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Exhibition at Lesley Heller Workspace presents Print collaborations between artists and poets
American Dipper, 2014. Ken Buhler image, Cecily Parks poet. Intaglio, lithograph, letterpress, 23.5” x 30” unframed, 27.5” x 34” framed. Edition 1/20.
NEW YORK, NY.- "This music crept by me upon the waters..." looks at collaborations between poets and artists, with a formal focus on the print medium. While there are countless examples of fruitful collaborations between artists and writers in book form, this show focuses on work that can hang on a wall, inhabit a space, and be lived with. Many of the pieces have a tactile, sculptural quality to them, bringing lines of poetry off the page and into the world. Others use color and texture to express the aural, rhythmic qualities of language. The show addresses the ever-changing relationship between words and imagery, where the collaborative process starts for writers and visual artists—with a word? an image? —and how the two processes inform each other.

Visual artist Ken Buhler and poet Cecily Parks began with a series of evocative bird names—Yucatan Nightjar, Fieldfare, Twelve-Wired Bird-of- Paradise—and created work simultaneously but separately. The resulting prints and poems resonate with each other tonally and visually in a multimedia exploration of name, sound and color.

Madonna Comix is a series of 26 prints based on 11 poems by Celia Bland. Dianne Kornberg explores themes of innocence, faith, secularism and womanhood, usurping phrases and words from the poems and juxtaposing them with photographed “Little Lulu” comic book pages. Figurative imagery is drawn from Kornberg’s own archive of photograph negatives.

Based on the rich pop cultural landscape of poet Campbell McGrath’s American Noise collection, Stephen Powers employs pop iconography, bold color and text in a piece that draws on the vernacular of old signs. The work plays with the visual quality of words and the textual quality of Power’s images.

Visual artist Jane South and poet Miles Champion have collaborated on a project conceived of as a do-it-yourself artist book, including laser-cut tabs that can be rearranged to create a tactile text- sculpture. Providence explores the relationship between order and meaning.

Before her husband’s death in 2006, artist Nene Humphrey made a recording of his breathing, from which poet Tom Sleigh then wrote “Recording.” Pulling lines from the poem, Humphrey created eight prints that incorporate her own drawings of the human brain, patterns from Victorian mourning braiding, and images from nature.

The exhibition is on view at Lesley Heller Workspace through July 12, 2014.

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