Ugly Duckling Presse

Selected Writings
Selected Writings

Mirtha Dermisache

Art | $30 $25
Spring 2018
Forthcoming"Her writing is illocutionary: it does the deed."
Argentinean artist Mirtha Dermisache wrote dozens of books, hundreds of letters and postcards, and countless texts. Not a single one was legible, yet, in their proximity to language, they resonate with a mysterious potential for meaning.

Using ink on paper, Dermisache invented an array of graphic languages, each with their own unique lexical and syntactic structures. Some resemble a child's scrawl while some feel like nets or knots or transcriptions of seismic waves. Some resemble maps of archipelagos while others look like scores for inscrutable performance. What they all have in common is their remarkable clarity as texts.

Praised by Roland Barthes in the early ‘70s for the “extreme intelligence of the theoretical problems related to writing that [her] work entails,” Dermisache’s writings suggest both an abstract “essence of writing” and a concrete democratization of written forms, an elaborate exploration of the possibilities for ink and page to make and represent thought.

Selected Writings, the first collection of Dermisache’s works to be published in the United States, collects two complete books and a selection of texts from the early 1970s, a rich and prolific period for the artist.

About the Author

Mirtha Dermisache
Mirtha Dermisache was born in Buenos Aires in 1940. She studied visual arts at the Manuel Belgrano and Prilidiano Pueyrredón National School of Fine Arts. In 1967 she finished her first 500-page book after which she continued with the development of her graphisms. Her works were published between 1970 and 1978 by the Center for Art and Communication, led by Jorge Glusberg. In the 1970s her graphisms were published by Marc Dachy and Guy Schraenen in Antwerp as well as in the magazines Flash Art, Doc(k)s, Kontext, Ephemera, and Ax. Her work was exhibited by Ulises Carrión in the gallery Other books and So (Amsterdam), and by Roberto Altmann in the Malmö Konsthall (Sweden). During this same time she created the Workshop of Creative Actions in Buenos Aires. In 2004 with Florent Fajole, Dermisache carried out a series of publishing devices that explore the dimensions of installation and printing processes, highlighting different conceptual aspects of publications in the same spatial reality. Her first solo show in Buenos Aires was presented by The Edge, followed by exhibitions of her work at the MACBA (Barcelona) and the Center Pompidou (Paris).

Advance Praise

The subtlety and rigor of her work—her writing without words, typography without text, drawings without images—make Mirtha Dermisache an essential artist—not just of Argentine art, but also of what we have come to call international visual poetry.—Philippe Cyroulnik