MORE WORDSHIP, The Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore – Spazio O’

Kunstverein (Milano) is proud to host for the first time in Italy MORE WORDSHIP, The Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore.

A passage from the artist Richard Kostelanetz himself:

“There is no secret about myself that I am more ready to admit than this: I am New Yorker–a confirmed New Yorker, a profound New Yorker, who was born there and plans to die there. My sense of the world has been visually represented by a classic Saul Steinberg drawing in which the Hudson River is portrayed as halfway across the visible world and everything west of the Hudson recedes into the distant horizon. The truest test of my New Yorkerness is that I do not like to leave New York, and rarely do so in fact, even in the hot summertime. Indeed, as a young man I resolved, after too many disagreeable experiences elsewhere, never to leave New York–the rest of the world was unsafe, I used to joke; and for many years I left only on rare occasions, and then usually to give lectures around America (customarily getting home as quickly as I could), or sometimes to visit on my own initiative one of only two places: San Juan, Puerto Rico, which everyone knows is really a distant suburb of New York, and Jerusalem, which can also be experienced as an extension of New York. Not unlike other over-educated Americans, I do not speak languages other than English, and have neither talent nor inclination to learn. And now that Berlin has persuaded me to leave home, not once or twice but six times–count ‘em, six times; that’s a new record for me–why don’t I propose redrawing Saul Steinberg’s map, placing Berlin in New York’s East River, on the western edge of Queens, very much in need of a connecting subway.”

“A New Yorker’s Berlin” (1984)

“Richard Kostelanetz (born 1940, New York) is an American artist, writer, critic and editor of the avant-garde. He is infamous for his prolific and often biting prose. In his short fictions (some only 2 words long) and visual poetry, RK employs a radically formalist approach consisting of arrangements of words on a page using such devices as linking language and sequence, punning, alliteration, parallelism, constructivism and minimalism. His literary work challenges the reader in unconventional ways and is often printed in limited editions at small presses.” — from

His nonfiction work The End of Intelligent Writing: Literary Politics in America (1974) challenged the New York literary scene and promoted the publication of works by innovative younger authors. RK’s complex, inclusive and fascinating work in publications, video and audio works, prints and editions will be presented as a bookstore in Milan.

For reasons closely connected to Kostelanetz practice of avant-garde auto-production, Kunstverein feels the format of a bookstore dedicated to the artist is a consistent alternative to a retrospective exhibition.

MORE WORDSHIP continues and amplifies the previous chapter of the project in Europe, Openings and Closings, The Richard Kostelanetz Bookstore, hosted by our sister organisation, Kunstverein in Amsterdam in 2011. The title of the project changes with the new set-up and refers to the artist’s studio and archive.

MORE WORDSHIP will host and sell all of RK’s publications (about 100 titles) as well as rare artefacts, audiovisual works, editions and smaller artworks, including the now very rare complete set of Assembling 1 through 13 produced between 1970 and 1982.

Spazio O’ – Via Pastrengo, 12 (Isola Area), Milan
Opening Wednesday 27 November, 2013, 6:30pm
‘Guided Tour’ by the artist at 7:30pm