Poetry Reading by Robert Kelly & Charles Stein at BRIAN WOOD:PAINTINGS
Sunday, Sept. 17th, 4:00pm
Renowned poets Robert Kelly and Charles Stein read their poetry as part of the current exhibition of BRIAN WOOD:PAINTINGS on view at Cross Contemporary Art, 99 Partition St. Saugerties, NY. Brian Wood’s Paintings (The Doris.) Included in his many titles are The Hexagon (2016), Heart Thread (2016), Opening the Seals (2016), Red Actions: Selected Poems 1960-1993 (1995), Lapis (2005)About the Poets: Robert Kelly is an American poet whose early work was associated with the deep image group. He is the 2016-2017 Poet Laureate of Dutchess County, NY with more than sixty poetry titles, including Kill the Messenger Who Brings Bad News (1980), which received the Los Angeles Times First Annual Book Award. He received The American Book Award (Before Columbus Foundation) for In Time (1991), the Award for Distinction from the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Kelly recently wrote a group of poems to
, May Day (2007), and A Voice Full of Cities: the Collected Essays of Robert Kelly (2014), edited by Peter Cockelbergh. He serves on the contributing editorial board of the literary journal Conjunctions as well as Poetry International. As Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris state in volume two of the anthology Poems for the Millennium, “Kelly is heir to both Pound & Zukofsky in his vision of the poet as a ‘scientist of the whole . . . to whom all data whatsoever are of use / world-scholar.’’
Charles Stein's work comprises a complexly integrated field of poems, prose reflections, translations, drawings, photographs, lectures, conversations, and performances. Stein is the author of many books of poetry including Views From Tornado Island (2016), There Where You Do Not Think To Be Thinking (2015), From Mimir’s Head (2011), The Hat Rack Tree (1999), Parts and Other Parts (1982), and a verse translation of The Odyssey (North Atlantic Books). Deeply investigating Being in all his work, his Persephone Unveiled (2006) has an illuminating chapter on Parmenides of Elea. His critical writing includes a meditation on Terry Winters’ paintings in Placing Space, Picturing Time (2015), a study of poet Charles Olson’s use of the writing of C.G. Jung in The Secret of the Black Chrysanthemum (1987), a collaboration with George Quasha on the work of Gary Hill, An Art of Limina: Gary Hill's Works & Writings (2009), and is editor of Being = Space x Action: Searches for Freedom of Mind in Mathematics, Art and Mysticism (1998). In Robert Kelly’s words: "Charles Stein…is a poet with all the means of his craft at hand…one of the smartest men of his generation, and one of its most exemplary poets."
About BRIAN WOOD:PAINTINGS
The process of consciousness has always been the source of inquiry for Wood’s work. The boundaries and limits of awareness hold a particular fascination for Wood and it seems likely that the obsessions in his work originate in the earliest phase of life before language and before self – the “chora” in Julia Kristeva’s description. At the beginning of life, instinctual drives, locality, suffering and pleasure, aggression, holding, repulsion, devouring and expelling merge in a timeless non-reflective realm.
Wood is very interested in the way images flash into awareness, fluoresce, and die. He makes a distinction between the images of fantasy (wishing, planning, regretting, wanting) and the very different experience of mental images that seem to arrive from outside of the ego and have the intensity of the real – they light up the nervous system and consciousness with an aliveness that approaches hallucination. It is this level of image and its transformations that he’s interested in discovering and experiencing in his painting – that first flash of image that arrives before the inevitable tip toward language, discursive thought, and narrative fantasy. Importantly, he discovers these pre-linguistic images in the direct process of painting - they could not exist in this form outside of painting. Rather than representations or illustrations of already experienced thought, the manipulation of paint reveals the image in its making.
As Eleanor Heartney describes Wood’s paintings: “They balance on the cusp between abstraction and representation, teasing us with details that seem sharp and tangible but refuse to cohere into any definitive image or narrative. … Wood’s paintings offer us glimpses of possibly recognizable things or places, but “human meaning” as [Wallace] Stevens would style it, remains just out of reach.” And as Holland Cotter recently wrote in the New York Times about Brian Wood: “…[Wood] creates a kind of Symbolist world in which emerging into life and being devoured by it are part of the same inexorable process. …the erotic and the spiritual are of a piece.”
BRIAN WOOD: PAINTINGS continues through Sun. September 24th This exhibition is accompanied by a 36 page full color catalogue with an essay by Eleanor Heartney is available online: http://bit.ly/ccabwcat