Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth, New and Selected Poems, 2001-2021 – the new collection of poetry from Yusef Komunyakaa (Writing Fellow 1980-1981) “brings together selected poems from the past twenty years of Yusef Komunyakaa’s work, as well as new poems from the Pulitzer Prize winner. Komunyakaa’s masterful, concise verse conjures arresting images of peace and war, the natural power of the earth and of love, his childhood in the American South and his service in Vietnam, the ugly violence of racism in America, and the meaning of power and morality.” Available from Farrar, Straus and Giroux June 2021. Click below to read “Five Poets That Yusef Komunyakaa Returns to Again and Again,” his recent interview in the New York Times. Photo: Laren Mcclung
YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA’S NEW COLLECTION OF POETRY FORTHCOMING IN JUNE
MONROE ART CENTER FEATURES WORKS BY GABE PIONKOWSKI
A new solo exhibition, “Revision Extension,” featuring the works of Gabe Pionkowski (Visual Arts Fellow 2013-2014), has just opened at the Monroe Art Center in Monroe, WI. Talking about his work, Pionkowski says, “My paintings are made by deconstructing canvas thread by thread, hand painting each thread, and reconstructing them on a traditional handloom. The majority of the work presented in this exhibition has focused on painting back onto the newly constituted plane. These marks divide the surface laterally and penetrate to mark the backside. In an attempt to bring forward what has sank, the canvas is cut, each strip folded along a central axis, and woven into itself. The result are paintings that holds themselves in a precarious state between the initial subject and that which, although constituted as itself is also beyond; between certainty and uncertainty, unison and chaos.” The exhibition runs through April 9.
ANGELA DUFRESNE’S NEW EXHIBITION OPENS AT THE YOSSI MILO GALLERY
“Long and Short Shots,” Angela Dufresne’s (Visual Arts Fellow 2003-2004 and 2002-2003) extraordinary exhibition of recent paintings has just opened at the Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC. “Dufresne uses her painterly long shot to produce vast tableaux that vibrate with atomistic energy in which figure and atmosphere have equivalent force. However, these works also interrogate the social fabric that lurks outside the frame. Her bawdy, defiant figures, often depicted in close-up shots, relish the ambivalent spaces that exist in between the utopian diegesis of the canvas and the unknown, more abstract, off-screen sites of possible conflicts or risk-laden adventures. The construct of desire is central – to be wanted, to be recognized, to be taken. The internal emotional conditions of the subjects depend on, as well as inform, the swelling rise of group pathos and, often, unchecked erotic play,” writes Melissa Ragona. The exhibition runs through March 13.
GABRIEL KRUIS’S DEBUT COLLECTION OF POEMS HAS JUST BEEN PUBLISHED
Simon & Schuster, Archway Editions, has recently published Acid Virga, the debut collection of poems from Gabriel Kruis (Writing Fellow 2018-2019). In praise of Acid Virga, Tom Sleigh (Writing Fellow 1981-1982 and 1979-1980) writes, “As wildly visionary as it is linguistically alive, Gabriel Kruis’s Acid Virga, drills down into the bedrock of American life to produce a book unparalleled in its exploration of how visionary experience and social upheaval collide in ways that are both transformative and annihilating.” Book cover image by artist Nicole Eisenman.
