Tuesday, January 31, 2017

'Generator' (Videopoem)

Below is Cindy St. Onge's videopoem Generator. The remixed poem, nominated for both a Pushcart Prize and "Best of the Net" and a runner-up for an Atlantis Award, was first published at The Poet's Billow in December 2013.

I learned of St. Onge, an award-winning multi-media poet who lives in the Pacific Northwest, from filmmaker Paul Broderick (thank you, Paul!). St. Onge's excellent video work has been screened most recently at the 2016 Bath Fringe Festival; it's also been shown at poetry festivals in Athens, Greece; and in Ireland. In addition to being available on St. Onge's Vimeo site, her work is featured at Dave Bonta's Moving Poems and at VerseWrights.

Selections of St. Onge's poems, which have been published in many online and print journals, including Apeiron Review, Gravel, OpenMinds Quarterly, Right Hand PointingThe Timberline Review, and Voice Catcher, can be found at St. Onge's Website, Exhibit A. St. Onge's chapbooks include Move Your Lips When You Read and Road to Damascus (both 2014).

Generator from Cindy St. Onge on Vimeo.

Poem Text at The Poet's Billow

Cindy St. Onge on FaceBook and YouTube

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Muse: Emily Dickinson Exhibition

Emily Dickinson, Daguerreotype, c. 1847
The Emily Dickinson Collection,
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Gift of Millicent Todd Bingham, 1956 [1956.002)

The Morgan Library & Museum is one of my favorite places to visit in New York City. And this winter, for those of us who are literary-inclined, the Morgan gives us a special reason this winter and spring to stop by: "I'm Nobody? Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson".

On view through May 21, the Morgan's exhibition, which opened on Inauguration Day and was co-organized by Amherst College, aims to correct the common belief that Dickinson (1830-1886) was a recluse. To the contrary! By gathering for display nearly 100 rarely seen manuscripts and letters, and as well as some artifacts being shown for the first time, the exhibition makes the case that Dickinson's life was "filled with rich friendships and long-lasting relationships with mentors and editors."

Featured are 24 of Dickinson's nearly 1,800 poems, in various states of draft, that are complemented by audio descriptions. Hand-cut silhouettes, photographs, daguerreotypes, contemporary illustrations, and other visual materials are also available.

Cover Art
Emily Dickinson: Poems (Boston: Roberts Bros., 1890)
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
and The Morgan Library & Museum
Photo: Janny Chiu (2016)

For those unable to travel to New York City, the Morgan offers a lovely selection of 25 of Dickinson's poems, read by Lee Ann Brown, poet and English professor, St. John's University, and founder Tender Buttons Press. Among them are "The sun kept stooping — stooping — low —"; "Light is sufficient to itself —"; "I'm Nobody! Who are you?"; and "The way Hope builds His House". On each page of the online exhibition is a facsimile of the poem as Dickinson wrote it, as well as editorial comment on its significance.

Also available is the 185-page publication The Networked Recluse: The Connected World of Emily Dickinson (2017), featuring essays by Mike Kelly, head of Amherst's Archives and Special Collection, Robert Frost Library; Carolyn Vega, the Morgan's assistant curator of literary and historical manuscripts; Marta Werner, English professor at Buffalo's D'Youville College, and co-author, The Gorgeous Nothings (New Directions, 2013); Susan Howe, a painter, poet, and author who has received both the Bollingen Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award for My Emily Dickinson (New Directions); and Richard Wilbur, Amherst's John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer and former U.S. Poet Laureate (1987-1988). The foreword is by Colin B. Bailey, the Morgan's director.

Cover Art

The Morgan has scheduled a number of exhibition-related events, including a lecture, "Dickinson's Manuscripts", on February 10; a gallery talk on March 3; a concert, "In Poetry and Song: An Evening with Patti Smith and Jesse Paris Smith", March 21 (sold out); the family program "Exceptional Expressions", March 25; a showing of the film A Quiet Passion (Palace Films), March 28; a workshop for adults, "'This is my letter to the World': Writing Poetry with Emily Dickinson", April 7-9; and another concert, "First Songs: Dawn Upshaw and the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program", April 13. Details are available at the event links. All are ticketed. The gallery talks and exhibition tours (Tuesday through Sunday, 3:00 p.m.) are free; other events may be discounted to members.

