William S. Burroughs’ Scrapbook and Other Artists’ Notebooks

February 6, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

Here’s a page from William S. Burroughs scrapbook — the 20th century artists’ proto-Tumblr, a diary-like collection of notes, quotes, news clippings, snapshots and other ephemera that eventually forms the inspiration for definitive work. A collaboration with Brion Gysin, Burroughs’ book features early iterations of the “cut-up technique,” later popularized in sections of his loopy Nova Trilogy.

This artifact is part of Andrew Roth Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, “Paperwork: A Brief History of the Artists’ Scrapbooks.” The show also features scrapbooks by Robert Mapplethorpe, Gerhard Richter, Carolee Schneemann and many others, offering an intimate look into the artists’ process and consciousness, like ANIMAL’s own Artist’s Notebook series.

Brooklyn Museum started a similar project with Keith Haring’s journals on Tumblr following their retrospective on the street artist last spring — which should keep you occupied until the opening of this show.

“Paperwork: A Brief History of the Artists’ Scrapbooks,” Various Artists, Feb 15 – Mar 29, Andrew Roth Gallery, New York, Opening Reception on Feb 14, 6-8 PM