John Yau

Jeff Koons,

Recently, I read a statement by Kenneth Turan, film critic for the LA Times, that struck a chord. As a poet and art critic, it is impossible to ignore the reams of exaggeration I am bombarded with on a daily basis, from blurbs attesting to the gorgeous mastery to be found in a young poet’s first book to the unrivaled brilliance to be encountered in an artist’s most recent exhibition.

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Marilyn Lerner's studio, New York

I first went to Marilyn Lerner’s studio shortly after I reviewed her show at John Good for Artforum (May, 1989), and have gone periodically ever since.

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Eric Baus,

The Tranquilized Tongue (City Lights Books, 2014), Eric Baus’s fourth book, is his best yet. It consists of more than sixty compact prose poems, some of which are only one sentence long, and with none as long as the first one, “The Illuminated Egg,” a single block of ten sentences.

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Marilyn Chin (2007)

A few weeks ago, on Centre Street–just north of Canal, the longtime boundary between Chinatown and the rest of Manhattan–I was on a panel, Re-imagining Asian American (and American) Poetry, at the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA).

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John Willenbecher

John Willenbecher tells me that his recent paintings are about “connecting the dots.” One of his lifelong interests has been the night sky – abstraction in nature – which he traces to his childhood interest in astronomy while growing up in eastern Pennsylvania.

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Post image for Ed Paschke’s Portraits of Brooding and Tortured Souls

Ed Paschke (1939-2004), who is considered a Chicago Imagist, is one of the important painters to emerge from America’s heartland in the late 1960s that New York has never fully embraced. One reason for this resistance is his lifelong interest in misfits and the creepy flipside of celebrity, which implicitly critiqued Andy Warhol’s love affair with pop idols and glamour.

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Post image for China’s Buried Past and Submerged Future: Patty Chang and David Kelley’s ‘Flotsam Jetsam’

In the opening moments of the film, Flotsam Jetsam (2007) by Patty Chang and David Kelley, currently playing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, a bridge-like structure is seen in the distance, partially traversing what seems to be a wide river.

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Post image for Postscript to the Whitney Biennial: An Asian-American Perspective

Now that the Whitney Biennial is finally over, did anyone notice that Patty Chang, Nikki S. Lee, and Laurel Nakadate weren’t included, just to mention three mid-career, Asian-American women artists who were conspicuously absent?

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Post image for Sigmar Polke’s Sad, Sinister Little Movie of a Monkey and a Bear

A little more than a week after sitting on a short, narrow bench and watching a video projection of Sigmar Polke’s 34:38-minute 16mm film, “Quetta’s Hazy Blue Sky (Quetta’s blauer dunstiger Himmel)/ Afghanistan-Pakistan” (c. 1974-76), I returned to the exhibition, Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010, currently at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, determined to watch the same film again.

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Post image for Joyce Robins’s Subtly Colored, Imageless Objects

In an interview that appeared last month in The Brooklyn Rail, Joyce Robins, while addressing the relationship between abstraction and representation, pointed out: “’Vly’ is a Dutch word for swamp.”

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