Also of Interest

The Morgan on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Emily Dickinson: Envelope Poems (New Directions Books)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Thought for the Day

[. . .] let's never have to forgive each other anymore /
~ Juan Gelman

Quoted from Juan Gelman, "Letter to My Mother" in Juan Gelman, Dark Times Filled With Light (Open Letter, 2012), tr. Hardie St. Martin

Juan Gelman (1930-2014), Prize-Winning Argentine Poet, Activist, Political Exile

Gelman's poetry collections in English include Unthinkable Tenderness: Selected Poems (1997), The Poems of Sidney West (2009), and Dark Times Filled With Light: The Selected Work of Juan Gelman (2012)

Obituary (The New York Times)

Caroline Brothers, "This Is a Story with a Happy Ending: On the Life of Juan Gelman", The Millions, November 15, 2016

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is Anima Vitae's award-winning film, The Last Knit (2005), directed by animator Laura Neuvonen.

The Last Knit (2005) from Anima Vitae on Vimeo.

Anima Vitae on FaceBookYouTube, and Vimeo

Friday, January 27, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Based in the United Kingdom, award-winning photographer and activist Poulomi Basu is co-founder and director of Just Another Photo Festival. Her beautifully made, empathic photographic essays, many of which focus on women, include A Ritual of Exile, To Conquer Her LandMy Only Hope for Freedom, and Paradise Lies at the Feet of Your Mother: Mothers of Foreign ISIS Fighters. Among her numerous clients are The New York Times, UNESCO, NPR, and The Guardian.

✦ The January 2017 cover of Poetry magazine, which bears the image of Fly Ampersand by Philadelphia's Armando Veve, sent me in search of the illustrator's Website. Enjoy exploring his art!

Work by Veve appears in "Illustrators 59: Uncommissioned, Institutional, Advertising" and "Illustrators 59: Book and Editorial" at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. The former concludes tomorrow, January 28; the latter opens February 3 and continues through February 25.

✦ Career profiles, art programs, and professional development and other resources for aspiring artists can be found at The Art Career Project.

The Art Career Project on FaceBook

✦ The public now has online access to more than 250,000 objects in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York. See the searchable Collections Online.

George Eastman Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✦ Switzerland's Kunsthaus Zurich has digitized more than 400 of the artworks in its Dada collection. Read about the Dada Digital Project online and then browse the collection, which will be augmented with prints and drawings as the project continues (there are more than 700 artworks and historic documents in the collection).

Read the press release (December 15, 2016).

✦ Beautiful coiled fiber art by Carol Eckert is on view through February 25 in "Carol Eckert: Mythologies" at Mobilia Gallery. Eckert's wall pieces and books are especially wonderful.

Mobilia Gallery on FaceBook

✦ Following is an interview (2015) with Japanese sculptor Nobuo Sekine, who discusses how he aims to "convey the richness of nature" through his work. Considered one of Japan's most important contemporary artists, follower of the Mono-ha art movement, Sekine is Visiting Professor a Tama Art University and Kobe Design University.

(My thanks to the excellent Louisiana Channel. The film also is available at ArtBabble and Huffington Post.)

Nobuo Sekine on Tumblr

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The installation "Materiality and Process", at Parish Art Museum, Water Mill, Long Island, looks at use of tactile materials in artmaking. Included in the exhibition are new acquisitions, including the Josh Tonsfeldt sculpture Untitled, which incorporates alligator hide, wood, acrylic, and glass; and Kim MacConnel's Jingle, a wall hanging comprising unprimed fabric that has been painted, cut into strips, and sewn together. Other pieces, including Louise Nevelson's Untitled and Alan Shields's Devil, Devil Love, are drawn from the Parrish collection. The show continues through October 30. A selection of installation views and other images is at the exhibition link.

