This exhibit will run through August 28. It was curated by Tom Hibbard of Waukesha.
Thank you to the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson for allowing me to exhibit these unusual artworks in your display space this August. I’ve been a part of the evolution of “visual writing” for a long time. There have been many small press publications and more recently several book publications which feature visual writing, including two from Luna Bisonte Prods in Columbus OH, that I wrote. And more recently several books about visual writing and asemic writing have been published, especially Asemic: The Art of Writing by Peter Schwenger from University of Minnesota Press.
As I say, I consider the artworks in this exhibit—titled Beyond The Wall—as “Visual Writing,” which is basically art that uses language symbols—such material as punctuation marks, letters, different fonts, newsprint, varieties of languages and scripts—as its material. But, as I mention in the introduction to the exhibit, these artworks are more than simple designs and arrangements of letters of the alphabet. The works presented here are from experienced avant-garde artists—collagists, multi-media artists, abstract painters, Fluxus artists, mail artists, calligraphers, experimental poets—and the list goes on. These artworks attempt to portray the complicated, moving properties in search of a transparent, poetic plane.
The main focus of these artworks is language. Language appears in society in many places and affects society’s workings in many ways. Language is associated with interaction, community, the economy, ecologies, law, protest, education, health, diversity, change. The artworks presented in this exhibit do not put forth a particular message from one point of view or another. Rather, they attempt to bring out the general special qualities of language and the way these qualities affect both daily life and long-term peace and stability in society. Language is the source of diversity, creativity, discovery, activity. In these works you will find entry into worlds of integrity, cohesiveness, productivity and the preservation of natural resources and unpolluted environmental beauty. T.H.