SVMA celebrates art of Ferlinghetti
“WROUGHT FROM THE DARK,” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, is one of many of his pieces that will be on display at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art this summer.
The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art will honor the creative life of Lawrence Ferlinghetti from June 23 through Sept. 23 with an exhibition titled “Cross Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.”
Ferlinghetti’s work, in both literature and art, is a drive for liberation, transformation and union – through love, literature, political struggle, nature, humor and art. In paint and in words, he ponders themes of her/woman, the sea, man adrift, war and pacifism, and engages in direct dialogue with other artists and writers, including Homer and Joyce, Ginsberg and Van Gogh, Picasso and Pound.
“We are thrilled to be presenting this exhibition of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s works, of which I am personally a big fan,” said the museum’s Executive Director Kate Eilertsen. “This exhibition takes a unique approach in looking at thematic parallels that have been consistent in his work, in whatever medium he chooses.”
Born on March 24, 1919, Ferlinghetti is now 93 and was first a painter, pursuing his craft at the Sorbonne in Paris shortly after his naval service in World War II.
For more than 60 years, he has continued his passion for image-making in paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media works that have been widely exhibited, including a major survey exhibition in 2010 in Rome and Calabria. He is acclaimed as a poet, painter, liberal activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in San Francisco.
As early as his 1955 book “A Coney Island of the Mind” (published in 1958 by New Directions) – a collection of poems that has been translated into nine languages, with sales of over 1 million copies – he wrote about himself as a painter and the challenges of the visual artist.
The exhibit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art will be guest curated by Diane Roby, an artist and curator who for several years has catalogued Ferlinghetti’s visual art at his Hunter’s Point studio in San Francisco.
For this exhibition, she looks especially at the overlap of word and image as Ferlinghetti addresses recurring thematic material.
“In Ferlinghetti’s art,” said Roby, “words give rise to image-making, and word and image meld in paint. The poet and painter, with pen and brush, turns his attention to his world of words and paint as he ponders questions of human existence and aspirations.”
“Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti” will be on view at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, located at 551 Broadway, from June 23 through Sept. 23.
The museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $5 and free for members and students in grades K-12. Admission is free for all visitors every Wednesday.
More information about the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is available online at www.svma.org or by phone at 939-7862.