Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Muse: 'We Real Cool' (Video)


This year marks the centennial of the birth of the highly influential poet Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 - December 3, 2000). Adding to the many other forms of recognition of the centennial is the charming video below, produced by the Poetry Foundation. From Manual Cinema in association with Crescendo Literary, the video uses paper-cut puppetry to imagine what inspired Brooks to write her famous poem "We Real Cool". The story is by Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall and the music by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods; the director is Drew Dir of Manual Cinema.

Commissioned by the Poetry Foundation for the centenary is a live, staged production of No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, by Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall; it premieres this November.







The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, Louisiana Tech University

Gwendolyn Brooks Obituary (The New York Times)

Gwendolyn Brooks Page at Buffalo University, The Circles' Association

Gwendolyn Brooks Center, Chicago State University

Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, Western Illinois University

Gwendolyn Brooks House, City of Chicago


Karen Grigsby Bates, "Remembering the Great Poet Gwendolyn Brooks at 100", NPR, May 29, 2017


Chicago Public Library, "Gwendolyn Brooks: Chicago's Poet", June 1, 2017


Betsy Schlabach, "The Love Between Langton Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks", Black Perspectives (AAIHS), February 13, 2017

"Frost? Williams? No, Gwendolyn Brooks", The Pulitzer Prizes 



Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith (Eds.), The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (University of Arkansas Press, January 2017)

Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Eds.), Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks (Curbside Splendor, January 2017)

Quraysh Ali Lansana and Georgia Popoff (Eds.), The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent (Haymarket Books, Spring 2017)



Centennial Brooks - A Tribute Celebration, The University of Chicago (April 6-8, 2017)


Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, Furious Flower Poetry Center, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia


Our Miss Brooks 100 (This is an excellent site.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Thought for the Day


If something is to be destroyed
please don't leave traces behind.
~ Liu Xia
____________________________

Quoted from "Chaos" in Liu Xia's Empty Chairs: Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015), Bilingual Edition, Trans.: Ming Di and Jennifer Stern; page 53

Liu Xia, Chinese Poet and Artist; Wife of Poet, Activist, and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo 

Read "Twilight" from Empty Chairs.

Note: Liu Xiaobo was released from prison on June 26, 2017. Read "Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo Released from Prison, Suffering from Liver Cancer", The Washington Post, June 26, 2017.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short introduces the Bridge Theatre, a new performance art space opening this fall in London, next to Tower Bridge. The theatre of 900 seats will debut with Young Marx (October 18 - December 31) and, through the winter and spring, plans to present Julius Caesar (January 20 - April 15, 2018) and Nightfall (April 28 - June 3, 2018). Memberships are available.




(My thanks to the British Council for the link.)

Bridge Theatre on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Friday, June 23, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Word is out that the Renwick Gallery, part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and scene of the immensely popular 2015-2016 "Wonder" show, plans "the first ever major exhibition" of monumental art installations created for Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada. The exhibition, titled "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man", will open March 30, 2018, and conclude September 16, 2018. Read the details in the gallery's exhibition announcement.

✦ If your artistic tastes run to desert landscapes, cloudscapes, and desert blooms and flowers, take a look at Doug West's paintings at Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Leslie Levy Fine Art (Scottsdale, Arizona), and Ro Gallery (Long Island City, New York). West has had scores of solo shows and his collectors number in the thousands.

Doug West in Taos Artist Guide

Doug West Paintings at Blue Rain on FaceBook

✦ Artist Martin Roth created in mid-town Manhattan in May 2017 an urban garden "nurtured by tweets", specifically, the tweets of the president of the United States. See "I cultivated a piece of land...." and read Claire Voon's Hyperallergic article "A Field of Lavender Nourished by Trump's Tweets".

✦ A filmmaker you've probably never heard of but should learn about: Alice Guy-Blache.

✦ If you're a fan of salads, Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists, by Julia Sherman, will visually enrich your life even before you choose a recipe.


Cover Art

Julia Sherman is both an artist and a cook who writes at the blog Salad for President. The book is on tour.

Salad for President on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Gary, Indiana's project "ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen". Opening this fall, the cultural center for culinary and visual art will feature public art and spaces for community gatherings. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, it will provide local residents and new businesses with access to a commercial training kitchen, feature a pop-up cafe as well as gallery and exhibition spaces, and promote dinners in Gary residents' homes and at the cafe. Chicago-based Theaster Gates is the artistic director.


ArtHouse on FaceBook

Theaster Gates's Rebuild Foundation

✦ Immediately below is the trailer for Yarn (2016), directed by Una Lorenzen with co-directors and producers Heather Millard and Thordur Jonsson. The movie, which can be seen in its entirety on Netflix, introduces artists engaged in innovative knitting and crocheting. 