Parrish Art Museum on FaceBook and Vimeo

✭ On view through May 7 at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, is "Hale Woodruff's Talladega Murals". Woodruff (1900-1980) painted the series of six murals, which depict African Americans' rise from slavery into freedom and include scenes from the mutiny on the slave ship Amistad, for the Savery Library at Talladega College, Alabama. 

Hale Woodruff, Mutiny on the Amistad, 1939
Oil on Canvas
Collection: Savery Library, Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama
Photo: Peter Harholdt

High Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ In Kansas City, Missouri, the Nelson-Atkins Museum is presenting "Multitude, Solitude: The Photographs of Dave Heath". The exhibition, a major survey of 184 works, includes the black-and-white images by Heath (1931-2016), which date from 1949 to 1969; a sequence of 82 photographs, A Dialogue with Solitude, made in the early 1950s; and recent color images made between 2001 and 2007 in New York City and Toronto. The ticketed exhibition continues through March 19. A gallery talk with curator Keith F. Davis is scheduled for February 12, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Video Conversation with Heath at Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015) (A slideshow also is available at the link.)

Nelson-Atkins on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube 

✭ The KMAC Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, recently opened "Oscillates Wildly", a solo exhibition of the work of Chicago artist William J. O'Brien. Featuring ceramic and steel sculptures, textiles, drawings, and paintings, the exhibition examines O'Brien's use of color, form, pattern, and texture and the balance the artist achieves between abstraction and figuration. The show runs through April 9.

Images of O'Brien's Work at Marianne Boesky Gallery and Shane Campbell Gallery

KMAC Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and Vimeo

✭ A multidisciplinary installation of the work of Colombia-born Mateo Lopez, "Undo List", can be seen at New York City's Drawing Center. The exhibition, which continues through March 19, is the first solo museum show in the United States for Lopez. It includes Lopez's works on paper, sculpture, performance, and projected film. A selection of images is at the exhibition link.

Read "Mateo Lopez: The Protege" at Rolex.

Drawing Center on FaceBook and Instagram

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday's Three on Animation

Today's column offers a look at three very well-done animations.

The Cat Piano ~ Directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson of Mechanical Apple, with narration by Nick Cave, The Cat Piano (2009) won a number of awards, among them the Australian Film Institute's "Best Short Animation" and APRA Screen Music's "Best Music in a Short Film". 

(My thanks to Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel and Eddie White for the link.)

Eddie White on Vimeo

Pidge ~ A thesis film by artist/animator and director Renee Zhan, Pidge was produced by Harvard University. The story of a suicidal pigeon whose dark thoughts ultimately turn positive, the animation, which has been shown at Telluride Film Festival, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Animfilm Greece, and Montclair Film Festival, comes to a surprising conclusion. Zhan spent 6 months creating the film. The backgrounds are watercolors.

Pidge from Renee Zhan on Vimeo.

Renee Zhan on Vimeo

Why do cats act so weird? ~ One of TEDEd's "10 Most Popular Animated Videos from 2016", this animation explains the science behind cats' behaviors. The lesson is by Tony Buffington, the animation by Chintis Lundgren.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Artist: '8 Artists on Water'

It's always the same and it's never the same.
Elina Brotherus, Finnish Artist

Today, Wednesday Artist offers a look at "8 Artists on Water", featuring Elina Brotherus, Olafur Eliasson, Bill Viola, Marina Abramovic, Kunle Adeyemi, Klara Hobza, Roni Horn, and the artists' group Superflex. Full interviews with the artists are available at Louisiana Channel.

The video was produced by Roxanne Bagheshirin Laerkesen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dave Bonta's 'Ice Mountain' Published

. . . get a bowl of fresh snow / not to eat but just to admire /....

Cover Art for Ice Mountain 
Artist Credit: Beth Adams

My friend Dave Bonta, a master erasure poet and the scion at Moving Poems, a compendium of videopoems I've featured in this space a number of times, has published a 132-page collection of spare, evocative, and linked poems, Ice Mountain: An Elegy (Phoenicia Publishing, 2017), due out tomorrow. I'm pleased to give this new collection a well-deserved shout-out and to include here the book's trailer, produced by the very talented Marc Neys aka Swoon.

