Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Karl Holmqvist, Syline is the By-Linezz, Motto Books, Berlin, 2014, ed. 800

A mass of texts, letters, words, sense-nonsense sentences, repetitions, patterns, empty spaces, symbols and numbers all coalesce in this work to create a panorama of language as material piled up on top of each other all higgledy-piggledy. This mass of language matter also creates a skyline through the assorted language buildings that spring up and down this work. It's a visual feast in black and white.

Holmqvist is originally from Sweden, and then via Paris, arrived in New York in 1989 and quickly got involved with the alternative art and performance scene in that city. Known for his text-based works, readings and poetry he has exhibited internationally. Of his practice he states: "I always said that I was reading poetry as a form of visual art: as a form of invisible visual art, or as a form of Everyman's visual art....I consider myself more of an artist working with language and poetry, rather than a poet trying to have art shows or something like that". [Kayla Guthrie, "Words are People: Q+A with Karl Holmqvist," Art in America, June 7, 2012]

A unique accordion and sure to be appreciated by the language as material workers. I was repeatedly reminded of the 'wordscapes' of John Furnival, a British artist, who sadly has just left us (1933-2020). See a work of his at the end of this blog post.

20 pages, double-sided, individual page 9.5" (h) x 6.75" (w), when fully opened 5ft 7.5".



John Furnival, In the Beginning, artists' postcard, Fete de la Lettre, Paris, nd.

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