Image & (Con)Text: S.M.S. #4

Where images and texts come together: The cycle Image & (Con) Text connects the Library with the Helga de Alvear Collection through a series of exhibitions which present unique examples of graphic artworks.

April 22th, 2022 to November 6th, 2022

The cycle Image & (Con) Text connects the Library with the Helga de Alvear Collection through a series of exhibitions that are a meeting place between disciplines displaying editions in which word and image come together. The connections between the two will range from more traditional publications, books where the image accompanies the text as illustration, to those more daring ones, which place one of their main values in the tension between the two domains and in the contribution to erasing the frontiers that separate them.

We begin the Cycle of exhibitions with S.M.S., a magazine created in 1968 in Manhattan as a collaborative space for artists, characterised by the heterogeneity of the artistic manifestations it contains, and which vindicated the commercialisation of art.

In the late 1960s, a modern loft on Manhattan’s Upper West Side owned by the artist, collector and art dealer William Nelson Copley became the S.M.S. Studio. A collaborative workspace that brought together artists, curators, performers and musicians who advocated the freedom of the author and the fight against the mercantilist conception of art, to which the expression hidden behind the acronym of its name (Shit Must Stop) referred.

With the aim of finding new places and ways of exhibiting, in 1968 they created the magazine S.M.S. Halfway between a periodical and a work of art, it was understood by its promoters as “a collection of multiple originals” that pushed the magazine format to its own limits.

Between February and December 1968, six issues conceived as six folders were published, with a print run of 2,000 copies, which were distributed bimonthly to subscribers for just over 100 dollars. In total, 73 artistic collaborations whose heterogeneity reflects the diversity of the generation, fame and aesthetic interests of the participating artists.

In each folder it is possible to find drawings, photographs, stickers, posters, sound works, objects, unfinished projects, poems, texts… brought together with the intention of erasing any boundaries between disciplines. Some works were easily subjected to mechanical reproduction techniques; others required additional manual work. Some are finished, others are sketches, drawings, studies, and even instructions that delegate execution to the receiver. There were no limits, except those imposed by the size of the folder containing them. And while in some cases a glance is enough to read or see the work, in others it is necessary to manipulate, unfold or assemble it in order to appreciate or read it in its wholeness. To this end, we have created and made available to the public in our library a complete facsimile of the first issue of the magazine in our library.

María Jesús Ávila

Doctor in Art History from the University of Extremadura in 1995 with a thesis on Ortega Muñoz, which formed the basis for the book of the same title published by Caja Badajoz. She was a lecturer in the Department of Art History of the University of Extremadura (1995-1999) and of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2005-2006). From 1994-2007 she was Curator of the Museu do Chiado-Museo Nacional de Art Contemporânea and of the Culturgest in Lisboa. From there, she organised a number of individual exhibitions such as Rolando Sá Nogueira, Mário Eloy, Heim Semke, Ana Hatherly, and collective exhibitions such as Primeiros Modernismos em Portugal, A cor como experiência, Surrealismo em Portugal 1934-1952 and 1960-1980 Anos de normalização artística nas colecções do Museu do Chiado. She was a member of the curator team of the Art Contemporáneo fair, Foro Sur, in Cáceres.

She has done research work and has collaborated with texts in catalogues and journals about Portuguese art and artists: António Pedro, Jose de Almada Negreiros, Jorge Vieira, Ângela Ferreira, Susanne Themlitz and Augusto Alves da Silva. She has also worked on the three volumes of the catalogue of the collections of the Museu do Chiado (2011-2013).

She is a co-author of the first catalogues raisonnés produced in Portugal: Joaquim Rodrigo and Julião Sarmento. Edições numeradas. She has published research work on Spanish-Portuguese relations during the 20th century in specialist journals and in the catalogue of the exhibition De Picasso a Dalí. She has also collaborated with art journals including Arte Ibérica and Espaços, and in congresses and colloquiums.

In the field of museology she directed the course Producción de exposiciones temporales for the Portuguese Museums Network (2002-2005) and has collaborated with specialist journals and congresses such as, Revista de APHA, Studies in conservation and the minutes of the congress Modern Paints Uncovered (Getty, 2006) and ICOM-CC (2011). She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the journal MIDAS (2012-2014) and collaborates with the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in the joint direction of projects, masters and doctoral theses on documentation and conservation of contemporary art. She is currently joint director of the thesis Conservation y valorización de la Colección de fotografía y vídeo de Ângelo de Sousa and is a director member of the team for the research project Documentação da Art Contemporânea, funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.

On Kawara

Robert Stanley

Robert Watts

Hollis Frampton

Lil Picard

Princess Winifred

Mimmo Rotella

Paul Bergtold

Arman Fernández

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