Yarn: the Movie on FaceBook

Exhibitions Here and There (Washington, D.C., Edition)

✭ Continuing through September 10 at the Hirshhorn Museum is "Markus Lupertz: Threads of History". Concentrated on the pioneering early works of the German artist, from 1962 to 1975, the exhibition presents for the first time in the United States Lupertz's 40-foot-long West Wall (Siegfried Line) and more than 30 other paintings reflecting the artist's exploration of abstract expressionism, Pop art, and German postwar culture. The Hirshhorn exhibition coincides with a complementary exhibition at The Philipps Collection, "Markus Lupertz", which spans the neo-expressionist painter's entire career, from the 1960s to today; the show continues through September 3. The Phillips show features the 1982 painting The Large Spoon. A catalogue jointly produced by the museums and including new scholarship is available. The two exhibitions, which together feature almost 100 works, mark the museums' first formal collaboration.

Markus Lupertz at Michael Werner Gallery (Lupertz is showing in "New Paintings" through July 7.)

Hirshhorn Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ At the National Museum for Women in the Arts, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, you'll find "Revival", featuring work by contemporary sculptors and photo-based artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, Lalla Essaydi, Polly Morgan, Alison Saar,  Beverly Semmes, and Joana Vasconcelos. Media include video projections, large-scale images, hanging sculptures, and work composed of hair, yarn, velvet, marble, wax, brambles, or taxidermy birds. The exhibition continues through September 10.


Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #20, 2014
Chromogenic Print Mounted on Aluminum
30" x 40"
© Lalla Essaydi
Photo Credit: Miller Yezerski Gallery

NMWA on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ The summer exhibitions at Katzen Arts Center at American University Museum opened June 17. Among them are a retrospective of the paintings of Val Lewton, "Val Lewton: From Hollywood to Breezewood"; and "Frederic Kellogg: Works in Oil and Watercolor", a selection of landscapes featuring both watercolors and paintings in oil on canvas. Each show is on view through August 13.

Kellogg will demonstrate watercolor painting en plein air tomorrow, June 24, 2:00 p.m., in "Painting with Frederic Kellogg". A gallery talk on the Val Lewton exhibition is scheduled for July 13, 6:30 p.m. 


Frederic Kellogg, Bridge at Waldoboro Bridge, 2013
17" x 21"
Private Collection


American University Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Donald Sultan's industrial landscape series, the Disaster Paintings, continues on view through September 4 at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum. Work in the exhibition, "Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings", is composed with industrial materials such as tar and Masonite tiles and based on events Sultan read about in his daily newspaper. The show comprises 12 paintings dating from 1984 to 1990, including Plant, May 29, 1985, from the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum. Organized by Ft. Worth's Modern Art Museum, the show will open at two other museums, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (September 23 - December 31), and Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska (January 24 - May 13, 2018), upon its conclusion in Washington, which was the third stop of a five-city national tour. It already has appeared at Modern Art Museum, Ft. Worth, and Lowe Art Museum, Miami. A catalogue is available (see image below).



Catalogue Cover Art


SAAM on FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

✭ The exhibition "Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery" is ongoing. The show at the Renwick, part of the Smithsonian American Art Gallery, places on display more than 80 objects that celebrate craft as a discipline and approach to how life is lived. All of the objects are from the gallery's permanent collection and include new acquisitions, among them: John Grade's Shoal (Bone Shoal Sonance), Judith Schaechter's The Birth of Eve, Marie Watt's Edson's Flag, and Akio Takamori's Woman and Child, all of which are being presented for the first time. Also on view is work by metalsmith Jennifer Crupi. The connections the artworks make are both explicit and subtle.


SAAM on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday's Three on Poetry

Today, Thursday's Three spotlights a trio of recently published or forthcoming collections of poetry.

Ancients of the Earth: Poems of Time (Capturing Morning Press, Summer 2017) by D.A. Hickman ~ Hickman's first book of poetry, Ancients of the Earth "explores our shared human destiny via the constraints and luxuries of time." Hickman has published two nonfiction books: The Silence of Morning: A Memoir of Time Undone (Capturing Morning Press, 2015) and Always Returning: The Wisdom of Place (Capturing Morning Press, 2014).


Cover Art

The cover image ("Sunrise Goose") is by John 'Fiskr' Larsen and the design by Michele DeFilippo of 1106 Design, Phoenix, Arizona.


