Philip Taaffe

Untitled, 2014 FRAMED Work

Philip Taaffe
Untitled, 2014
19.05 x 19.05 cm

36 x 36 cm (Framed)

Edition of 100

PLEASE NOTE:

This edition is framed using high quality, museum grade materials. The work may have previously been used for display purposes.

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This edition is a part of ‘LSD’ a publishing project by Rob Tufnell. For the project, sixteen artists created new works on ‘blotter’ paper, more commonly associated with the distribution of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or LSD. Writing about the project Tufnell states:
 
“Discovered by Albert Hofmann in 1938, mass manufactured for use in psychiatry by the pharmaceutical manufacturer Sandoz from 1947 and utilized by the CIA in the 1950s, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, or LSD-25, was banned in 1967 after its widespread adoption by the counter culture.
 
An effective dose of this invisible, tasteless and odorless compound is 20-30 micrograms. Prior to the ban it had been supplied injected in solution, dripped onto sugar cubes like a vaccination against polio and, famously (by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters), stirred into a bowl of Kool Aid. After LSD was banned the severity of being caught in possession, as with other narcotics, was determined by the weight of the prohibited substance found. For this reason and for other practical concerns in the early 1970s many illegal manufacturers opted to distribute doses using perforated sheets of relatively light weight, absorbent paper – so-called ‘blotter’ – that had been immersed in the chemical. These were labeled with increasingly elaborate designs some of which sat within each individual square whilst others spread over a number or even the whole sheet. Such sheets usually adopt the same format: divided into 900 ¼ inch squares.
 
For some the ingestion of such ¼ inch printed paper squares resulted in a significant right of passage that promised some level of profound insight (but instead simply disrupted a capacity for basic perception). However, these tiny paper squares became vehicles for an iconography or branding which, ironically, promoted clandestine activity. Rather than celebrating consumer society, they could be seen to have sought to undermine or circumnavigate it. They also recall (and occasionally quote) late Modernism, specifically: Conceptual art, Fluxus, Minimalism, Pop and Surrealism. The prints follow an invitation to the artists involved to design a sheet of ‘blotter’ (without the active ingredient of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). The resulting designs have each been reproduced in editions of 100 offset lithographic prints. The works at once look back to the shamanic, drug-induced rituals of prehistory and to the signatory grid of Modernism.

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