June 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Paper Snake

the_paper_snake_cover-0.jpgLA's Siglio Press releases this month a reprint of Ray Johnson's long out-of-print The Paper Snake (1965), a book the publisher describes as "a vertiginous, mind-binding artist's book...far ahead of its time in its subversive and exuberant confluence of art and life." Johnson, whose circle included Andy Warhol, Christo, and John Cage, is considered a pioneer of "correspondence art" (or "mail art"), and much of his art is revealed in his collage-style letters. Siglio's 48-page jacketed hardcover is printed in an edition of 1,840 copies (the same as the original run) and includes an introductory essay by Frances F. L. Beatty, director of the Ray Johnson estate, as a separate insert.

Complementary to that, Siglio will also release Not Nothing: Selected Writings by Ray Johnson, 1954-1994, edited by Elizabeth Zuba with an essay by Kevin Killian, in July.

Image: From The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson. Copyright the Estate of Ray Johnson, courtesy Richard L. Feigen & Co.