Receipt of Delivery: Bernie Lubell’s Paper Mechanisms

Receipt of Delivery is a weekly series featuring Bay Area exhibition mailers selected from the SFMOMA Research Library’s collection of artists’ ephemera.

The Dangling Participle: A Catastrophe of Self-Organization, 1987, Bluxome Gallery, San Francisco; (tri-fold, recto and verso) 4 3/4 in. x 16 1/2 in. (12.07 cm x 41.91 cm)

Bernard Lubell: Installation-Sculpture, 1984, Lawson Galleries, San Francisco; 10 in. x 7 in. (25.4 cm x 17.78 cm)

Propensity is the Mother of Invention, 1984, Southern Exposure, San Francisco; 5 in. x 14 in. (12.7 cm x 35.56 cm)

Installation sculpture – Bernard Lubell, 1983, Twin Palms Gallery, San Francisco; (tri-fold detail) 4 in. x 20 1/2 in. (10.16 cm x 52.07 cm)

Bernie Lubell and I were catching up the other day, talking about his recent work. I mentioned that I was interested in learning more about his 1980s-era exhibition cards. He clarified that those particular invitations for his sculpture shows in San Francisco were not just instruction-based, but could actually be assembled into paper mechanisms. These cards were the perfect format for an artist who was becoming known for his interactive wood machine installations. Since I can’t take a scissor to our archival copies, Bernie sent me the lovely video (posted above) of him demonstrating the intricacies and wordplay of these assembled announcements.

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