...more recent posts
Can You Say ? (You Can See) :
Marianne Boesky 535 West 22nd Street, Chelsea Through March 10
"Art and poetry: made for each other. So it has always been. Poets write about art; artists turn to poetry for ideas. Sometimes the two disciplines meet in collaboration; occasionally that collaboration is forged in the work of a single person. All these variables are aired in "Poetry Plastique," in which image and word are flexibly intertwined.
Organized by Jay Sanders, who is on the staff at Boesky, and the poet Charles Bernstein, the selection covers a stretch of recent historical ground. At the early end are scribbly, word-peppered Blakean pages by Robert Smithson from 1962 and a labyrinthine written piece by the arch-Fluxian Jackson Mac Low from 1975. The 1970's are well represented here, with work by Carl Andre, Wallace Berman and text- and-image collaborations by Arakawa and Madeline Gins.
Other work is new. Mr. Bernstein collaborates with Richard Tuttle on a witty sculpture made of plump, strung together 3-D letters, and with Susan Bee on a noirish painting in which Emily Dickinson and Mickey Spillane face off. Dickinson's attenuated handwriting finds an echo in Mira Schor's word paintings. The show enters the digital realm in a rich text-and-image work by Johanna Drucker and Brad Freeman, and in Tan Lin's computer-generated poetry pulsing away on three monitors.
The day after the show opened, the gallery was host to a series of related panel discussions and readings. Poets and artists participated. A big audience turned up. It was great. The buzz of voices and ideas made the art in the room — and Chelsea itself, for that matter — feel alive and interactive. Some of the pieces really need that charge; they look staid and hermetic without it. But others do fine on their own, and the cross-disciplinary concept behind the show is ripe for further exploration.
Perhaps Mr. Sanders and Mr. Bernstein already have further plans along these lines. Meanwhile, art and texts mutually ignite elsewhere in the city these days: in Cy Twombly's not-to-be-missed "Coronation of Sesostris" paintings, based on a poem by Patricia Waters, at Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Avenue, at 76th Street, through tomorrow); in a collaboration between the painter Max Gimblett and the poet John Yau at Ethan Cohen Fine Art (37 Walker Street, SoHo, through March 10); in a series of collaborative prints by contemporary Puerto Rican artists and poets at El Taller Boricua (Lexington Avenue at 106th Street, through tomorrow); in an exhibition of contemporary text-based works, "A Way with Words," at the Whitney at Philip Morris (120 Park Avenue, at 42nd Street, through March 30); and in a jewel of an exhibition of artists' diaries, with bold little drawings and sonnet-size personal jottings, at the Archives of American Art (1285 Avenue of the Americas, at 51st Street, through May 31)."
- HOLLAND COTTER for NYT