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Tauba Auerbach, “[2,3]” (2016) (GIF by the author for Hyperallergic)

In her sculptures and installations, California-born artist Tauba Auerbach often plays with the flux state between two and three dimensions. Her latest project continues in this vein: It’s an oversized pop-up book called [2,3] that contains six die-cut, geometric paper sculptures. Its pages unfold to reveal a gold-and-white ziggurat, a pyramid composed of nesting triangles, a sphere of intersecting paper circles, and elegant latticed arches. Director Sam Fleischner filmed the book’s dramatic unboxing.

YouTube video

Auerbach isn’t the first to turn the pop-up book, usually found on children’s shelves, into an objet d’art. It’s standard practice in the world of origami and book arts. In 1967, Andy Warhol collaborated with Random House to create a pop-up book featuring paper spoofs of his famous artworks, including cardboard can of Hunt’s tomato paste. Designer Marion Bataille made a pop-up book for typography nerds; German artist Johann Volkmer makes minimal, elegant pop-up wall calendars. [2,3] is also also reminiscent of Pop-Up Op Art, a recent book that translated Op art pioneer Viktor Vasarely’s dizzying works into collapsible paper sculptures. But more than these examples, [2,3] looks like something you’d want to leave open as a shape-shifting display instead of keeping it collapsed on a bookshelf.

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Tauba Auerbach, ‘[2,3]’ (2016) (All screen shots by the author for Hyperallergic)

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Tauba Auerbach, ‘[2,3]’ (2016)

Published by New York-based art book press Printed Matter[2,3] is available in a signed and numbered edition of 1,000, plus 100 proofs. [UPDATE: Printed Matter has notified us that the edition is sold out.]

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.

2 replies on “Tauba Auerbach Sculpts a Pop-Up Book for Grownups”

  1. This book has been out for 3+ years now, funny you’re just talking about it now.

  2. Big pop-up book fan. This is interesting work, though it seems to rely more on scale than innovation for effect.

    I’m more impressed by the pop-up work of David Carter (One Red Dot, Sixty Black Spots). But always glad to see people try their hand at the form.

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