STUFF: Deborah Kass

by Deborah Kass on April 3, 2013 STUFF

[Editor’s note: Are you having trouble understanding artists through their art? Understand them through their STUFF instead. Art history never elucidates the importance of the artist’s dual role as creator and person who owns STUFF, even though STUFF is important: it’s what accumulates when you make decisions. Owning someone’s STUFF helps you channel their spirit and personal brand. This is our tribute to STUFF. From books, to art works, to phony iPads, these lists will contain both the common and the strange.

This weeks guest is art legend Deborah Kass. Kass’s mid-career retrospective “Before and Happily Ever After” at the Andy Warhol museum ended in January, a book was published in conjunction with the exhibition by Skira Rizzoli, her solo exhibition “My Elvis +” at Paul Kasmin Gallery ended in February, she was recently profiled in the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times and was featured as one of the 100 NY artists “The Establishment” on GalleristNY. She is currently working in her studio on future projects.]


Framed: The front page of “Go Fly A Kite Charlie Brown,” signed to me by Charles Schulz

When I was and 8 and 9 I was a rabid Peanuts fan and used to send Schulz my cartoons based on his strip regularly; he always responded with encouragement like “keep it up, you never know where it will lead” and then I received a new book signed “To Debbie, with best wishes, Charles Schulz.”


3 notes from Sondheim about my shows on his stationery

Need I say more?


The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

The most important book I’ve ever read; it explained everything to me about our fucked up politics and country and it’s all about money.


The Cotton Kingdom, by Frederick Olmstead

This is one of the most harrowing descriptions of the ante bellum South and slavery ever written, from a journalist (at the time) who was sent South by the New York Times in 1859 to understand its agrarian business, trying to be “objective” but unable to contain his accumulating horror.


Living History by Hillary Clinton

Pre-primary run, an obvious campaign doc, but between the lines I learned the most valuable lessons about being an ambitious woman driven to contribute to the world despite it’s resistance and it worked and so to HRC I will always be grateful. Looking forward to 2016.


Sister Corita “Life”, the print

because it’s about everything that matters.


Elizabeth Murray’s 2 beautiful color pencil drawings

I was giving Elizabeth the Warhol-like portrait I did of her and she absolutely insisted on trading with me; a mensch and beauty inside and out, I will always love her and these remind me why.


Andy Warhol works on paper

I stare at a pink Electric Chair print before I go to bed under a drawing of 2 boys kissing, next to a silver Jackie print, if I am not in my living room w a Race Riot print- all genius.


Aline Kominsky- Crumb cartoon about shopping at Loehmans in Hewlett, LI

This was given to me by my then gf who knew I loved Kominsky’s work, for my 40th birthday, but Kominsky’s illustrated memoir Need More Love that might be the greatest story ever told.


Rosa Bonheur cow drawing and Horse Fair print

Found respectively in a realtor’s staged house upstate and an antique store in Jersey labeled “victorian print.” They’re real and they’re spectacular.

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