Mail Art by David Horvitz (image courtesy the artist)

Mail Art emerged in the middle of the 20th century as a way for artists to share work outside of the conventions of market-driven networks. Pioneering practitioners of the medium, like Fluxus artists Ray Johnson and Robert Filliou, used rubber stamps and collage to create irreverent, often humorous messages, repositioning the experience of art as an intimate, personal interaction in one’s home as opposed to the hallowed halls of cultural institutions. Mail Art was also popular throughout Latin America and the Soviet Union, places where repressive political regimes prevented the free exchange of ideas.

At the heart of the art form is the relationship between sender and recipient, which finds spirited expression in works sent from artist David Horvitz to his wife, the art historian and curator Zanna Gilbert. Over the past six years, he has sent hundreds of pieces of mail art to her workplace, first at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and now at the Getty, from postcards and watercolors, to leaves and driftwood. This Saturday at the Edendale Branch Library, the couple will discuss their creative correspondence and display a selection of works. The talk will be followed by a workshop where Horvitz will share some of the various techniques he employs. Horvitz’s solo show, Anemochory, currently on view at Château Shatto, mines similar territory, tracing the movement of seeds, oceans, raw materials, and postcards.

When: Saturday, December 8, 1–3pm
Where: Edendale Branch Library (2011 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, Los Angeles)

More info at Los Angeles Public Library.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.