Alles over kunst



Something Else Press

Pieter  Vermeulen

Praktische info

‘Call it something else: Something Else Press, Inc. (1963–1974),’ from 27 September 2023 to 22 January 2024, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid,

‘The definition of artistic activity occurs, first of all, in the field of distribution.’ This quote from Broodthaers could have been the motto for the life and work of Dick Higgins (1938–1998), an influential American artist, poet, theorist and publisher. He noted that the best works of his time typically fell between media, a phenomenon he called Intermedia. Visual poetry and calligrams are good examples of this skilful blending of text and image. Higgins also worked constantly between the two. After participating in the Fluxus movement in the early sixties, he returned to New York to spread the artistic experiments he had witnessed in Europe. To this end, he founded his own publishing house, Something Else Press (SEP), which alternated between publishing books and inexpensive pamphlets, distributing them as widely as possible in Europe, Canada, Mexico and South America. The Great Bear pamphlets included unique small works by George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Allan Kaprow, Alison Knowles, Dieter Roth and Wolf Vostell, among others. For the exhibition at the Reina Sofía, curators Christian Xatrec and Alice Centamore drew on the publisher’s extensive archives to create an exhibition that reflects Higgins’ pivotal role in promoting and establishing an avant-garde scene across the Atlantic.

Ray Johnson, Two Brick Snakes, 1965, paint on cardboard, 72,4 x 56,8 cm, © The Ray Johnson Estate, 2023