Micah Lexier I`m Thinking of a Number: Selected invitations, books

Available through D.A.P. / Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013
Telephone 212.627.1999 Facsimile 212.627.9484
Since 1980 Micah Lexier has produced a significant body of
ephemeral material including unique invitations that have taken
the form of prize ribbons, custom-minted coins, printed balloons,
and individually numbered business cards and stationery. With
its selection of some 135 multiples, I’m Thinking of a Number
describes the rich tangle in Lexier’s practice of the unique
object and the multiple. This book, then, is both a frame within
a frame – the multiple seen as a subset of his practice, and a
frame around a frame – showcasing the multiple’s influence in
his thought and art production as a whole.
The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
5163 Duke Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 3J6
I’m Thinking of a Number: Selected invitations, books, catalogues, packaged prints, objects in multiple,
t-shirts, projects in and for publications, coins, and other printed matter, 1980 to 2010.
Designed by Andrew Di Rosa & Emma Wright / Small
Photography by Harry Zernike
Printed and bound in Canada
Micah Lexier
Edited by Jan Peacock
Foreword by Garry Neill Kennedy
Introduction by AA Bronson
Essay by Christina Ritchie
Micah Lexier
I’m Thinking of a Number:
Selected invitations, books, catalogues, packaged prints,
objects in multiple, t-shirts, projects in and for publications,
coins, and other printed matter, 1980 to 2010.
Nº 027 Wallpaper, 1992
Wallpaper, silkscreen-printed in grey and
red; unnumbered edition of 100; sealed
roll: 27 inches long x 2 inches diameter
(68.5 x 5 cm)
Nº 028 Works and Eats With, 1992
One poster in two parts, on coloured
paper (light brown on front, white on
back), letterpress-printed in black
on brown side; published by Incontri
Internazionali d’Arte; made as part of
the group exhibition Artedomani 1992
Punti di Vista, Spoleto, Umbria, Italy, and
presented in existing advertising venues
throughout Spoleto for the duration
of the exhibition; unnumbered edition
of 100; each part: 39.375 x 27.5 inches
(100 x 70 cm)
This work came out of a stay in Spoleto,
Italy in 1992 when I was installing a
work for the exhibition Artedomani 1992
Punti di Vista. Every day the hosts of
the exhibition treated the artists to lunch
at a local trattoria. Immediately, I noticed
there was another group of people
eating together every day as well. I
introduced myself and found out that
they were a group of men who worked
and ate together every day. I asked
each man for his signature and used
these to create a portrait of the group.
I produced a set of two letterpress
posters which, when joined end-to-end,
created one complete object. The size
of the posters was based on a regional,
standard advertising size, and a local
printing company produced the posters,
which were posted around the city for
the duration of the exhibition.
Nº 029 Name and Family Name, 1992
Exhibition invitation on a manila
envelope, letterpress-printed in dark
grey on front; the Stride Gallery,
Calgary, September 9 to October
3, 1992; 4 x 9 inches (10 x 23 cm)
Nº 030 Name and Family Name, 1992
Exhibition catalogue; texts by Reesa
Greenberg; design by Micah Lexier;
published by The Stride Gallery,
Calgary; 48 pages, 28 images, including
printed endpapers; offset-printed, with
letterpress-printed cardboard cover,
spiral bound; 8 x 6.75 x 0.375 inches
(20.5 x 17 x 1 cm)
Nº 031 A Bloodline (Daughter of), 1992
White T-shirt, silkscreen-printed in grey
and red on front; one version printed
with text in grey and signatures in red;
one version printed with text in red and
signatures in grey; made on the occasion
of the group exhibition Artedomani
1992 Punti di Vista, Spoleto, Umbria,
Italy; small, limited edition; edition size
Nº 032 Preparatory Drawings for a
Portrait of the Morrish Family, 1993
Set of five prints on Kozuke paper,
silkscreen-printed in black and grey,
with a title page and a colophon with
embossed studio logo, signed and
numbered in graphite on front, packaged in a grey foil-stamped, black
cloth-covered box, with a grey ribbon
to assist in lifting of the prints; printed
and published by Open Studio, Toronto;
printed by Allen Ash and Cameron
Sharpe; numbered edition of 18; each
print: 12 x 12 inches (30.5 x 30.5 cm);
box: 12.5 x 12.5 x 0.625 inches
(32 x 32 x 1.5 cm)
This series of silkscreen prints used
as its source material the preparatory
drawings for the artwork Portrait of the
Morrish Family. In preparation for this
sculpture I asked each family member
to send me a piece of paper with a
number of examples of their handwritten
name. To make the sculpture I chose
one example of each person’s name and
had it laser-cut out of stainless steel in
a quantity equal to their age. This print
edition is a reproduction of the pages
that the family members sent me, with
the handwriting printed in black. The one
I used for the sculpture was printed in
gray. On the colophon page I asked the
printer of the edition to sign my name.
