SMS: A Collection of Multiples

40th Anniversary Exhibition

Released in 1968, the SMS portfolio represented a collaboration between some of the most important artists of the 20th century.  Centered around   a loft on Manhattan's Upper West Side rented and maintained by the American Surrealist William Copley, SMS (a coy abbreviation for "Shit Must Stop") was an open-ended collective that epitomized the community ethos of the late 1960s. Frequented by artists, curators, performers and composers both accomplished and aspiring, Copley's loft became renowned for its utopian morale and hospitable working conditions, which included "a buffet perpetually replenished by nearby Zabar's Delicatessen, an open bar, and a pay phone with a cigar box filled with dimes." [Carter Ratcliff, "SMS: Art in Real Time," from SMS: A Collection of Multiples. Exhibition catalog. Published by Reinhold-Brown Gallery, NY. Oct. 1988.]

The six volumes of the SMS portfolio were the crowning achievement of Copley's experiment, embodying the spirit of the collective and serving as time capsules of an extraordinary moment in American art.  Bypassing the institutions of museums and galleries, the portfolios were mailed directly to their subscribers, opening a direct line of communication between artist and audience.  Each portfolio included meticulously editioned works by a roster of artists both world-famous and obscure--as well as some tongue-in-cheek contributions by art dealers and critics--each of whom received $100 for their contribution regardless of reputation or medium. Among the many artists and composers represented are Marcel Duchamp, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Christo, Richard Hamilton, Claes Oldenberg, John Cage, Terry Riley, and Yoko Ono.

Davidson Galleries is proud to celebrate the 40th anniversary of SMS by exhibiting a complete set of all six portfolios.

Publications:
SMS: A Collection of Multiples, 40th Anniversary Exhibition
Exhibition catalog. 12 full-color pages. 11 x 8-1/2 inches. $5 + tax & shipping.

Email us to order.

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : Little Box of Earthquake and cotton at Davidson Galleries

Irving Petling American artist (b. 1934)

Little Box of Earthquake and cotton
Size: 11 x 7 x-1/2 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS101]
Price: $100

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : Black Dress at Davidson Galleries

James Lee Byars American artist (1940-1997)

Black Dress
Medium: Model of “Friendship Dress,” meant to accommodate four people Black tissuewith photographic portraits
Size: 10 x 10 inches (folded)
Stock Number: [SMS103]
Price: $100

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : Store Front at Davidson Galleries

Christo Bulgarian/American artist (b. 1935)

Store Front
Medium: Mylar and paper construction
Size: 10-1/2 x 6-3/4 inches (folded)
Stock Number: [SMS104]
SOLD

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : Chicago Project... at Davidson Galleries

Walter de Maria American (b. 1935)

Chicago Project...
Medium: Documentation of proposal to install a telephone booth at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art for visitors to answer random phone calls from the artist
Size: 10-1/4 x 6-3/4 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS105]
SOLD

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : My Country

Kaspar Koening German curator/critic (b. 1940)

My Country 'Tis of Thee: West Germany, 1968 (Four Views)
Medium: Photographs with vellum overlay
Size: 5 x 5 inches each
Stock Number: [SMS107]
Price: $175

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : Hottentot Apron at Davidson Galleries

Sol Mednick American photographer (1916-1970)

Hottentot Apron
Medium: Print of photogravure
Size: 20-3/8 x 27-1/2 inches
Stock Number: [SMS109]
Price: $325

SMS No. 1: February 1968 : Luggage Labels at Davidson Galleries

Nancy Reitkopf American (b. 1938)

Luggage Labels
Medium: Six printed luggage labels commemorating famous disasters
Size: Up to 5 x 7-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS110]
Price: $125

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : Seven minute recording of contrapetrie, a surrealist word game at Davidson Galleries

Marcel Duchamp French/American artist (1887-1968)

Seven minute recording of contrapetrie, a surrealist word game
Size: 11 x 7-1/2 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS201]
SOLD

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : Three Color Separations at Davidson Galleries

Alain Jacquet French artist (b. 1939)

Three Color Separations
Medium: Printed mylar
Size: 6-3/4 x 9-1/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS205]
SOLD

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : A Two-Year-Old Girl Choked to Death Today on an Easter Egg at Davidson Galleries

Ray Johnson American (1927-1995)

A Two-Year-Old Girl Choked to Death Today on an Easter Egg
Medium: Duotone on chrome-coated photographic paper
Size: 10-3/4 x 6-5/8 inches
Stock Number: [SMS206]
Price: $425

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : The Mirror of Genoveva at Davidson Galleries

Meret Oppenheim Swiss artist (1913-1985)