AUSTIN SEGREST WINS VASSAR MILLER PRIZE FOR POETRY
Austin Segrest (Writing Fellow 2018-2019) has just won the Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry from the University of North Texas for Door to Remain, his forthcoming collection of poetry. The collection will be published by UNT Press in 2022. His poems can be found in Poetry, The Yale Review, The Threepenny Review, Ecotone, New England Review, Ploughshares and many others. His poetry reviews and essays can be found in 32 Poems, Southern Humanities Review and Pleiades. Photo: Ann Wood
KAMBUI OLUJIMI CREATES OVER 200 PORTRAITS IN TRIBUTE TO CATHERINE ARLINE
For more than five years, Kambui Olujimi (Visual Arts Fellow 2007-2008) has painted an ongoing and remarkable series of portraits in homage to Catherine Arline, an unwavering mentor of his, from childhood until her recent passing. “Walk With Me,” the extraordinary exhibition of 177 of these paintings, is currently on view at Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ and runs through January 24. These works are a posthumous and bittersweet homage to a woman who had a profound impact on both Olujimi and his childhood community in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Of the work Olujimi says: “For more than the last five years, I have created more than 200 paintings from a photograph of her when she moved to New York at 18-years-old. Flattened by grief the work became a place of both healing and sharing time with her. The work engages in the process of remembering, forgetting, and mythologizing.” Photo (detail): Kambui Olujimi by Simbarashe Cha for the New York Times, Center & Right images: Portraits of Catherine Arline, ink on paper, 11” x 14”
COADY BROWN CURATES “DOMESTICATED” – A GROUP SHOW AT RICHARD HELLER GALLERY
Coady Brown (Visual Arts Fellow 2019-2020 and 2018-2019) is the curator (and a participating artist) of “Domesticated,” a new group show at the Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. The exhibition also features works by Raul De Lara (Visual Arts Fellow 2019-2020). In addition to Brown and De Lara, the group show also features works by Alexander Harrison, Brook Hsu, GaHee Park and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez. The show opens January 9th and runs through February 13th. Left image: Coady Brown, Midnight Bloom, 2020, oil on canvas, 42” x 36”, Right image: Raul De Lara, Tornado, 2020, painted wood and leather saddle, 21.5” x 9.5” x 21.5”
NATHALIE MIEBACH LAUNCHES NEW STUDIO VENTURE – “SPIDERS AND BIRDS”
Nathalie Miebach (Visual Arts Fellow 2007-2007 and 2006-2007) has recently launched a wonderful new artist-run, women-owned small business called Spiders & Birds – playful handwoven design for a home that likes to smile. According to Nathalie, “I began Spiders & Birds during the Covid-19 pandemic. After a 15 year, solid career in exhibiting sculptures all over the US and abroad, I wanted to stretch my wings again to start a design studio that borrows my fine arts aesthetics of play to combine with more functional items for the home. While I am still working in my regular studio making sculptures (nathaliemiebach.com), I am excited to start this new branch in my art career that focuses on a slightly different interest of mine.”
“S-334473” – SARAH OPPENHEIMER’S STUNNING INSTALLATION AT MASS MOCA
Sarah Oppenheimer (Visual Arts Fellow 1995-1996) has recently completed the installation of S-334473 – her dynamic environmental sculpture – at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, MA. Visitors are encouraged to touch the glass and metal sculpture in order to set its movement in motion and redefine the physical experience and sight lines of the exhibition space. “Oppenheimer’s S-334473 mobilizes the museum’s architecture in order to transform and extend the visitor’s understanding of the exhibition spaces it reveals, and disrupts. In the process, artwork and viewer become joined in an intricate choreography of the inhabited environment.” Left photo: courtesy MASS MoCA, Right photo: Bette Warner
FIRELEI BÁEZ IN POWERFUL GROUP EXHIBITION AT SKIDMORE COLLEGE
Firelei Báez (Visual Arts Fellow 2013-2014) is one of the participating artists in the extraordinary group show, “Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond,” at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. According to organizers Rachel Seligman and Minita Sanghvi, “the exhibition takes the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment as the occasion for reflection and exploration of the issues and challenges women in the United States have faced, and continue to face, in politics and society. “Never Done” aims to go beyond politics to create conversations about art, gender, race, and intersectional identities. To do so, this exhibition presents artwork by a diverse group of women: Black, brown, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and differently-abled women and non-binary artists; artists working in photography, painting, printmaking, collage, textile, and sculpture; artists from across the United States and from different generations." Through June 6, 2021. Image above: Untitled (Temple of Time), 2020, oil and acrylic on archival printed canvas, 94.5” x 132.5”