D.A. Hickman on FaceBook


Lighthouse for the Drowning (BOA Editions, June 2017) by Jawdat Fakhreddine ~ Translated by Huda Fakhreddine and Jayson Iwen, this bilingual collection is the first full-length collection of the Lebanese poet's works to be published in the United States. A resident of Beirut, Fakhreddine is a professor of Arabic literature and criticism at Lebanese University and publishes articles and poems in al-Hayat and al-Khaleej newspapers. His other poetry collections include Rural Illusion, A Beacon for the Drowning, and Skies.


Cover Art


Four Poems ("Three Sides of Death",  "Preparation", "A Session in Old Sanaa", and "Land") in Banipal (Issue 53, Summer 2015)

Jawdat Fakhreddine on FaceBook



Lessons on Expulsion: Poems (Graywolf Press, July 11, 2017) by Erika L. Sanchez ~  Sanchez's debut poetry collection captures the social, cultural, economic, and linguistic borders confronting her as the daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants. Winner of a "Discovery" poetry prize from the Boston Review and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, Sanchez, of Chicago, Illinois, is also an essayist and novelist. Her book for teens and young adults, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (PenguinRandom House), is forthcoming.


Cover Art

Lessons on Expulsion at Graywolf Press

Erika L. Sanchez Website

Erika L. Sanchez on FaceBook

Graywolf Press

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Tal R

If you want an aesthetic discussion about when
a picture is fabulous, it's when something in the 
picture is an unpredictable movement.
~ Tal R

From December 2016 to May 2017, Danish painter Tal R* allowed the Louisiana Channel to interview him while he was at work on a series of nine railcar paintings he titled Habakuk (2017). Throughout the filmed conversation, embedded below, Tal R discusses his background and work, and how his paintings address the subject of time — past, present, and future. He also talks about his career as an artist, how "as an artist, you have to be as mystified as the observer." 

Born in 1967 in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tal R and his family migrated to Denmark when the artist was a child. He currently lives and works in Copenhagen. Credited with helping to "bring painting back" following conceptual art's dominance of the 1990s, he exhibits throughout the world.

In the United States, "Tal R: Keyhole", at New York City's Cheim & Read Gallery, ran from January 5 through February 11, 2017. Overseas, his exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, "Academy of Tal R", continues through September 10.




* Tal R's full name is Tal Shlomo Rosenzweig.

Tal R Profiles and Art at Contemporary Fine Arts (Berlin), Saatchi Gallery, and Victoria Miro Gallery (London)

Read Jennifer Samet's interview, "Beer with a Painter: Tal R" at Hyperallergic (February 4, 2017).

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

'The Last Days' (Videopoem)


I have shown before some of the collaborative work of spoken word poet, novelist, and filmmaker Lucy English. (See the March 2, 2017, post "Thursday's Three on Poetry".) Today presents another opportunity to feature English's collaboration with filmmaker Marie Craven, The Last Days. The videopoem recently was added to English's poetry-film collaboration project "The Book of Hours". Lucy English both wrote and narrates the poem. Images are from the Prelinger Archives. The music is by Kevin MacLeod.


The Last Days from Marie Craven on Vimeo.

Text of Poem

Lucy English on FaceBook

Marie Craven on FaceBook,  Moving Poems, and Vimeo

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Muse: Podcasts With Poets




If you are unfamiliar with writer and lecturer Rachel Zucker's interviews with poets and other artists, you've been missing some excellent conversations. Browse here for just a few of Zucker's podcasts at Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People). Visitors to the site can listen to the interviews and also download them.


Among the "other people" with whom Zucker has posted interviews are multimedia artist Wayne Koestenbaum, author Olena Kalytiak Davis, and writer and illustrator Andi Zeisler.

Zucker posts for each podcast a summary of the content of her interview, as well as "extra resources", which range from linked titles of the interviewee's books, to a list of links to other writers and books mentioned in each episode, to related links (e.g., essays, criticism, publishers, scholarship, other interviews found online).


Conversations with Poets on FaceBook and iTunes

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thought for the Day


. . . living a meaningful life is not about you
— it's about what you can give to the world. . .
about serving others and figuring out how you can
cultivate your talents, strengths, and gifts in order
to give back  to the world in some significant way.
~ Emily Esfahani Smith
_______________________________

Quoted from Eric C. Miller, "The Pursuit of a Meaningful Life: An Interview with Emily Esfahani Smith", Religion & Politics, April 4, 2017

Emily Esfahani Smith, The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters (Penguin Random House, 2017)

Emily Esfahani Smith, Columnist (The New Criterion), Editor (Hoover Institution at Stanford University), Author

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Leonie (Monterey Media, 2013), directed by Hisako Matsui. The film relates the story of Leonie Gilmour, whose son was the sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988).

Watch the trailer on YouTube





Leonie on FaceBook

Isamu Noguchi at American Masters (PBS) and The Art Story

The Noguchi Museum