“The Writers’ Brush, an Exhibition of Art by Writers,” curated by Donald Friedman and Jon Wronski. Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, MA. Through January 15.
The first leg of the show took place in New York in September and October at Anita Shapolsky Gallery, and this incarnation is an expanded version of that event. In The Brooklyn Rail, Valery Oisteanu reported that the show is an invaluable resource for those interested in the interconnection between literature and art. “Donald Friedman and John Wronski have masterly gathered art from private collections, some never shown before, by a pantheon of writers, including thirteen Nobel laureates. The beautiful landscapes that Hermann Hesse credited with saving his life have a nostalgic-biographical atmosphere; the manuscript sketches that Fyodor Dostoevsky made of his characters reveal the visual process of literary creation; and the can-can dancers secretly drawn by Joseph Conrad serve as art-cum-memorabilia objects. Ultimately, these works gave me new insights into the lives and minds of my favorite writers and their creative processes.” See images of the artwork and the opening at Anita Shapolsky Gallery courtesy of RobertaontheArts.com.
Nina MacLaughlin reports in the Phoenix that the larger Cambridge incarnation of the exhibition offers visitors a chance to analyze the images — not the words — that were sketched, painted, inked, etched, and doodled by some 120 writers. “The works featured in the show aren’t, for the most part, notebook scribblings, but accomplished paintings and drawings — some consistent with the writers’ written work, some quite at odds.”
The show is running in conjunction with the publication of Donald Friedman’s book by the same name.