Posted inArt

Peter Williams’s Body, Opened and Closed

Peter Williams — who is sixty and black — is having his first solo exhibition of paintings in New York. And not one to ever play it safe, he is exhibiting two distinct bodies of work at Foxy Production (February 15, 2013–March 23, 2013) — three smallish abstract paintings and five large figurative ones — which share a palette of pinks, violets, blues, turquoises, reds, greens and yellows.

Posted inPoetry

Somewhere in the Back of the Stars Is the Poet Alfred Starr Hamilton

I bought The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton shortly after it came out and had it in my possession for many years. Somewhere in the midst of moving from one apartment to another it got lost. So when the publishers Ben Estes and Alan Felsenthal announced that their press, The Song Cave, was going to publish A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind: The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton, I preordered a copy. There was something about Hamilton’s poetry that I wanted to experience again.

Posted inArt

Henri Michaux’s Disintegrating Selves

The small selection of paintings and drawings currently at Edward Thorp Gallery serves as an introduction to Henri Michaux (1899 – 1984), one of the most original artists and writers of the 20th century. There are writers who made art — e.e. cummings, D.H. Lawrence and Henry Miller come to mind — but none of them achieved what Michaux could accomplish in his modest-sized works in India ink, watercolor, oil and acrylic. And there are artists who wrote beautifully and brilliantly — Marsden Hartley and Ann Truitt — but none of them worked in as many distinct forms as Michaux, who wrote poetry, prose poems, travelogues, art criticism and unclassifiable essays.

Posted inArt

What Is It About Pageantry That We Love So Much? (On Roger Brown and Julian Schnabel)

Roger Brown (1941–1997) died a decade after his retrospective opened at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (August 13, 1987–October 18, 1987), and traveled to three other museums, none of which were on the East Coast or in a densely populated urban center. More surprising, the show didn’t travel to Chicago, where Brown first gained attention and with which he is associated.

Posted inPoetry

On the Poems of John Godfrey

There are poets who wander around a city — from purposeful to aimlessly — and write about their experience. Charles Baudelaire trudged down the new broad avenues of Paris, alone among the window shoppers. While working at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Frank O’Hara liked to walk around midtown on his lunch hour. David Schubert and Paul Blackburn descended the concrete stairs and rode the subway to Coney Island and other stops along the way.

Posted inArt

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s “Revolution”

Eternal time posits the existence of paradise, while infinite time does not. Henri Cartier-Bresson found human warmth in his photographs, which he thought as a “decisive moment” that entered into the eternal, whereas Hiroshi Sugimoto sees beauty and inspiration in the coldness of the universe. He recognizes that the earth is our home, but that we are not at home here.

Posted inArt

“The Rose” Is Not A Rose

From 1955 to 1966, Jay DeFeo and her painter husband, Wally Hedrick, lived at 2322 Fillmore Street, San Francisco. They were at the center of a lively, politically anarchic milieu of artists and poets that included Bruce and Jean Conner, Joan and Bill Brown, Deborah Remington, Sonia Gechtoff and James Kelly, Jess, Robert Duncan, Philip Lamantia, Jack Spicer and others. Largely centered around small galleries and presses such as the Auerhahn Press, City Lights bookstore and press, the legendary Six Gallery (which Hedrick helped start), the East & West Gallery (run by Gechtoff’s mother), Batman Gallery, and Dilexi, this loosely allied group had no counterpart in New York. For various reasons, most of the figures associated with this group would neither be integrated into, nor adequately recognized by, the East Coast art establishment.