Friedrich Kunath: Songs Build Little Rooms in Time
This artists’ book is born of an ongoing collaboration between Friedrich Kunath and the late musician, writer, and friend David Berman. Around 2012, Berman and Kunath worked actively together on the book, You Owe Me a Feeling, with Berman providing notebooks to Kunath from which he derived text for the finished work. Several years later, as Berman was struggling to make sense in music again for the first time in a decade, he noted the use of his lyrics in a later collection of Kunath’s work. This discovery led to discussion between the two on the reasonable nature of such inclusion, developing from something that seemed almost antagonistic on Berman’s part into an eventual understanding: they would find things to show and tell between themselves and in the process, create a show in cooperation.
This alliance was successful—with more than enough material to work with, Kunath was deep in his process, relocating these expressions outside of their natural habitat. The painter was in the final stages of this work when Berman unexpectedly passed. The work is somber, as anything derived from the source material of Berman’s final songs might be—but the playfulness, the romance of sudden discovery penetrating ennui that is central to both Kunath and Berman’s work is there as well.
Published on the occasion of Kunath’s 2019 exhibition at Soccer Club Club, Chicago, IL, presented by Blum & Poe in partnership with Drag City. Designed by longtime mutual friend and collaborator Michael Schmelling.
Special edition of 60, with hand-drawn paper-wrapped slipcases, signed and numbered, by Friedrich Kunath, available here.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Edition of 1000
Los Angeles: Blum & Poe; Chicago: Drag City, 2021
9.25 x 10.75 inches