“All drawing from the imagination I’d consider a form of automatic drawing; if it exists, it will exist only for the first time. … I think [my images] arise from the instinctive tendency to not look for semblances or analogies. Meaning, to find all that happens in spite of me—imagination versus verisimilitude. One forever seems to be looking for a dimension not directly visible and through the technique at one’s disposal express the sensation that evokes.” — Gerard Bellaart
Keith Patchel, an American composer and musician, has died. He was 65. One of his musical legacies is the chamber opera “The Plain of Jars,” about America’s secret war in Laos. Anthony Haden Guest called it “the lineal descendant of Stravinsky’s ‘Nightingale’ and Alban Berg’s ‘Lulu’ and ‘Wozzeck.'” His “Pluto Symphony,” created for the Hayden Planetarium, was nominated for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.
Contemporaneous, an ensemble of some two dozen musicians, started out at Bard College as the brainchild of a pair of undergrads. Now, more than a decade later, the ensemble is based in New York City and continues to thrive professionally. It will present its largest production to date on Sept. 18. Billed as The Day of Imagination, the program at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn will feature three sets over a full day, four world premieres, six hours of music, and 50 artists.
The late graphic designer, most famous for creating the I LOVE NY logo, had a strong dose of advice more than a decade ago for the propagandists among us — the marketers, advertisers, public-relations spinners and, yes, journalists — along with citizens-at-large facing an onslaught of political campaigns.
This short movie evokes the rich heritage of humankind’s creative responses to the natural environment over millennia. The creators of “water stone words” — filmmaker Ed O’Donnelly, sculptor Kenny Munro, and writer/poet Malcolm Ritchie — made the movie over a period of six days.
Scholars, poets, writers, translators, and artists to celebrate the works of Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach. Featuring Benoît Delaune, Jacques Donguy, Franca Belarsi, Matthieu Perrot, Bruno Sourdin, James Horton, Pierre Joris, Gérard-Georges Lemaire, Peggy Pacini, Pamela Beach-Plymell, Antonio Bonome, and Raphael Haudidier.
“He was the Shelley of his age and more.” —Gerard Bellaart
“As you sat In your dotage, fountain pen / Pouring futures onto the calligraphied page / With such ease, That every political pose / And every social Shift achieved scansion, / rhyming under you, the verse surgeon whose / equal vision and zeal cured disease.” — David Erdos
“Canadian-born multimedia artist and writer Clayton Patterson has lived through, and broadly documented, more of outsider culture and the evolving history of New York’s Lower East Side than anyone else of his generation. The virtually unseen archive of VHS and 8mm videos he shot there between 1986 and 2001 numbers over 2,000 tapes of astonishing diversity. … Always resolutely on the fringe, as a videographer he is best known for recording the battle between New York City police and protesters in the streets around Tompkins Square Park on the night of August 6, 1988, an event that led to multiple court appearances and appearances with Oprah and others on the talk show circuit.” — Ron Magliozzi, MoMA Curator Department of Film
“In striving for a sustained friction between the verbal and non-verbal in his practice, Gary Lee-Nova allows literature, theory, cartoon, occultism, science and music to inform and even collide in the work, but not to overtake it. And this balance is most evident when you look at his entire practice. As often as he strips down his pieces to foundational forms such as vibrating color bars, penetrating hectogons, and evolving pyramids, Lee-Nova visits with pop-culture formats like the cartoon strip, or art-historical tropes like the Dadaist riddle and the Surrealist collage. He plays with exhibition culture, as well, slyly labeling his sculpture with yet more meaning … It seems that as often as Lee-Nova is driving head-on for pure effect, he’s throwing in another dislocation.” — Sky Gooden
The books have become a worry.
They’ll live long beyond my need for them.
Looking at them this last evening,
The pages I chase, filled with fear,
Their words redacted by death
As colorful lines in time blacken
And I grow blind to the visions
That each volume contains with each year.
I would have to do nothing but read
Which I still can’t properly do at this moment . . .
— David Erdos
The Broad Museum in Los Angeles re-opens on May 26. It will include an “in-depth installation” of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, and others. Have a look at some of the Basqiats that will be on view. Totally punk. Well totally punk in its time. Now it’s historical. But it looks in pixel reproduction as fresh as ever.
It was a getaway / from the concrete city. / No bears alas / no porcupines alas / no mosquitos / no lyme-tick bites / one little fruit tree / knocked down by the wind / now gone alas / bears liked its berries / no deer alas
except one on the road / and there I was / alone alas. — jh
Have you ever seen a more revealing photo of Brion Gysin than the one on the cover of “His Name Was Master: Texts; Interviews”? It shows a profound sense of dislocation, something Gysin often talked about but rarely showed in his demeanor—which was characteristically grand and worldly and often laced with humor. This sprawling book by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with Peter Christoferson and Jon Savage offers Gysin in talking mode. It is Gysin uncut. Having already been comprehensively reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail, it needs no review from me. More interesting than anything I might have to say is Gysin’s account of his brief, teenage involvement with the Surrealists. The disappointment, not to say trauma, of that experience was a harbinger of later ones.