Tim Youd: St. Louis Retyped

Jan 19, 2018 - Apr 22, 2018

Tim Youd has long made drawings and paintings inspired by words and literature. But after a meaningful pilgrimage to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home, he began to involve himself more directly in the art of the written word, with his decade-long 100 Novels project. Youd types novels. In fact, he retypes already written novels. And he performs these re-typings on the models of typewriters the authors used in the creation of their works. He types each book on a single sheet of paper, which is laid on top of a second sheet of paper and run consecutively through the typewriter. Not surprisingly, Youd came upon the idea for these durational art actions while reading a book. “I understood that, on a formal level what I’d been looking at all those years was a rectangle of black text inside the larger white rectangle,” he says. “I had this urge to compress the book—a physical, palpable urge—so that all the words in the entire novel would be present on that one page.” At CAM, Youd is scheduled to type works by authors with St. Louis origins: T.S. Eliot, Stanley Elkin, and William Burroughs.