Paper cutouts

Article in this morning’s NYT about a show soon to open at MOMA of Matisse’s late paper cut-outs.

Matisse - EscargotIs it totally college-dorm-room of me to love the clarity and ease in them? A sense of having come all the way through struggle.

Writes Holland Cotter of a detail from Two Dancers, from a design for a production by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo:

Puncture marks that dot the slivers are records of the many times each had been pinned, unpinned, repositioned and pinned again. For Matisse, it seems that trial-and-error rawness, some evidence of struggle, validated the work.

Traces of process. Linking Matisse to footpaths formed by the acts of animal and human feet and to the lines of horses and bison laid down once and again on cave walls in the south of his country. We’re never not close to the heart of compost.

Howl, phonetical

From bombmagazine:

Seven posters from The Singing Posters: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl by Allen Ruppersberg (Part I), 2003, 14 × 22 inches.

These are pretty. Got nothing much more to say than that right now. Oh and they bring bill bissett’s hypercool phonemes to mind. Oh and they confirm that each line of “Howl” really is a page —

One more torn page

One more from Barb (she’s on a tear).


And transcription:

(old men)no books (3)

on is made in Was—
of the Mone.

Man how pear trees
settle power

to see and believe.


I think I mentioned I came up with this exercise 10 minutes before the first meeting of my Art of Compost class this summer when I saw in my notes “exercise: something with torn pages” and realized I hadn’t worked out what “something” was.

William Carlos Williams famously wrote, “write carelessly, that nothing that is not green survives.” Not sure the same always applies to lesson planning but here it worked okay.

The pages we tore in class were from a battered second copy I had of his Imaginations.

Torn Page

This just in from my dear friend Barbara Nickel. A torn page poem along lines I suggested however many aeons ago (~ seven weeks give or take).


Which she transcribes as:

(old men)no books (1)

participation of our
young men
ror of their way
ich God
could give sin-war

come, they gladly
make, are in
which is church
and eir,
having feeling
which make them
and in love

Final projects: Megan


She writes:

Whenever my family and I go on roadtrips I listen to music for hours and watch the scenery pass. I placed the first part of the poem between the headphones to visually show scenery passing to music. The jumble of wire underneath the headphones creates visual and mental pauses. The last part of the poem (describing the music) is placed near the plug-in because that is the part that allows me to listen to my music.

One thing I really like here is how the loops and curls of the cord (especially at the bottom edge) pass on and off and onto again the sheet of paper. A feeling of freedom or unboundedness in it.