Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Muse: Art and Poetry Exhibitions

Art and poetry are a natural mix, as you will see if you attend any of the following recommended exhibitions.

✭ "One Life: Sylvia Plath" ~ Slated to open June 30 is the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition about poet and artist Sylvia Plath (1932-1963). Personal letters, artwork, family photographs, and other objects will be on display at the museum, part of the Smithsonian, through May 20, 2018. For a preview, see Allison Meier's article "An Exhibition Offers a Visual Biography of Sylvia Plath, Including Her Litle Known Art" (Hyperallergic, April 2017).

Featured in the banner: The Bell Jar by Victoria Lucas* / Author: Sylvia Plath / 1963/ Book / Mortimer Rare Book Room, William Allan Neilson Library, Smith College, Northampton, MA; gift of Ann Safford Mandel '53 | The Collected Poems / Author: Sylvia Plath / 1981 / Book | Sylvia Plath with Typewriter in Yorkshire / Elinor Friedman Klein / September 1956 / Mortimer Rare Book Room, William Allan Neilson Library, Smith College, Northampton, MA

* Pen Name of Sylvia Plath

For the show, the NPG drew on the Plath archives at Smith College and the University of Indiana's Lilly Library. This exhibition marks the first time the two collections have been presented together in a museum show.

Additional Exhibition Information

Sylvia Plath Collections

✭ "21 Etching and Poems" ~ Featured in this exhibition, continuing through May 14 at New York's Syracuse University Art Galleries, are the unique artworks created when 21 visual artists were paired with poets and featured in the landmark, 50-copy publication 21 Etchings and Poems (1960). Among the paired artists and poets are Peter Grippe and Dylan Thomas, Willem de Kooning and Harold Rosenberg, Stanley Hayter and Jacques Henri Levesque, Helen Phillips and Andre Verdet, Letterio Calapai and William Carlos Williams, Pierre Alechinsky and Christian Dotremont, and Franz Kline and Frank O'Hara. (A number of the artists were represented in the special SUArts Galleries traveling exhibition "About Prints: The Legacy of Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17".) A selection of images is available at the exhibition link.

21 Etching and Poems at Library of Congress and Woodward Gallery

✭ "Poetry Since 1912: Books, Issues & Ephemera from the Poetry Foundation" ~ On view through June 16 at Poets House, New York City, this free exhibition features books (some inscribed to staff), periodicals, and ephemera from Poetry magazine's working library. 

✭ "Envisioning the Heartland" ~ Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska, plays host June 1, 5:30 p.m., to State Poet Laureate Twyla Hansen and Dana Fritz, a professor of art at the University of Nebraska, who will present a gallery talk about poetry, photography, and culture as part of the museum's exhibition "Wright Morris: Nebraska Pictures", which is on view through July 23. A public reception follows.

✭ "Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space" ~ At the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, through July 20, this exhibition features works by Augusto de Campos, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Henri Chopin, Ernst Jandl, Mary Ellen Solt, Emmett Williams, and others. Drawing from the institute's collection of prints, artist books, journals, and manuscripts documenting the international concrete poetry movement in the visual, verbal, and sonic experiments of the 1950s through 1970s, the exhibition shows how the artists invented cube poems, standing poems, and other new forms across a range of media. At the exhibition link you'll find a number of related resources worth exploring, including Brazilian concrete poetry, videos, and publications.

Exhibition Brochure (pdf)

Also read "The Borderless Wordplay of Concrete Poetry" at the iris, the blog of the Getty.

✭ "Paul Chan: Pillowsophia" ~ At the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts through May 28, this exhibition features a sculptural animation, Pillowsophia, serving as a metaphor for violence and sacrifice and a poem co-written with independent art book publisher Badlands Unlimited, "New No's", which connects the violence, as well as racism and discrimination, to contemporary politics. The New York-based Chan is an artist, writer, and publisher whose work appears in multiple formats. Jodi Throckmorton curated the show, which is in the Morris Gallery. You'll find images of Pillowsophia and of the poem at the exhibition link.

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry" ~ Opening May 5 at the Jewish Museum, New York City, this survey brings together Florine Stettheimer's poetry as well as more than 50 of her modernist paintings and drawings, a selection of her costume and theatre designs, and photographs and ephemera. The exhibition continues through September 24. A poem, "New York", by Stettheimer and a selection of images (paintings and photographs) are available at the exhibition link above. The exhibition with travel this fall to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada, where it will be on view from October 21, 2017, through January 28, 2018.

Florine Stettheimer, Self-Portrait with Palette (Painter and Faun)
Undated, Oil on Canvas, 60" x 71-7/8"
Art Properties, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library 
at Columbia University
Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) at Columbia University Libraries

A number of books about the life and work of Stettheimer or featuring her poetry can be found at Amazon. See, in particular, Stephen Brown's Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry (Yale University Press, May 16, 2017; image below), which includes her paintings and poems, as well as essays, and Crystal Flowers: Poems and A Libretto (Book Thug, reissue 2010).

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