Soleri, Paolo - Documenta: The Paolo Soleri Retrospective. Commentary and graphics by Donald Wall.

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Soleri - Documenta: The Paolo Soleri Retrospective.
Commentary and graphics by Donald Wall.
Washington D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1970.

Documenta: The Paolo Soleri Retrospective was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from Feb. 20-Apr. 5, 1970.

Custom printed box with 84 page Exhibition Catalogue, Exhibition Invitation and long drawings of Soleri’s work on Sixteen Scrolls rolled and stacked in cardboard housing.

Box and cardboard dividers are known to be acidic and finding copies with scrolls that have not been discolored by exposure is especially rare. The scrolls offered here are in quite nice shape, virtually free of any discoloration or marks though some do have a bit of creasing and bending at the ends.

Box has staining, some loss of printed paper, rubbing, chipping and general wear. As can be seen in the photos, the staining is worse on the top and bottom with a bit on the side. Paper loss is concentrated on the top and back. At the opening, where the flap of the top is inserted, there is some chipping. The inside flaps are in much better shape with only minor wear.

The exhibition catalogue is a solid near fine copy with only light edgewear. Square, strong and tight binding. Clean and unmarked pages.

The exhibition invitation is also near fine.

The Smithsonian says:
“This mysterious 10”x10”x11” cardboard box and its contents, designed for Documenta: The Paolo Soleri Retrospective held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1970, re-envisioned the concept of an exhibition catalog. Soleri was an Italian architect who studied in the United States under Frank Lloyd Wright. He developed a theory of “Arcology” which proposed a fusion between architecture and ecology. Look closely at the exterior of Documenta and you will see a collage of text sampling Solari’s manifesto. Inside you will find 16 paper scrolls of blue-gray sketches imagining utopian high-density eco-cities which would minimize humans’ impact on the earth. Although these projects were never built, they provide understanding of how scientists and artists were reacting in the early 1970s to a growing awareness of the Earth’s finite resources. The Hirshhorn copy is missing the original booklet, but needs treatment to preserve the stunning scrolls and original box.”

And here is how the Smithsonian dealt with the acidic nature of this item:
“Condition and Treatment:
This item is a 26cm square cardboard box housing 16 rolls that are the exhibition catalog for "Documenta; the Paolo Soleri retrospective". The box is acidic and the material covering it is abraded and detaching at the edges. Conservators will repair the detaching paper and create a custom enclosure to prevent future abrasion to the object. The individual rolls will be placed in individual enclosures so there is a barrier between them and the acidic box.”