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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

A Tinkerer of the Highest Order

Before I talk about her exhibition, I want to share an anecdote about the artist. In 1997, June Leaf breezed into my studio at the Vermont Studio Center with a disarming smile from ear to ear. (It was the first time we met.) As she looked over my work, chatting and laughing, she spotted my skateboard in the corner of the room. Before I could say no, the 68-year-old woman proceeded to get up from my desk and stand on my skateboard, gently rolling back and forth. I was in love.

Posted inArt

Everything Is a Self-Portrait

In October I had the opportunity to go to the opening of Tour and Trance, Matt Blackwell’s exhibition at the Edward Thorp Gallery. It’s a strange animated narrative that contains a whole cast of characters experiencing events and simultaneously forming and disintegrating in one moment. That evening we had some conversations on his life and thoughts and the stories that came out felt like some of the missing puzzle pieces. So, we began a conversation. I realized, I didn’t want to ask him the details behind specific pieces or anything detailed in general. I wanted to ask him vague open questions with a lot of room for rambling so we could meander around in his thought process the way his paintings meander around this weird world.