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Illustrated Verses from the 1950s on View at Woodward Gallery

Friday, March 16, 2012

Etchings and aquatints that mash up handwritten verses with illustrations and designs are on display at Woodward Gallery in a new exhibition called 21 Etchings and Poems.

One artist collaborated with one poet to make each of the 21 black-and-white prints on view. Artists who illustrated the verses include abstract expressionists Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. Writers who etched their verses backwards on the copper plates include Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and modernist poet William Carlos Williams.

Art critic Hrag Vartanian, who edits the arts blog Hyperallergic, says the prints vary in look and style.

"Some of them are very neat, some of them are very messy, some of them have real panache," he said.

The "21 Etchings and Poems" series was made between 1951 and 1960, after sculptor, printmaker and painter Peter Grippe took over the art studio and print shop Atelier 17, which was then located in Greenwich Village.

Gallery visitors will also hear audio recordings of the poets' works being recited. Vartanian says that the audio coupled with the illustrated verses makes the exhibit feel a little like walking into a period piece.

"It really does have this sense of nostalgia about it, but in a really good way," he said, "kind of like walking into a slice of old New York."

Vartanian added that it is not everyday that viewers get the chance to see all 21 prints displayed together since only 50 prints were made.

"Most of them were sold as individual sheets because people had favorite artists, people had favorite poets," he said. "But to see this as a complete collection is really a rare thing."

21 Etchings and Poems runs through April 29. See a slideshow of some of the works in the exhibit below.

An installation shot of '21 Etchings and Poems,' which is on view now at Woodward Gallery.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
An installation shot of '21 Etchings and Poems,' which is on view now at Woodward Gallery.
Here, Belgian painter and poet Christian Dotremont's verses are tucked inside Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky artwork.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
Here, Belgian painter and poet Christian Dotremont's verses are tucked inside Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky artwork.
Words by New York City-born poet Richard Wilbur are scripted below this figure by Buffalo-born artist Salvatore Grippi.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
Words by New York City-born poet Richard Wilbur are scripted below this figure by Buffalo-born artist Salvatore Grippi.
Critic and poet Harold Rosenberg's poem, called 'Revenge' is written above Willem de Kooning's artwork.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
Critic and poet Harold Rosenberg's poem, called 'Revenge' is written above Willem de Kooning's artwork.
In this piece, British Abstract painter Ben Nicholson keeps it separate from English poet Sir Herbert Read.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
In this piece, British Abstract painter Ben Nicholson keeps it separate from English poet Sir Herbert Read.
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas wrote inside an illustration by Peter Grippe, the printmaker, painter and sculptor who took over Atelier 17 in 1951.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas wrote inside an illustration by Peter Grippe, the printmaker, painter and sculptor who took over Atelier 17 in 1951.
Poet Peter Viereck  wrote 'Nostalgia' above Spanish-born Abstract Expressionist painter Esteban Vincente's artwork.
Courtesy of Woodward Gallery
Poet Peter Viereck wrote 'Nostalgia' above Spanish-born Abstract Expressionist painter Esteban Vincente's artwork.

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Comments [2]

author Orrin Woodward from dhaka

Orrin initially followed the lessons of his fourth grade teacher who repeatedly said "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". He took this seriously and applied in his life to gain success and loyalty. The greatest support of his life and the confidence that he attained to fight battles was from his father, a philosopher of life and his mother a fanatical worker. From his fourth grade he followed what he received from his mother’s ethics on work with his father’s thinking complimented with his teachers tough principle. These concepts brought in a true revolution in his life to be what he is now - the master in leadership and personal development.

Nov. 15 2012 01:01 AM
Ted Glass from NYC

Dylan Thomas was a Beat Poet????

Mar. 18 2012 08:12 PM

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