The Mirror of Genoveva
Medium: Debossed print
Size: 10 x 6-5/8 inches
Stock Number: [SMS208]
Price: $625

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : A Proposed Comic Section for the New York Times at Davidson Galleries

Bernard Pfreim American artist (1916-1996)

A Proposed Comic Section for the New York Times
Medium: Printed photographs in folded six page spread
Size: 24 x 16 inches (front page)
Stock Number: [SMS209]
Price: $175

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : Farewell to Faust at Davidson Galleries

George Reavey British poet (1907-1976)

Farewell to Faust
Medium: Poem by Christopher Marlowe's ghost, as communicated to Reavey's wife as she was gardening, printed on sheer tissue
Size: 37 x 6-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS210]
Price: $75

SMS No. 2: April 1968 : Album at Davidson Galleries

Clovis Trouille French artist (1899-1975)

Album
Medium: Photograph album with red flocked binding containing reproductions of 16 Trouille paintings
Size: 11 x 6-1/2 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS211]
Price: $75

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : Glove at Davidson Galleries

Enrico Baj Italian artist (1924-2003)

Glove
Medium: Folded vinyl glove encapsulated in plastic
Size: 10-1/2 x 6-5/8 inches
Stock Number: [SMS303]
Price: $175

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : Ode to London at Davidson Galleries

Dick Higgens American artist (1938-1998)

Ode to London
Medium: Silkscreened text in lavender on mylar
Size: 11 x 6-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS305]
SOLD

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : Two Drawings at Davidson Galleries

Ronnie Landfield American artist (b. 1947)

Two Drawings
Medium: Colored preparatory drawings printed on parchment with philosophical notations
Size: 10-3/4 x 6-7/8 inches
Stock Number: [SMS307]
Price: $150

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : Bush in Hand at Davidson Galleries

Roland Penrose British critic/artist/poet (1900-1984)

Bush in Hand
Medium: Die-cut paper construction with printed photographs
Size: 10-3/4 x 7 inches
Stock Number: [SMS308]
Price: $100

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : The Father of Mona Lisa at Davidson Galleries

Man Ray American artist (1890-1976)

The Father of Mona Lisa
Medium: Printed ready-made on paper
Size: 11-7/8 x 6-7/8 inches
Stock Number: [SMS309]
Price: $1200

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : Poems at Davidson Galleries

Poems
Series: SMS No. 3: June 1968
Medium: Two bound albums of concrete and sound poetry
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 inches each
Price: $100

SMS No. 3: June 1968 : Clouds at Davidson Galleries

William Bryant

Clouds
Series: SMS No. 3: June 1968
Medium: Eighteen page folio of sheet music with renderings of cloud formations.
Size: 12 x 9 inches closed
Price: $225

SMS No. 4: August 1968 : Untitled at Davidson Galleries

Robert Stanley American artist (1932-1997)

Untitled
Size: 11 x 7 x-1/2 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS401]
Price: $100

SMS No. 4: August 1968 : Concept Bergtold at Davidson Galleries

Paul Bergtold American artist (b. 1942)

Concept Bergtold
Medium: Pink tissue folio containing two “Machine Art” compositions using a typewriter and Xerox reproductions of objects
Size: 8-1/2 x 11 inches
Stock Number: [SMS403]
Price: $100

SMS No. 4: August 1968 : Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) continued 1968 at Davidson Galleries

John Cage American composer (1912-1992)

Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) continued 1968
Medium: Mylar case containing twenty page booklet of autobiographical impressions printed on heavy stock with typeface, weight, and color chosed according to chance
Size: 7-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches
Stock Number: [SMS404]
Price: $500

SMS No. 4: August 1968 : 6 Prison Poems at Davidson Galleries

Domenico Rotella Artist/poet (b. 1919)

6 Prison Poems
Medium: Collection of poems and sketch composed while Rotella was in prison in 1964 for marijuana possession
Size: Up to 13-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches
Stock Number: [SMS409]
Price: $75

SMS No. 4: August 1968 : Permanent Parking Decal at Davidson Galleries

Robert Watts American artist (1923-1988)

Permanent Parking Decal
Medium: Vinyl decal that makes the time indicator of a parking meter look like there is 45 minutes remaining
Size: 7 x 6-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS410]
Price: $375

SMS No. 4: August 1968 : Asylum Manuscripts at Davidson Galleries

Princess Winifred American asylum inmate (active 1940s-60s)

Asylum Manuscripts
Medium: Drawings and writings on six brown paper towels
Size: 9-1/2 x 9-3/4 inches each
Stock Number: [SMS411]
Price: $175

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Untitled at Davidson Galleries

Congo Chimpanzee (active 1960s)

