This is Not the Cover of Open Space #1. It's a Mask You Can Wear in Case You're Suddenly Called to a Masked Ball. Stan Persky, ed.
This is Not the Cover of Open Space #1. It's a Mask You Can Wear in Case You're Suddenly Called to a Masked Ball.
This is Not the Cover of Open Space #1. It's a Mask You Can Wear in Case You're Suddenly Called to a Masked Ball.

This is Not the Cover of Open Space #1. It's a Mask You Can Wear in Case You're Suddenly Called to a Masked Ball.

[San Francisco]: Open Space, 1964. First edition. 4to, unpaginated, offset printed from typescript and drawing. Illustrated with two lithographs, of works by Nemi Frost and one unattributed work, and two drawings by Tom Field, who also contributes the cover, as well as drawings by the great Fran Herndon.

Early issue of this long-running, fugitive little magazine that was very much a mouthpiece for the poets that centered themselves around Gino & Carlo's Bar in San Francisco - a group which included Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Jess Collins, and the wilder edge of the San Francisco Renaissance, many of gender non-conforming. The colophon even notes that manuscripts could be dropped off at the bar.

Open Space was one of the most experimental and visually striking publications of the Mimeograph Revolution, with erratic numbering and lots of visual art thrown into the mix. The radical awareness of the form of the little mag and its ludic possibilities make Open Space, like My Own Mag, one of the most important formally innovative publications of the Mimeograph Revolution, exemplified by the cover of this issue. The cover is illustrated with a drawing of the face of George Stanley, and the verso has an elastic cord attached with two metal clips, so that it can indeed be worn at a mask.

The magazine had a minuscule print run of about 50 copies, making it among the rarest publications of the Mimeograph Revolution. Of that 50 copies, at least a third must be in institutions, hopefully at least a couple were worn to parties, and who knows how many copies such as this survived.

Ragged, 3” chip to lower margin, unfortunately leading to some loss of the mask. The cover sheet is heavily creased with another small chip. A shallow, 1” long area has been eaten away from the lower margin of the last half of the pages (be careful at parties). A battered, fucked up fair only copy, but exceedingly rare in any condition. Item #29255

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