JEREMY SIGLER: GOODBYE LETTER
In his latest collection, “Goodbye Letter,” the poet Jeremy Sigler (born 1968) puts his lyrical writing aside to play out an endgame of muses to deconstruct his poetry and his will to write – let alone speak – as he ruminates and articulates, verbally and graphically, the implied obsolescence of language itself, a deeply regressive technology of sorts, made up of phonemes, alphabets, metaphors, narratives, voices, and identities. The book feels less like a proper literary work (a book of poetry) and more like a manual for poetic survival. One poem reads like some sort of linguistic code that manages to murmur “it is what it is”; another is more classically “concrete,” reflecting on typewriter and pattern poems of past centuries; and another consists of a complete signature of unmarked blank pages (they await being torn out and curled up into a loose tube) as was the 19th century prototype for the stethoscope, but used this time to listen in, to spy, on the poet’s “speaking” heart. Sigler’s newest collection might be seen as a field guide to a poet’s last gasp. The book’s design give these very challenging, menacing and exceptionally unconventional poems a haven to breath and exist. One hopes that this goodbye letter will wave away slowly and dissolve over time, after being savored by readers.
B. WURTZ: PAN PAINTINGS
For nearly five decades the renowned artist B. Wurtz (born 1948) has transformed humble materials and discarded objects into humorous and wryly beautiful works of art. Pan Paintings features the artist’s iconic series of paintings that he made on disposable aluminum roasting pans and to-go containers. The full-color, Swiss-bound monograph brings together—for the first time—this critically acclaimed body of work that spans over three decades. The book also includes an essay by art historian and curator Erica Cooke which explores the capacious implications of these Pan Paintings—works that conjure and entangle the historical lineages of the Dadaist readymade and the Surrealist found object as well as broader categories of geometric abstraction in painting and assemblage in sculpture. B. Wurtz was born in Pasadena, California and received an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 1980. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and was the subject of retrospective exhibitions at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom, in 2015, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2018.