Buffalo: CEPA Gallery, 1981. 22.5 x 18 cm.  pages. Printed on rectos only, by Abgott & Smith Printing. Printed wrappers. A fine copy. Item #409081
First edition, one of 3000 copies (of which 50 were signed and numbered). The project was coordinated by Tom Damauer. According to the wrapper text: "This book is part of the third project of FOUR BY THREE, a series of four exhibitions and concurrent artists residencies in 1980-81, jointly sponsored by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, CEPA Gallery and Hallwalls, all of Buffalo, New York." The exhibitions were held 3 April to 17 May 1981 at CEPA and 4 April to 17 May 1981 at Albright-Knox.
Organized in six sections, this exhibition catalogue/artists' book evolves from "A Three-Sided Tale" to "An Eight-Sided Tale," presenting photographs with these increasingly cropped shapes. There are 35 "tales," comprising 6 three-sided; 10 four-sided; 8 five- and six-sided; 2 five-sided; and 1 six-sided. The book illustrates Clive Phillpot's estimation that "none of Baldessari's books are exhibition catalogues or pure documentation, even when exhibitions occasioned their publication." As Phillpot describes Baldessari’s book practice: "His books employ photographic imagery and conventions, but they also derive from work apparently not initially conceived with the book in mind; once again we are in the hinterland between the book and the bookwork" (Phillpot, "Some Contemporary Artists and Their Books," in: Artists' Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook, ed. Joan Lyons, NY, 1985, p. 118). References: Bury, Artists' Books: The Book as a Work of Art, p. 205; Hurowitz, Catalogue Raisonné of Prints and Multiples, p. 471 (addenda).