Rip Tales: Jay Defeo’s Estocada & Other Pieces
Published by Soberscove Press, Chicago, 2021, 160 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 14.8 × 22.2 cm, English
In 1965, Jay DeFeo (1929–89) was evicted from her San Francisco apartment, along with The Rose, the two-thousand-pound painting that would make her legendary. The morning after her front window was sawed open to make way for the colossus, DeFeo attempted to salvage Estocada, a large-scale painting on paper stapled directly to her hallway wall. Unfinished and never documented, the little-known piece was ripped down in chunks, saved, and reanimated years later in the studio through photography, photocopy, collage, and relief.
Rip Tales traces Estocada’s material history, woven into this narrative are other Bay Area stories that likewise privilege transformation, multiplicity, intuition, and absence. Drawing on interviews and personal experience, curator Jordan Stein explores these themes in the work and lives of artists Zarouhie Abdalian, April Dawn Alison, Ruth Asawa, Lutz Bacher, Bruce Conner, Dewey Crumpler, Trisha Donnelly, and Vincent Fecteau.
You can watch Jordan Stein and Hilton Als talk about the book here.