Untitled
Size: 11 x 7 x-1/2 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS501]
Price: $100

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Splendid Person at Davidson Galleries

Wall Batterton British artist (b. 1932)

Splendid Person
Medium: Photograph
Size: 9-3/4 x 6-1/2 inches
Stock Number: [SMS502]
Price: $125

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : The Barber

William Copley American artist (1919-1996)

The Barber's Shop
Medium: Dossier documenting a Chicago barber's battle to reproduce a Picasso sculpture that had been donated to the city by the artist on his appointment cards
Size: 12 x 9 inches (envelope)
Stock Number: [SMS503]
Price: $175

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : 24 Still Lifes at Davidson Galleries

Edward Fitzgerald American artist (b. 1927)

24 Still Lifes
Medium: Two sheets of 24 color stamps depicting a painting
Size: 10-1/4 x 7-1/4 inches each
Stock Number: [SMS504]
Price: $100

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Bucks American at Davidson Galleries

Neil Jenney American artist (b. 1945)

Bucks American
Medium: Four sheets of annotated pencil drawings that have been stapled shut
Size: 8-5/8 x 6-1/2 inches
Stock Number: [SMS505]
Price: $225

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : The Inner Pages at Davidson Galleries

Angus MacLise American poet/musician (1938-1979)

The Inner Pages
Medium: 20 page booklet of automatic writing and calligraphy done as drawings and collages
Size: 6-3/4 x 8-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS506]
SOLD

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Footsteps at Davidson Galleries

Bruce Nauman American artist (1941)

Footsteps
Medium: Magnetic tape around card containing sound loop
Size: 7-5/8 x 10-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS507]
Price: $550

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Mend Piece for John at Davidson Galleries

Yoko Ono Japanese/American artist/composer (b. 1933)

Mend Piece for John
Medium: Box containing materials and instructions to “Take your favorite cup. Break it in many pieces with a hammer. Repair it with this glue and this poem in three stanzas dedicated to John.”
Size: 6-1/4 x 6 x-1/4 (case)
Stock Number: [SMS508]
Price: $950

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Candy at Davidson Galleries

Mel Ramos American artist (b. 1935)

Candy
Medium: Materials and instructions for assembling three-dimensional sculpture
Size: 10-3/4 x 13-3/4 inches
Stock Number: [SMS509]
Price: $575

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Cut Corners at Davidson Galleries

Robert Rohm American artist (b. 1934)

Cut Corners
Medium: Silver paper printed with pattern and scored for folding to form three sculptures
Size: 11 x 7-1/8 inches (pieces)
Stock Number: [SMS510]
Price: $175

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : Against the Grain at Davidson Galleries

William Schwedler American artist (1942-1982)

Against the Grain
Medium: Instructions for constructing conceptual assemblage
Size: 13-1/2 x 10-5/8 inches
Stock Number: [SMS511]
Price: $125

SMS No. 5: October 1968 : The Magellanic Clouds at Davidson Galleries

Diane Wakoski American poet (b. 1937)

The Magellanic Clouds
Medium: Folder containing poem and photographic portrait of the poet, impressed with grooves that allow it to be played as a recording of the poet reciting it
Size: 6-3/4 x 14 inches
Stock Number: [SMS512]
SOLD

SMS No. 6: December 1968 : Untitled at Davidson Galleries

Richard Artschwager American artist (b. 1924)

Untitled
Size: 11 x 7 x-1/2 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS600]
Price: $275

SMS No. 6: December 1968 : Self-Portrait at Davidson Galleries

Ed Bereal American artist (b. 1937)

Self-Portrait
Medium: Color print of a still from a Frankenstein film
Size: 16 x 13-1/2 inches
Stock Number: [SMS601]
Price: $100

SMS No. 6: December 1968 : Friends at Davidson Galleries

Betty Dodson American artist (b. 1929)

Friends
Medium: Erotic print encased in hot pink cellophane
Size: 5-3/4 x 9 inches
Stock Number: [SMS603]
Price: $250

SMS No. 6: December 1968 : Neon Construction at Davidson Galleries

Ronoldo Ferri Artist (b. 1932)

Neon Construction
Medium: Pieces for assembling a construction from metallic die-cut paper rings
Size: 6-3/4 x 6-3/4 inches (as packaged)
Stock Number: [SMS604]
Price: $75

SMS No. 6: December 1968 : Chinese Fortune Game at Davidson Galleries

John Giorno American poet (b. 1936)

Chinese Fortune Game
Medium: Silkscreened game cards, slotted trays, and instructions in black portfolio case
Size: 10 x 6 inches (closed)
Stock Number: [SMS605]
SOLD