by Ted Berrigan, George Schneeman
"With its constant layering of word and image and the cumulative impact of overlapping and colliding forms, collage is essential to this work. All sheets make use of it, and there is often a playful, old-fashioned tone to the pastiched elements—an equestrian magazine from the 1930s, for instance, is followed up by colorful, outdated print advertisements or bits of gift wrapping... The words derive their impetus from the visual ground; they are at once part of and a commentary on their situation in this visual-verbal complex." - Vincent Katz, Art on Paper
In The Nam was first made as a one-of-a-kind collaborative book in 1967-68. The original was passed back and forth between Ted Berrigan and George Schneeman for about a year, remaining in the hands of one or the other for weeks or even months at a time—poet and artist each adding, subtracting, working over words and images. The materials used were pen and ink, white acrylic paint and collage. The work was made primarily for the amusement of the collaborators, thus the 'finished' project languished in a drawer in Schneeman's studio on St. Mark's Place for thirty years. Produced when the Vietnam War was rapidly escalating, this work is by turns surreal, incisive, hip, outrageous, cartoon-like, flip, sinister, humorous, dreamy, sarcastic, witty—always right on target—a vivid evocation of the times and the broad range of emotional responses to the War.
The present edition is a simulation of the original and was printed letterpress, in several colors, from magnesium plates on Rives 300 gm paper by Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press. 20 hors commerce, 50 for sale, each numbered and signed by Berrigan and Schneeman.