“One Question” with Julia Klein — Soberscove Press

Soberscove Press was launched in March 2009 by Julia Klein with the publication of Artists’ Sessions at Studio 35 (1950). Soberscove is eager to make accessible material that might otherwise only be available to specialists and/or that is out of print, as well as previously unpublished material that we find exciting.

Neoteric Art: What has been your favorite project/book to publish so far?

Julia Klein: So far I’ve published 4 books (there are three in progress right now), and each of these books has its own story and is important to me for a particular set of reasons. I truly don’t have a favorite, but since Artists’ Sessions at Studio 35 (1950), was the book that launched the press, it has a distinctive position. Upon graduating from college (Michigan), I moved to New York City and I lucked out and got a job working for George Braziller. He has been publishing since the early 1950’s and is currently 95 (ish) and still working on book projects. He has had periods of major success and periods of business difficulty, but he never sold out to a larger corporation and his publishing program continues to be, I think, a self-portrait and a catalog of his interests/self-education. www.georgebraziller.com. Working for George was an incredible experience. I learned tons, met amazing people and while I was there, first saw and became excited about the Artists’ Sessions transcripts when they came through as part of a larger proposal (a selected writings project) which ultimately wasn’t accepted. Shortly after that, I moved to Chicago and continued to think about Artists’ Sessions. Upon first reading the transcripts, I remember thinking, “Why did they not make me read this in art school!?” because the transcripts’ discussion of art resonated with me so much and also because they documented an interesting/important moment in American art history to which I felt indebted. Over the next 5 years, I took a lot of little steps until finally the book was published. These steps involved looking in archives for the original, unedited transcripts (not found); meeting with Robert Goodnough, painter and original editor of the transcripts; hunting down the reprint rights, etc. Although the transcripts are often referenced in Ab Ex literature, the only places to read them are either in the original out-of-print book or in a $45 Ab Ex anthology. My reprint of the transcripts is, I hope, helpful in connecting contemporary artists with a set of discussions from the past that continue to resonate while also offering a sort of historical snapshot of an unusual event.