Five Poems is rooted in Greg Colson’s fascination with everyday social systems and patterns, particularly with our cultural obsession with efficiency, data, and analysis of every kind. Built from a jarring mix of painting, collage, found objects, language, and typography, his constructions lay bare the poetry and humor of our social patterns, beliefs, and cultural habits. Five Poems draws its visual content from the wealth of Colson’s work over the span of his career, but with a twist:
The backbone of this five-part artist book is a collection of poems created from popular catch phrases and slogans that course through our everyday lives. Combining each poem with images of his constructions and preliminary sketches, Colson spins an inexhaustible network of visual and cultural connections.
Just in the time it has taken to develop the project at Little Steidl, the artist’s own insights about the potential meanings of the work have evolved with current events. Intentionally elastic and dynamic, the book stands open to a reader’s evolving interpretations and associations. At the same time, Five Poems presents a deep view into Colson’s work processes over more than three decades, with emphasis on his long-term interests in intersections, maps, pie charts, and ranking systems.
Five Poems is presented as five large-format, stitched, softcover booklets. The visual works are reproduced for the first time at a scale that ensures the legibility of their rich construction details and text elements.
Artist book / an original work for print
Five stitched softcover booklets in a slip case:
Just for Show
Laundry in the Eye
The Cavitron 3000
Page dimensions of each book: 28.7 x 36.0cm (11.25 x 14.25 in.)
144 pages in total
65 color images in total
Text in English
First edition: 750 copies
Materials: Book paper is GardaPat Kiara150g, a wood-free, acid-free, coated paper produced without optical brighteners at Cartiere del Garda in Riva del Garda, Italy. Colored cover boards are Les Naturals in light grey from Cartonnerie Jean in Bonnat, France. Book cloths are from Neenah Redbridge in England and Manifattura del Seveso in Italy.
Printing: books and cloth covers are printed by Nina Holland on Little Steidl’s Roland 200 offset-lithographic press using a four-color process.
Binding: stitched booklets with cloth-wrapped softcovers.
Concept and work: Greg Colson
Project development: Jerry Sohn/Little Steidl
Book design: Nina Holland and Greg Colson
Scans, color correction, and separations: Nina Holland/Little Steidl
Printing: Nina Holland/Little Steidl
Binding: Nina Holland/Little Steidl
The title is forthcoming, not yet published
About the Artist
The Los Angeles-based artist Greg Colson was born in Seattle, Washington in 1956 and grew up in Bakersfield, California. His work is in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; the Moderna Museet in Stockholm; the Panza Collection in Varese, Italy; the Sammlung Rosenkranz in Berlin; and the Thomas Ammann Collection in Zürich. His work has been the subject of exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including at Konrad Fischer Galerie in Düsseldorf, Sperone Westwater in New York, and Kunsthalle Lophem in Bruges.