Read Dave's backstory about Ice Mountain and sample the collection's content.

The illustrations in the book, Dave's first full-length print collection, are from Elizabeth Adams's original linocuts.

Dave also is the author of the 25-poem Odes to Tools (Phoenicia Publishing, 2010) and Breakdown: Banjo Poems (Seven Kitchens Press, 2012), selected by Sascha Feinstein as co-winner of the 2011 Keystone Chapbook Prize. Also see Dave's Twelve Simple Songs.

Note: A naturalist and Pennsylvania resident, Dave is donating 10 percent of all sales proceeds to local and regional conservation efforts in central Pennsylvania.

Dave Bonta on FaceBook

Via Negativia, Dave's Literary Blog

Morning Porch, Dave's Journal of Daily Prose-Micropoems

Phoenicia Publishing Page for Ice Mountain

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Muse: 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Film Poster

Novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and social critic James Baldwin's manuscript for Remember This House, begun in 1979 and still unfinished when Baldwin died in 1987, was to have been the writer's own recollection of the lives and murders of three friends, a trio of men who made their names during America's Civil Rights Movement: Medgar Evers (1925-1963), Malcolm X (1925-1965), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968).

Using the 30 completed pages Baldwin left behind*, Haitian filmmaker and director Raoul Peck brings to the screen, beginning February 3, the documentary I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia Pictures, 2016). Supplementing Baldwin's original words with archival footage, Peck aims to establish the long line from the Civil Rights Era of the 20th Century to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, and to address lingering questions about being black in America.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson narrates the movie, which was nominated for "Outstanding Documentary Film" at the NAACP Image Awards and, among a number of other honors, was the winner of "Best Documentary/Nonfiction" from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Here's the 93-minute documentary's trailer:

James Baldwin Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures © BobAdelman

* Baldwin's estate entrusted the manuscript to Peck.

Of Interest

Read film critic Kenneth Turan's review "James Baldwin Is Illuminated, with Dizzying Multimedia Savvy, in 'I Am Not Your Negro'", Los Angeles Times.

American Film Institute 2016 Interview with Raoul Peck

Roger Cohen, "McGraw-Hill Drops Baldwin Suit", The New York Times, May 19, 1990 (The suit was brought to try to recover Baldwin's advance for Remember This House.)

I Am Not Your Negro on FaceBookTwitter, and Instagram

Raoul Peck on FaceBook

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thought for the Day

For artists, looking, remembering, and creating art
are themselves ways of recognizing the ambiguities
of the human and inhuman.
~ Viet Thanh Nguyen

Quoted from Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016), p. 99.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer (for The Sympathizer); Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Nguyen's forthcoming book is a short story collection, The Refugees (Grove Press, February 2017). 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is Macrocosm, filmed with a Canon 5D and 100mm macro lens and incorporating space sounds NASA recorded. Those sounds, described as "singing", appear to have come from the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, discovered in 2014 by European Space Agency's Rosetta Plasma Consortium. 

The visualization is by Susi Sie; the remix is by sound designer and musician Clemens Haas.

Macrocosm from Susi Sie on Vimeo.

Original Data Cred: ESA/Rosetta/RPC/RPC-MAG
Sonification: TU Braunschweig/IGEP/Manuel Senfft, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0

Susie Sie on FaceBook

Clemens Haas on FaceBook

ESA on SoundCloud

(My thanks to friend Deborah Barlow for the link.)

Friday, January 20, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

 ✦ Local figurative painter Judith Peck is the subject of much well-deserved attention. In December, Artists and Makers Studios 2, Rockville, Maryland, hosted her solo show "Judith Peck: The Reachable Shore", and Poets and Artists magazine featured Peck and her work in an end-of-year special, "Figurative Painters 2016". See Peck's free, downloadable 12-page catalogue. This month's issue (#135) of American Art Collector magazine includes an article by John O'Hern about Peck's solo exhibition. Next month, beginning February 24, the exhibition "Sight Unseen", curated by Alia El-Bermani, opens at Abend Gallery, Denver, Colorado; the show runs through March 25.

