: The ALL-OVER

Copublished with Mousse, Milan; and Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 2017
Edited by Karen Kelly, Fabian Schöneich, and Barbara Schroeder
Texts by Yve-Alain Bois and Manuela Ammer. Interview by Fabian Schöneich
Design by Ronnie Fueglister
164 pages, 95 images, hardcover, 7 ¾ x 10 ½ inches
Distributed by D.A.P.
ISBN: 978-09986326-2-9

$40.00

This book provides a comprehensive overview of New York–based painter Amy Sillman’s most recent bodies of work (2011–16), including diagrams, drawings, animations, sculpture, and large-scale abstractions that combine painting with digital prints on canvas, shown serially in panoramic installations.

The title of the book, and the exhibition it accompanies at Frankfurt’s Portikus, refers to a concept often used to describe abstract painting. Much of Sillman’s oeuvre can be categorized as such, although her abstractions often suggest recognizable forms and figures. In the 24-canvas series Panorama, motifs seem to run continuously around the walls of the exhibition space, but in fact are repeated prints of the artist’s drawings with painterly interventions. The materiality is lost through the superimposition of print and oil paint; what remains is pure color and gesture. Also present here are stills from an animation developed by Sillman to be exhibited alongside Panorama and an insert made especially for the book by the artist.

Praise and Press


This catalogue shares a similar sense of spontaneity, veering from spreads of Panorama to include reproductions, installation shots, and animation cels from recent years; essays from Yve-Alain Bois and Manuela Ammer; and a reprint of Sillman’s rollicking 2016 treatise “Shit Happens: Notes on Awkwardness.” The latter text explores the term awkward as a semantic Band-Aid over the “tension between the ideal and the real, where what’s supposed to happen goes awry.” This tension, Sillman notes, “is what abstraction is partly about: the subject no longer entirely in control of the plot, representation peeled away from realness.” As a final flourish, the artist appends an “index” that gleefully sends readers on wild-goose chases for topics like “RISK AVERSION,” “CHUBBY CHASER,” “ELBOW GREASE,” and “TACTILE EXERCISES.” If you’re going to lose the plot, why not enjoy the ride?

—Kate Sutton, Bookforum

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