Nº 033 Works in Multiple Format /
(With), 1993
Set of two exhibition invitation posters
on newsprint, webpress-printed in black,
folded, packaged in a white envelope,
offset-printed in black; Kamloops Art
Gallery, Kamloops, B.C., October 21
to November 14, 1993 (concurrent);
each poster: 23 x 17 inches unfolded
(58.5 x 43 cm); envelope: 12 x 9 inches
(30.5 x 23 cm)
Nº 034 Untitled Centrefold, 1993
Two-page magazine project on coated
paper, offset-printed in black; contribution to Homogenius 3, a publication in
the form of a magazine featuring onepage contributions by members of the
Homogenius collective; distributed free
of charge; 13 x 9.75 inches (33 x 25 cm)
I was part of a collective of artists
who were given the task of creating
one page each for a magazine-style
bookwork. I teamed up with Regan
Morris, one of the other artists in the
collective, to create the centerfold. We
each created our own page that would
also line up to form a larger image.
Nº 035 Book Sculptures, 1993
Bookmark on card, double-sided,
offset-printed in black; made to be
inserted into the publication Micah Lexier:
Book Sculptures, Oakville Galleries,
Oakville, Ontario; one version printed
with full exhibition sponsorship, details on
reverse; one version with artist’s name
and title; 8.25 x 2 inches (21 x 5 cm)
Nº 027
Nº 028
Nº 029
Nº 030
“I’m thinking of a number…”
Christina Ritchie
I was visiting Micah one day in his home office in Toronto when
I noticed on the wall beside his desk a sheet of paper on which
he’d written, “I’m thinking of a number.” He said he thought of
this as a possible title for a future exhibition. I have borrowed the
phrase as the title for this text for a number of reasons, but mostly
for the playful allusion it provides to the most basic characteristic
of the material that comprises this volume. Ephemera, multiples,
editions, magazines, broadsides, business cards — however they
are realized in form, these things are always realized in number,
in a quantity of more than one.
Numbers as quantities, as expressions of proportion or relation,
as measurements of time — even as graphic signs — have had
a prominent role in Micah Lexier’s production over the entire
course of his career. It seems logical, then, that works produced
in number should have a central position in his practice. Indeed,
within Lexier’s oeuvre, the usual attributes of ephemera — informal,
contingent, supplementary — are often employed in these pieces
as key elements of the project or exhibition they announce; or, in
many cases, are formally realized as artworks in their own right.
Insofar as many of his works are operations upon numbers, so
the form in which they are realized often reflects this numerical
ordering, accomplishing a seamless reciprocity of content and
form. For someone with such a clean, minimalist design sensi­bility,
there is an orderliness to these works that is very satisfying.
Lexier’s formal play with numbers does not really become dominant
in his practice until the early 1990s, but his sense of conceptual
reciprocity between form and content is already evident in one of
his very earliest exhibition announcements. For his MFA graduation show at NSCAD, he manufactured a prize ribbon as the
The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
5163 Duke Street, Halifax Nova Scotia Canada B3J 3J6
The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design gratefully
acknowledges the law firm McInnes Cooper for providing a sustaining
operations grant over the years 2008 – 2011.
© 2010 Jan Peacock, The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and
Design and the authors. Artwork © 2010 Micah Lexier
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the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design at the address above.
The authors and publisher are grateful to all those individuals and organizations who have granted permission to reproduce images. Every effort has
been made to obtain permission to use copyrighted material in this volume;
the publisher apologizes for any errors or omissions and would welcome
these being brought to their attention.
Editorial Director: Susan McEachern
Manager: Christopher McFarlane
Copy Editor: Ulrike Walker
Graphic Design: Andrew Di Rosa & Emma Wright / Small
Colour Correction: Paul Jerinkitsch
Printed and bound in Canada
Available through D.A.P./ Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10013
Tel (212) 627.1999 Fax (212) 627.9484
The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design was established
in 1972 as a vehicle to publish books by and about leading contemporary
artists. Between 1972 and 1987, twenty-six titles by such artists as Michael
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