Gil J Wolman was one of the outstanding artists of Lettrism, a post-war movement founded in 1945 by the Rumanian Isidore Isou, based on the limits of language and origin of the later Situationist International, the group in which Guy Debord and Gil J Wolman sought to expand social and political sides of life under new game-rules defined by advanced capitalism. Due to its explicitly provocative nature, Lettrism rapidly achieved notoriety through a variety of methods, from anti-cinema to criticism of the art object. The works that Wolman dubbed L’art Scotch (Baguettes) (Scotch Art [Sticks]), to which this piece belongs, are part of a procedure devised by the artist that consists of tearing off strips of printed matter and Scotch-taping them to wood or fabric. This kind of work, which the artist exhibited in 1964, 1966 and 1968 at the Valérie Schmidt gallery in Paris, manipulated newspaper headlines and pictures in order to subvert the language of the mass media. Similarly, the format of normal wooden bars was also a way of questioning the concepts of painting, sculpture and art objects, and posed the problem of their arrangement and presentation in an art gallery.
Carmen Fernández Aparicio