Judith Peck Website

Peck's Blog, Becoming Human

Judith Peck on FaceBook           

 Winner of the 2013 Benesse Prize, Albania-born Anri Sala has taken over a once-abandoned house in Teshima, Kegawa Prefecture, Japan, to create at Teshima Seawall House a visual and audio artwork he has named All of a Tremble (2016). In addition to drums and music boxes, Sala uses in his commissioned, site-specific installation, which opened this past October, video showing an improvising saxophone and a Japanese bamboo flute ("shakuhachi"). In a statement from curator Akiko Miki, visitors are invited "to reflect on the displacement and lives of human beings as well as to physically experience the meeting of two different worlds: outside and inside, eastern and western, ocean and sky, social and private." The house is open for the next three years.

Teshima Seawall House

Sala's work is featured in the January 2017 issue of Naoshima Note, the quarterly magazine of Benesse Art Site Naoshima. Read the feature digitally (pdf); it is in both English and Japanese.

Anri Sala's Website

Anri Sala at Marian Goodman Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, and Hauser & Wirth

✦ The 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the 1942 internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, is February 19. In observance, the Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, New York, is presenting two dozen works of the sculptor in "Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center". Noguchi voluntarily was imprisoned. The exhibition, which opened January 18, continues through January 7, 2018.

Noguchi Museum on FaceBookInstagram, and Vimeo

Poston War Relocation Center, Yuma County, Arizona (aka Colorado River Relocation Center)

Passing Poston (Film)

In addition, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, opens February 19 its exhibition, "Two Views: Photography by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank", featuring photographs of the internment and imprisonment of 120,000 men, women, and  children of Japanese ancestry. The exhibition, which runs through May 14, features  40 images by Adams and 26 by Frank. 

For more information about these important exhibitions, read "'Humanity Uprooted': Noguchi Museum Marks 75th Anniversary of Japanese-American Internment", The Art Newspaper, Section 2, January 2017.

Crocker Art Museum on FaceBook

✦ Australian painter and sculptor Shaun Tan, who is also a writer-illustrator and filmmaker, created for his latest book The Singing Bones (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016) a series of 75 miniature tableaux of clay that represent his reimagined takes on the Grimms fairytales. Short excerpts from the book are presented with photos of the figurines, which Tan made and photographed between 2012 and 2015. They are compelling, primal, even disturbing pieces, and nothing like the illustrations we've typically seen. (Tan provides extensive commentary about the work at his Website.)

The Singing Bones Cover Art

Additional Images at The Guardian

✦ The University of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum exhibition "Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural" concluded January 15 but its objects and artworks from the 12th to 20th centuries can be explored online. The exhibition travels to Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada, in March. Also, Francesca Leoni has edited a 120-page exhibition catalogue, Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural (December 2016), that includes essays by three Islamic art experts.

Catalogue Cover Art

Ashmolean Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✦ Described as "break-through computer animation", the very short video below, "In Winter Still" brings Claude Monet's paintings to life.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art continues through March 26 "The Artist's Museum", a look at how artists work with other artists' work. Featuring installations, photography, film, and videos incorporating artworks from the past, the exhibition includes a new commission, The Earth Is a Magnet (2016) by Anna Craycroft, Rosa Barba's 35mm film The Hidden Conference: About the Discontinuous History of Things We See and Don't See (2010), Carol Bove's La traversee difficile (The Difficult Crossing) (2008), as well as work by Rachel Harrison, Louise Lawler, Mark Leckey, Pierre Leguillon, Goshka Macuga, Christian Marclay, Xaviera Simmons, Rosemarie Trockel, and Sara VanDerBeek

A selection of images is available at the exhibition link above.

ICA, Boston on FaceBook and Instagram

Artists and Makers Studios 1 and 2, Rockville, Maryland is presenting exhibitions this month at both its Parklawn Drive and Wilkins Avenue locations. You have just five more days to see them.

Four Alexandria, Virginia-based painters, Jenny Davis, Tanya Davis, Rachel Kerwin, and Marilynn Spindler, fill the Parklawn galleries at A&M1 in "Dreams and Exhibitions". 

