What could be more appropriate for an August exhibition than a nautical theme? One almost expects to smell the sea when walking into “The Boat Book,” octogenarian Fluxus artist Alison Knowles’s second exhibition at James Fuentes. The titular work in the exhibition, which debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach last year, is an eight-foot-tall construction with movable “pages” displaying large silkscreened prints of maritime imagery, photo collages, an audio recording of seafaring literature and items such as fishing nets, an anchor and a teapot. Visitors are encouraged to traverse the installation between portholes and a nylon tunnel. Its precedent is Knowles’s Big Book, a 1966 multimedia installation-as-living-space equipped with a kitchen, toilet, artwork and other amenities, which debuted at Something Else Gallery—owned by the artist’s late husband Dick Higgins—and traveled the world.
Pictured: Alison Knowles: The Boat Book, 2014-15, mixed media, installation dimensions variable (approximately 8 by 8¾ feet). Courtesy James Fuentes, New York.