Iliazd to Andre: Highlights From the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry

May 6 - June 11, 2005

Andrew Roth is pleased to present highlights from Marvin and Ruth Sackner’s Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. On view there will be over 30 works, ranging from books to three-dimensional objects. The Sackner’s, based in Miami, Florida, have been collecting books and artworks pertaining to Concrete and Visual Poetry since the late ’70s. This is the first exhibition of works culled from their collection to be presented in a commercial gallery.

As stated in the introductory essay by Simon Anderson, published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition: “A poem is usually considered a composition that uses linguistic structures, customs and standards to create pleasing or imaginative thought. However, before reading, there is looking; at the same time there is listening and uttering. Understanding and knowing are afterthoughts when the effects of seeing and hearing are well underway. Concrete and visual poets tend to exploit this state of affairs, sometimes by dissecting the word, exploding the rules of syntax, or developing a new grammar of found and made imagery.”

Included in the exhibition will be many landmarks of Concrete and Visual poetry, such as Stephane Mallarme’s poem Un Coup de Dés , which first appeared in the international periodical Cosmopolis, published in London in 1897. We will also present an homage to Mallarme’s canonical masterpiece by the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers who produced a limited-edition artist’s book in 1969 under the same title. However, in Broodthaers’s version, printed on transparent paper, he blacks out the verse, leaving merely a score of lines of varying lengths. As well, we will display Marinetti’s radical Futurist publication Parole in Liberta ( 1932), printed in silkscreen on sheets of metal; Sonia Delaunay’s hand-painted Transsiberien et de la Petite Jehanne de France (1913), which measures merely 4 by 7 inches closed and unfolds to 14 by 77 inches; a lithograph of ‘ zaum’ poetry designed by the Russian designer Iliazd, announcing an exhibition of works by the 41° publishing group (1922); and a very early word-image collage by the renowned Californian artist Jess, created in 1954. Extending into the more contemporary, we will feature works by Dieter Rot, Al Hansen, and lastly, Carl Andre, who exploited the use of the typewriter to produce a quantity of visual poems, reproduced in Xerox in his 7 Notebooks published by Seth Siegelaub and Dwan Gallery in 1969.