Columbus College of Art & Design

Black & Red Books + Detroit Printing Co-op

On view in the galleries, Feb. 24 –  March 25, 2018.

Black & Red Books and the Detroit Printing Co-Op were founded by Fredy Perlman and Lorraine Perlman. Black & Red Books (founded in 1968 in Kalamazoo, Michigan) published the first unauthorized English edition of Guy Debord’s iconic 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle in 1970. Detroit Printing Co-Op (operated from 1969 to 1980) printed pamphlets, fliers, posters and books in Southwest Detroit, including the influential leftist journal Radical America from 1970-1972 and The Political Thought of James Forman, published by members of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Not trained as a designer, Fredy Perlman’s designs arose out of a sense of political urgency and necessity, with its experimentation in overprinting, collage techniques and paper stock.

Union seal, or “bug” has its precedence in printer’s marks, which have appeared in books since the mid-fifteenth century, and Fredy Perlman designed the co-op’s bug with the preamble to the Industrial Workers of the World constitution: “ABOLISH THE WAGE SYSTEM/ABLOSH THE STATE/ALL POWER TO THE WORKERS!

Curated by graphic designer Danielle Aubert, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Wayne State University, Detroit. Based on a previous exhibition co-organized with Maia Asshaq at 9338 Campau (an independent art space founded by 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐨𝐧), Hamtramck in 2016.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m., An Art Book Affair features a conversation on the history of Black & Red Books and the Detroit Printing Co-Op by co-founder Lorraine Perlman, with Danielle Aubert, Maia Asshaq, Steve Panton, contextualizing the contemporary art publishing scene in Detroit. Moderated by Daniel Marcus, Lecturer in the Department of History of Art at The Ohio State University.