On Wilkins, A&M 2, visitors will find four separate shows: "Homage: respectful ridicule as art", featuring the wonderful work of caricaturist Mike Caplanis; "Life I knew, Life Anew", marking Nigerian sculptor Maduka Uduh's first exhibition in the United States; "Small Works", an exhibition of 30 of the Washington, D.C.-area's finest emerging and established realist artists; and a solo photography exhibition by Jazalyn Dukes from the Montgomery County (Maryland) Camera Club.

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City, is host to Trine Bumiller's fifth solo exhibition in the gallery, "Interference". On view through February 11 are selections from Trine's newest series of paintings, which continue her explorations of landscape and memory. See images of Trine's work.

Trine Bumiller, Pattern and Fragmentation, 2016
Oil on Panel, 36" x 48"

Trine Bumiller on FaceBook

Trine Bumiller at Escape Into Life

Also on view through February 11 is "Laura Fayer: Beyond Measure". For this second solo show at the gallery, the New York City-based Fayer is exhibiting multi-layered, abstract works that combine printmaking with collage and painting to evoke the themes of impermanence and imperfection. View images of Fayer's beautiful acrylics and Japanese papers on canvas.

Laura Fayer, In Space and Time, 2016
Acrylic and Japanese Paper on Canvas
52" x 44"

Laura Fayer on Instagram

Kathryn Markel on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ In the Photography Gallery at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, you'll fine "Kertesz", an exhibition of 30 images drawn from VFMA's collection that highlight the influential artist's early career in Hungary and seminal moments during 60 years in Paris and New York City. The exhibition continues through February 12.

Andre Kertesz (1894-1985)

VMFA on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Tomorrow, January 21, marks the opening of "Rodin: The Human Experience" at Oregon's Portland Art Museum. Drawn from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections, the exhibition, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French sculptor's death, showcases 52 bronzes, including The Burghers of Calais, The Night (Double Figure), Dance Movement D, and Monumental Torso of the Walking Man. Also featured are Rodin's portrait sculptures of writers Victor Hugo and Honore de Balzac, composer Gustav Mahler, artist Claude Lorraine, and dancer Hanako. The exhibition concludes April 16.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

PMA on FaceBook

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Alexandra Eldridge, The Divine Breath
Mixed Media, 60" x 48" 
© Alexandra Eldridge


Today's Artist Watch feature at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life presents the beautiful mixed-media work of Alexandra Eldridge.

Alexandra has had more than 40 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows throughout the United States and abroad. Her art has been used for the covers of 10 collections of poetry and appears in murals in the Place de Vosges in Paris, France.

In addition to eight images of Alexandra's recent work, my Artist Watch features includes Alexandra's Artist Statement, a brief biographical statement, galleries representing her work, and her social media sites.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Wonder: Calder Mobile Conducts

An artwork that is both instrument and conductor? Yes, if it's Alexander Calder's.

In collaboration with Tate Modern, the Calder Foundation and Earle Brown Music Foundation presented last year a visual musical performance of Earle Brown's Calder Piece (1963-1966). A standing mobile, Chef d'orchestre ("The Conductor") is played by and also conducts four percussionists.

In the video below, Gryphon Rue explains the details of Brown's composition, which was performed in New York City on January 9, 2016, by Talujon Percussion Quartet. Rue curated the performance.

Here's a shorter, TateShots video of the performing sculpture during its United Kingdom premiere in November 2015:

Heavily influenced by Calder's work, Brown (1926-2002), creator of a style of musical construction called "open form" (also called "mobile" compositions), composed his one-of-a-kind score for 100 percussion instruments. Four percussionists set the mobile in motion by striking it, and then they "play" the instruments variously as they "read" (that is, visualize or interpret) Chef d'orchestre's movements. Pitch and rhythm are denoted by graphical symbols in the score. No two performances of the composition are ever the same.

The premiere performance of Calder Piece, commissioned by the Percussion Quartet of Paris, took place at Theatre de l'Atelier, Paris, in early 1967.

