Border Crossings: Art & Poetics, Vol. 42 No. 3

Alex Katz, Study for Autumn 8, 2022, oil on board, 40.3 × 30.2 centimetres. © 2024 Alex Katz / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image: Richard Gray Gallery, New York / Chicago.

Art & Poetics
Vol. 42 No. 3 / Issue 164

Lift to the ideal space of “Art & Poetics”. Breathe deeply and remain buoyed in this lofty inspired ether. In this issue we find, in the conversations, articles, prose and poetry, that the idea of poetry if not the form itself is woven with and between words and images — as impetus, matter, solace and hosannah.

Meret Oppenheim, Object, 1936, fur-covered cup, saucer and spoon, cup 10.9 centimetres in diameter, saucer 23.7 centimetres in diameter, spoon 20.2 centimetres long, overall height 7.3 centimetres. Collection of Museum of Modern Art/New York. Photo: Digital Image © Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, New York.

For painter Alex Katz poetry was central right from the start. Go back to the 60s when poets were where he found himself located because, “I thought the poetry scene was very radical and had a lot of energy. That’s where I wanted to be,” he told Border Crossings. This supportive productive collaboration continued through his career and in this issue we also talked with Vincent Katz, asking if he had early memories of growing up surrounded by poets. His response was peopled by the poets in this milieu: Frank O’Hara, Kenward Elmslie, Joe Brainard, Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Bill Berkson, Anne Waldman, Lewis Warsh. A brief biographical note indicates the outcome of this setting. Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, critic, editor and curator.

Vija Celmins, Lamp #1, 1964, oil on canvas, 62 × 89 centimetres. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

Barry Schwabsky is a critic and art historian who writes with authority, and dazzlingly, on painting. He is also a poet. He has combined these elements, writing an article for this issue, titled “Painting, Poetry, Impasse” in which he looks closely and with regard at the work of three individuals who have also combined poetry and images: Elise Asher, Milton Resnick and Matthew Wong. And so the issue goes: surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim and her poetry; Stephen Horne writing a “Precarious Balance” and querying the work of Vija Celmins, Pierre Dorion, Cecilia Vicuña, Yam Lau and Irma Blank; Anne Carson whose interview in this issue is titled, “Sparkly Bits, Words with Thoughts in Them,” and pictures too, I add, and whose interview opens with a drawing of her own; painter Michael Smith whose work and words indicate a firm connection between poetics and visual aesthetics; and poetry by Susan Musgrave to break your heart but still have you sing; as well as prose by Lisa Robertson and Anne Carson and more from Vincent Katz — this time poems. And why not engage with Finnegans Wake?

“Art & Poetics” is a rich feast leaving you satisfied but ready for more.

Michael Smith, Losing Track, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 121.92 × 152.4 centimetres. Photo: M Smith. Courtesy the artist and Michael Gibson Gallery, London.

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