TOP is an artist book produced by Aram Saroyan in 1965. Unfolding across eight multi-color pages, the concrete poem represents a top that spins from slow to fast to slow as the reader moves through the book. The colors and letters (comprising an obliquely glimpsed word) change in accordance with each page to notate the speed of the spinning top. Produced as an accordion fold with taped seams, TOP can be read as a book or unfolded to stand on a shelf or table.
The original publication was printed on the off-set press at Academy Typing Service, owned and managed by the painter Virginia Admiral, the ex-wife of painter Robert De Niro, Sr. and mother of the actor. The press run, while projected to be 300 copies, was truncated at “around sixty” for reasons, says Saroyan, “no longer ascertainable.”
In 2021, Primary Information and the artist decided to finish the edition, producing a facsimile edition of 240 copies. All are signed and numbered (beginning with 61).
Aram Saroyan is a writer well known for his early minimalist, conceptual, and Concrete poetry of the 1960s. Over the course of the last six decades, Saroyan has written over 30 books in a variety of forms including several novels, memoirs, plays, long- and short-form journalism, and essays, garnering awards and esteemed grants along the way. Since the initial publication of Complete Minimal Poemsin 2008, Saroyan has begun producing new works in minimal and conceptual form, which have found new audiences in the art world. His work was included in the Made in L.A.exhibition at the Hammer Museum in 2016, for which he contributed the subtitle a, the, though, only.
8 x 5 inches
Edition of 240
Managing Editor: James Hoff
Managing Designer: Rick Myers