Prints and Poetry Unite in Fine Arts Gallery Exhibit

Prints and poetry unite in the exhibit, Material Glance: A Portfolio of Lithographs by Antoni Tàpies and Poems by Shūzō Takiguchi, on view at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery through September 27.

Published in 1975, Material Glance (Llambrec Material) features Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012), Spanish artist who emerged in the post-World War II era; and Shūzō Takiguchi (1903-1979), Japanese writer, critic, and proponent of avant-garde art.

Writer and artist shared an interest in surrealism. Takiguchi was responsible for introducing surrealism to Japan in the late 1920s through his writings, and Tàpies was one of the founders in 1948 of Dau al set, the avant-garde surrealist and Dada-influenced artistic literary group and magazine of the same name. Although Tàpies is best remembered for his paintings, he was also an accomplished printmaker, and his collaborations with such writers as Takiguchi produced some of his most innovative work in the print medium.

For Material Glance, Takiguchi sent poems written in Japanese characters to Tàpies, who was responsible for creating the book. The artist’s choice of paper – a warm-toned, tan-colored Catalan estrassa paper used by butchers to wrap meat, with its irregular fiber echoing hand-made Japanese paper – activates Tàpies’ aggressive, calligraphic line when the prints are viewed with Takiguchi’s poems. “Each contributes to the other’s unique vision,” said Joseph Mella, director of the Fine Arts Gallery and curator of the exhibition.

The Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery is located in Cohen Memorial Hall, 1220 21st Avenue South, on the western edge of the Peabody College campus. All events are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 8 p.m., Thursday; and 1-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

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