Of Interest:

Achim Borchardt-Hume, Ed., Alexander Calder | Performing Sculpture (Yale University Press, February 2, 2016) (Thomas Fichter contributes a chapter on Chef d'Orchestre and Brown's Calder Piece.)

See inside the book at GoogleBooks.

Earle Brown Profile at Edition Peters

Tom Service, "Performing Sculpture: Calder's Mobile Comes in for a Hammering", The Guardian, November 16, 2015

Holly Williams, "Alexander Calder: The Artist's Grandson Explains Why His Mobiles Are More Than Just Toys" (as published in The Independent, November 2, 2015)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Apollinaire: French Innovator Still an Influence

Poets will mechanize poetry one day, 
just like other things have been mechanized. 
They will provide a completely new lyricism
driven by the motion now taking place with
the phonograph and cinema. . . .
~ Guillaume Apollinaire*

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), a French poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright, and art critic, is considered one of the early 20th Century's most important literary lights. Though he lived only 38 years, he not only influenced such artistic movements as Cubism (1907-1922), Futurism (1909-Late 1920s), Dadaism (1916-1924), Surrealism (1924-1966); he also is credited with creating calligrammes, or "poem pictures" (birds, clocks, etc.), in which he experimented with typeface and words' typographical arrangement to suggest or produce a visual image on the page. His calligrammes could be said to be a forerunner of concrete poetry — sometimes called "shape poetry" — of the 1950s and 1960s and of visual poetry today.

The charming and informative TED-Ed video below is an excellent introduction to Apollinaire and his innovations in poetry:

The Public Domain Review has uploaded for viewing Apollinaire's Calligrammes: Poemes de la paix et dan la guerre, or "Calligrams: Poems of Peace and War, 1913-1916". The volume was first published in 1918. The original collection also may be viewed at UbuWeb. An annotated, bi-lingual edition (2004) is available from the University of California Press.

An exhibition of the word pictures from Calligrammes took place at Princeton University Art Museum in 2013. At the link is a 1913 recording of Apollinaire reading his poetry.

Apollinaire continues to inspire. Recently, I came across an inventive project, "Calligrammes — A Song Cycle of Visual Poetry", in which composer Albert Behar interpreted Apollinaire's calligrams as a visual music score for accordian and soprano Ariadne Greif. Designer Gretchen Vitamvas crafted costumes for Behar and Greif in which she "embedded" the poems. Behar and Greif gave a performance of the work in September 2015 at La Maison Francaise at New York University.


* Quoted from Apollinaire's Lecture "L'Espirit nouveau et les Poetes", or "The New Spirit and the Poets" (1917)

Official Apollinaire Website (Hosted by Western Illinois University)

"Poems Take Form on the Printed Page" at Poetry Through the Ages.

Also see Robert Simanowski's "Concrete Poetry in Analog and Digital Media" and Peter Mayer's "Concrete Poems Just Are".

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Muse: The Thoreau Bicentennial

This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of writer Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862). Below is a selection from the many activities planned by educational, cultural, and community organizations to celebrate the bicentennial throughout the year. Be sure to check the resources in this post to keep up with events.

✭ In what is described as "the first of its kind" in Massachusetts, the Walden Woods ProjectMassachusetts Center for the Book, Freedom's Way Heritage Area, and UMass Lowell Honors College are sponsoring the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read

(See the planning toolkit page, where you'll find a toolkit for public libraries and a toolkit for high schools and colleges, and scroll to the bottom for other resources, including an application for 10 free copies of Walden and "Civil Disobedience".)

✭ Thoreau translators will present at the Concord Festival of Authors a panel on their motivations for translating Thoreau's work into different languages. (Details about the 2017 festival were not available when this post was written.)

✭ Author, actor, and activist Christopher Childs will appear May 20 and 21 in Concord, Massachusetts, in his one-person play Clear Sky, Pure Light: An Evening with Henry David Thoreau.

✭ Youth ages 14-21 are invited to enter  the "Live Deliberately Essay Contest" in which they respond to a selected Thoreau quotation. The deadline is March 15. One winner in each age group (14-16, 17-18, 19-21) will be awarded a cash prize and a special edition of Walden. The contest is open to youth anywhere in the world.

