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  Robert Grenier Drawing Poems

September 16, 2004
Reading - 8pm Columbia University, 602 Hamilton Hall

Marianne Boesky Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011
info@marianneboeskygallery.com
212-680-9889 Tel
212-680-9897 Fax
Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 6pm

For more Info visit:
http://www.marianneboesky.com

 

Robert Grenier Drawing Poems

New and Old Prints

Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to make available a number of 'old' (2003) and 'new' (2004) Giclée prints by the poet-artist Robert Grenier.

Grenier is a 63-year-old, wiry/paunchy, white-haired, disaffected, formerly influential, prototypical/clean-shaven/Harvard-educated 'Language Writer' (from Minnesota) become wildly innovative, 'neo-Romantic'/'old-fashioned', hand-craft-writing/image-making, scruffy, corn, beans and squash-growing/blackberry-apple jam-making/set-in-his-ways type of opinionated, 'archaic'-nuthead/vociferously 'correct', 'liberal'/verbal/'extemporaneous' person living in Bolinas, CA.

For the past 14 years, he has written exclusively by hand in blank black notebooks, in four-colored ink. He has filled about 170 such notebooks with his funny-looking drawing poems, which foreground the 'challenging' graphic characteristics of Grenier's communicating/overlapping and tangling letter shapes, which (if one has time & makes room for an odd/ordinary kind of spatial comprehension) may provide the reader/looker-on with a seemingly impossible/doubtless 'illusory', 'direct'-if-provisional engagement between the physical act of verbal composition and the actual thing drawn/'said'. (This claim is not unakin to that formerly fluently provided for certain patent medicines, & very possibly ought not to be swallowed.) It is true that each poem is a singular and 'colorful' verbal and visual arrangement, not reproducible by typographic means.

Some of them are quite 'beautiful'. Others serve whatever 'function'; they 'say'. Our favorites 'combine' beauty with function and participate in what they make happen/write--e.g., the character of a March, 2004 day.

There is a peculiar 'governing attention' given to number and balance of graphic elements/'things' in their literal relations become 'literary-second-nature' throughout, recalling and differently confirming William Carlos Williams' sense that the poet 'thinks with the poem' (here, the letter shapes of these images, making words). For the artist-poet, the works' primary interest remains firmly in the realm of Literature (echoing the book page, in time), but the complexity and fascinating/irritating graphic qualities of the recent poems (in space) make them maddening and dazzling sites of 'literary'/'visual' exploration.

[Normally, each line is underlined in the ink with which it is written; each (letter & line/word) is 'based' on the 'value' of the drawn letter (in relation to the other letters)--i.e., its SHAPE!]

Grenier has selected and organized pages from his recent drawing/writing notebooks and produced a developing group of four-color drawing poems as signed, limited edition Giclée prints on Hahnemühle Digital FineArt papers, sold individually and as organized sets, as follows:

Three Poems/November 2002
15 x 17 inches/Hahnemühle 310 gsm German Etching
single prints $300 (edition of 10)
set of 3 prints $800 (edition of 10)

Nine Poems/December 2002
11 x 15 inches/Hahnemühle 310 gsm German Etching
single prints $250 (edition of 6)
set of 9 prints $2000 (edition of 6)
35 x 47" uncut print of Nine Poems $2000 (edition of 11)

Six Poems/November 2003-January 2004
15 x 17 inches/Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag
single prints $300 (edition of 10)
set of 6 prints $1600 (edition of 10)
35 x 47" uncut print of Six Poems $1600 (edition of 12)

Four Poems/February 2004
17 x 23 3/8 inches/Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag
single prints $350 (edition of 10)
set of 4 prints $1200 (edition of 10)
35 x 47" uncut print $1200 (edition of 12)

Four Poems/March 2004
17 x 23 3/8 inches/Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag
single prints $350 (edition of 10)
set of 4 prints $1200 (edition of 10)
35 x 47" uncut print $1200 (edition of 12)

Four Poems/April 2004
17 x 23 3/8 inches/Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag
single prints $350 (edition of 10)
set of 4 prints $1200 (edition of 10)
35 x 47" uncut print $1200 (edition of 12)

Red Wood/February 2004
17 x 23 3/8 inches/Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag
$350 (edition of 20)

Afternoon Sunshine/April 2004
17 x 23 3/8 inches/Hahnemühle 308 gsm Photo Rag
$350 (edition of 20)

Produced on an Epson Stylus Pro 9500 printer at 1440/720 dpi with six, pigment-based, archival inks, these Giclée prints (properly framed and conserved) have a 'projected life' of at least 100 years.

Three further suites of Four Poems--May, June and July 2004--are in the works (toward 'completion' of a year of RG's life in the 'Agricultural Year' 2004).

Robert Grenier, who has received two NEA fellowships for poetry writing, has presented his drawn poems extensively in readings and slide presentations at many colleges and universities/sites, including Woodland Pattern Book Center (Milwaukee, WI), Stanford University (where his Archives are housed), The University of Maine (Orono)(where he particularly enjoyed reading/discussing his 'stuff'), SUNY/Buffalo (There Too!), SUNY Albany (certainly!), California College of Arts & Crafts, U.C Berkeley (where he taught Contemporary American Poetry & Advanced Poetry Writing in the English Dept. in 1969/before he had written a thing!), Brown University (where he was treated like a king in 2000!), Mills College (where he taught All his 'understanding of Poetry' in his shirtsleeves in 2002-2003), and in his living room (for an otherwise-preoccupied/barely attending group of friends!) oftentimes, over a period of years, etc.

Prints and unique drawn poems have been exhibited at Marianne Boesky Gallery, both in the exhibition Poetry Plastique (2001) and in conjunction with a reading event hosted at the gallery in 2003.

Robert Grenier will show Slides of These Very Same Drawing Poems (in different real-world/hand's-on imaging)(Fujichrome Sensia 100, with fingers) in a reading/showing with lifelong friend Kenneth Irby at Columbia University this coming September 16, at 8 p.m. in 602 Hamilton Hall (where you can see, in a different medium, 'more or less'/differently, 'what they look like'), as a 'warm-up' before the September 17-19, 2004 Louis Zukofsky Centennial Conference at Columbia/Barnard.





For more information please visit http://www.marianneboesky.com/ or call 212-680-9889.