Text by Willoughby Sharp, Liza Béar
Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar founded Avalanche shortly after they met in 1968. At the time, Sharp was a New York-based independent curator and Béar an underground magazine editor who had recently moved to New York from London. They published the first issue in 1970 and collaborated on 13 issues from 1970 to 1976. Avalanche focused on art from the perspective of artists rather than critics, and investigated new forms of art that were developing in the U.S. and Europe with probing interviews, extensive use of photography and dynamic layouts. For many artists, publication in Avalanche preceded a one-person gallery or museum show. Aside from an eight-page news section, the editorial content included only interviews, artists' texts and documents of art and art making. All interviews were conducted by Sharp, Béar or done jointly. Among the featured artists were Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Hanne Darboven, Walter De Maria, Jan Dibbets, Philip Glass, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Yvonne Rainer, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner and Jackie Winsor. This boxed facsimile edition of Avalanche's complete run reproduces the first eight issues individually, and the final five in a single newsprint paperback.