✭ The Thoreau Bicentennial Annual Gathering, scheduled for July 12 in Concord, will celebrate Thoreau's life, works, and legacy. Walking tours, musical and dramatic performances, and other activities are planned. The keynote speaker will be Terry Tempest Williams.

✭ The Concord Orchestra  will perform a "Thoreau Bicentennial Concert" at 8:00 p.m. on March 31 and April 1, featuring guest pianist Randall Hodgkinson. The concert will include a Hoffer piano concerto inspired by Walden, Robert Schumann's Manfred Overture, Liszt's Les Preludes, which is based on the four elements, and the world premiere of composer Eric Sawyer's Civil Disobedience. David Gullette will narrate.

Concord Museum is co-sponsor, with The Morgan Library & Museum, New York City, of "This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal", the first major exhibition devoted to Thoreau's life. On view will be 100 items, including journals and personal correspondence, manuscripts, rare books, botanicals, and personal artifacts. The exhibition runs from June 2 to September 10 at The Morgan and then travels to Concord, where it will be on view from September 29, 2017, through January 21, 2018.

✭ The Thoreau Society, UMass Lowell, and Mass Humanities have created Mapping Thoreau Country: Tracking Henry David Thoreau's Travels in Massachusetts. This is the first product of a longer-term project to examine Thoreau's historical legacy via multimedia materials.

✭ On July 19, 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., NTQ (New Thread Quartet) will be at 51Walden Performing Arts Center, Concord, to perform David Morneau's new work Not Less Than the Good, described as "a secularized morning prayer service that uses Henry David Thoreau's Walden as  the canticle text." The music features a sax quartet, live synthesizers, and recorded sounds, including from Walden Pond. Selected passages of Walden will be read.

✭ North Carolina's Lisa McCarty last year exhibited her photographs of Walden Pond in "Walden Pond in Four Seasons" at the Bull City Arts Collaborative's Upfront Gallery, Durham. Those images are part of McCarty's Transcendental Concord, documenting the sites and landscapes that inspired Transcendentalist philosophy and literature. A book on her project is to be released in July of this year.

✭ Former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland will be part of "Poetry in the Shadow of Walden", the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild's Garland Residency on July 13-16. Attendees will discuss Thoreau's writings and legacy as inspiration for new poems.

✭ The Concord Free Public Library kicks off its celebration with the exhibition "'Concord, which is my Rome': Henry Thoreau and His Home Town", July 7 - October 30; and a series of lectures, beginning July 14. (See "Thoreau Bicentennial Offerings" for details.)

✭ New books are appearing, including Thoreau and Reassessments (Cambridge University Press, October 2016), ed. by Kristen Case and K.P. Van Anglen; and Kevin Dann's Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau (TarcherPerigee, January 3, 2017).

A bicentennial edition of Thoreau's The Illustrated Walden (TarcherPerigee, October 2016) also is available from PenguinRandom House. (See the book trailer.)

Also see Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon, available from University of Georgia Press. Coming in July of this year is Laura Dassow Wall's Henry David Thoreau: A Life (University of Chicago Press).


Meet Henry David Thoreau, as Portrayed by Concord Historian and Thoreau Interpreter Richard Smith, on FaceBook

Henry David Thoreau Bicentennnial: 1817-2017 ~ You'll find here a calendar of events (you may add your own).

Henry David Thoreau Bicentennial: 1817-2017 on FaceBook and Twitter

Henry David Thoreau Bicentennial Resources Page ~ You'll find here additional links to information about Thoreau's life and writings, including a timeline and lists of misquotations and misattributed quotations.

Thoreau Farm, Thoreau's Birthplace in Concord, Massachusetts

The Walden Woods Project on FaceBook

James Sullivan, "Why Thoreau Still Matters", Boston Globe, January 4, 2017

Also see N.C. Wyeth's Men of Concord , the catalogue for an exhibition last fall at Wallace Kane Gallery, Concord Museum; and David F. Wood's An Observant Eye: The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum