Viewing The Artist and the Poet


David Hockney, printed by Maurice Payne. A Picture of Ourselves, from The Blue Guitar, 1976–77. Mrs. Solomon B. Smith Memorial Fund. Picture courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Question? Have you already rushed out the door for the opening week of the Picasso show at the Art Institute of Chicago? I admit I haven’t! The Picasso show is open through May 20, 2013, so we have plenty of time to see the show, no worries. I like to wait until the opening crowds have calmed a bit, but I have to admit I am very excited to do so soon. I did, however, have the joy of visiting the museum at the beginning of this month, were I stumbled into the Prints and Drawing room (almost literally, but that is a whole other story), and on to the exhibit, The Artist and the Poet, open until June 2, 2013. This is an excellent exhibit that talks about the role that text plays in 20th-century art. I have fooled around with text in my own paintings, so I ate up every single wonderful print hanging on the walls, as I wound myself through the tiny exhibit. I believe most artists, sometime, in the life of their artwork will play with text. Whether it is direct text placed in a specific piece or using text as an inspiration for a piece. David Hockney’s prints, which for me stole the show, were made even more interesting based on the fact that his prints were inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens, who in turn was inspired by Picasso Paintings. Looking at Hockney’s prints you can see they form a wonderful river of information from these two great artist’s that traveled down to him, resulting in a pool of prints, I was lucky to have stood in front of. Truly amazing! I also found a hidden gem in Chicago artist and poet Tony Fitzpatrick, whom I hate to admit; I have never heard of before, but now that I know of him; I definitely won’t be forgetting him. After all, it is too hard to get his whimsical and colorful etchings filled with Chicago landmarks and stories out of my head. Furthermore, featured in the show are artist Alex Katz, Ken Price, and more.

Hmm... I walked away from the show as always in awe of great artists work and their ability to work with text. I think when you work with text you have a chance to elevate your work to a new level. The trouble is, this is easier said than done, but if you want to see it done right, when the mood strikes you, head over to the Picasso show and check out,The Artist and the Poet,, as well, a tiny gem of a show worth seeing. Then let me know what you think!