The Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas is home
to an exhibit that highlights one of America’s most fertile times of literary
and artistic collaboration. “Poets, Painters, and Paper: Post-World War II
American Avant-Garde Art,” an exhibition of that fusion of prints and poetry
broadsides, is on display now through Aug. 11.
The exhibition, co-curated by WFMA curator Danny Bills
and Assistant Professor of English Todd Giles, explores the cross-fertilization
of the visual and literary arts made possible by the printmaking renaissance of
the ’60s and ’70s, and fostered by studios and workshops in Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Berkeley, and New York.
During the turbulent 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, artists
and poets worked together to create accessible and affordable artworks by
printmaking. Poets and painters celebrated the intersection between the
ephemeral nature of works on paper and the art object, and between individual
and cooperative production, to create the poetry broadsides – a marriage of
words and art on paper.
The exhibition includes lithographs, etchings, and
screenprints from the WFMA’s permanent collection ranging from works by abstract
expressionists Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, Willem De Kooning, Robert
Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, as well as pop artists Tom Wesselmann, Andy
Warhol, and James Rosenquist, among others.
“Poets, Painters, and Paper” includes a number of
poetry broadsides from Giles’ personal poetry collection. The poetry broadsides
are supplemented with numerous small press poetry journals such as Yugen,
Origin, Dissent, and INTRANSIT, as well as other print ephemera from the
period, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s infamous 1975 “Letter to Stanley
Kunitz,” where Ferlinghetti rejects an invitation to read at the Library of
Congress. The exhibition includes broadsides that were signed and numbered by
Robin Blaser, Robert Creeley, Gary Snyder, and Lenore Kandel.
For more information, contact the Wichita Falls Museum
of Art at MSU at 940-397-8900 or Giles at 940-397-4124.