Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Alan Lau, Marc Wenet, Suzanne Wolfe: Poetry in Word and Image


when three voices merge and mingle

"This is my language," Marc Wenet made a grand gesture at the small wooden assemblages mounted on the gallery walls at Francine Seders'. Every now and then Seders hosts an after-hours gathering in her namesake gallery, situated on the outside of the bend in the road where Phinney and Greenwood Avenue jog together to hug one of our fave burger joints, Red Mill. Over the years we've gathered at Francine's not only for artist receptions, but also for French conversation, or as was the case last Tuesday a merging-of-minds-and-voices salon.

For his latest show Wenet published a book with photos of his work, Alan Lau's poems and an essay by British born novelistSuzanne Wolfe.
The sculptor, who has worked with found or discarded materials since the beginning of his career, saw more natural elements entering his oeuvre after coming to Seattle from Chicago. All pieces in the show at Seders' are created out of weathered wood. Many of the assemblages show faded coats of paint. Combined with measured slices of color; a narrow strip of red, a repetition of creamy rings or red bars cascading like steps to somewhere, each piece invites meditation.

Lau said writing poetry to go with the artwork was a challenge. "For yourself you write what you want to write. But it's good to feel uncomfortable, good to go places where you normally won't go." He read some poems he created for Wenet's artwork, and a few more from his own book Blue and Greens: a produce worker's journal, beginning and ending the sequence with the shaking of what? A box of sunflowers seeds perhaps, so appropriate for a Greengrocer Poet.

Wolfe who said Wenet's artwork "spoke" to her, kept her contribution a surprise to be discovered in the book. Her mesmerizing voice transported us to fourth Century Carthage when the man who would become known as Saint Augustine lusted after the young daughter of a mosaic layer and lived with her for fifteen years before sending her packing. Can't wait to hear more of that work in process.

At Francine Seders Gallery, the language of art, poetry and prose is joined by it's inspiration, Wenet's poetic assemblages.

How do you see poetry, how do you read art?


Mark Wenet will give a talk about his artwork on Saturday May 1st at 2 p.m.Francine Seders Gallery 6701 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103-5294 (206) 782-0355
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