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  • By C Bennett
    Oct 23, 2008
    "Review by Bob Grumman" This review was 1st posted at and it goes as follows: C. Mehrl Bennett's Words & Junk is a collection of 43 visio-textual artworks in full color, one to a page, plus a diptych, on facing pages, which may be my favorite piece in the collection. That's odd, because it is the least colorful of them, and I love the frequent risks Bennett takes at the borders of too many colors, and too much clash of colors, always triumphantly. The diptych consists mostly of sine-like waves of black lines on white, a brownish discoloration singing much of the white. There is a strong op-art effect. On the image to the left, a sort of inset shows a letter R being moltenly formed in steps under the word "REA." The rest of the image, to the right of the R, shows O's turning into D's. "READ." With that action's magnetic lines of force prominently depicted. In the second image of the diptych, the... More > same graphic is shown, except shifted left to reveal the D's multiplying off into a darkness. Above them is the word "ZEN." To make, "REAZEN," and--for me--a wonderful visual poem about the trans-rational reason that the best reading can raise one into. Another piece I especially like depicts a metal frame; both on it and in it are uneven stripes, some horizontal, some rising from left to right, and one with mountain-like points thrusting up. Each stripe is one basic color: blue, purple, violet, pink or green. It'd be an appealing but minor abstract-expressionist landscape except for four stenciled words, one in each corner: "SKY" and "HIGH" at the top, "BLUE" and "WAY" at the bottom. These context historical depth into the work by alluding to certain paintings of Larry Rivers I've always admired, and to the work of several current visual poets, notably Guy R. Beining (perhaps accidentally), in which stenciled words are important, and include the names of colors. More important, the words hint a metaphor into being, of art as something labeled and warehoused, to which the metal frame contributes inorganicism. There's a suggestion in the piece, too, of a scientific instrument suggestive (very roughly) of a spectrometer, rather ineptly trying to measure a scene far too complex (and psycho-significant) for science (or labeling). One piece by Bennett that I'm sure would qualify as "beautiful" for the most philistine of beholders (and for me), is a simple two-dimensional floral pattern in brown against a mostly grey background. But about ninety percent of it is contained in a dark-edged inner rectangle slightly higher than it is wide. In the bottom right of this rectangle, the word, "LIGHT," on its side and yellow, juts up, thereby (one assumes) causing a pink hue to mottle over the parts of the pattern and background that are in the rectangle--with a subtle spill of light blues and greens beyond the rectangle to the right. The effect of light. Trivial? Maybe, if that was all it was. However, it is also the effect of the word "light." So you simultaneously experience a thing in Nature, and a named thing in Nature. Something seen, and something seen and read. A tripling, because two different experiences plus the experience of the relation of the two to each other. (see for full review version) The bottom line is that Bennett doesn't just build visually rewarding locations, but also verbal doorways into unexpected domains as valuable for musing. No one interested in contemporary visual poetry should be without her Words & Junk.< Less
  • By Sheila Murphy
    May 9, 2008
    "Words & Junk by Catherine Bennett" Words & Junk provides an exhilarating spree of visual poetry that attests to Catherine Bennett's (Lady See's) rare gift of color, line, text, and wit. Along with Bennett's exceptional individual page/canvas performances, this volume showcases a range of collaborative pieces with other notable visual poets. The variety of works is astonishing. Don't miss the sampling of Kimonos that Bennett includes, offering further proof that there is art in the quotidian that Bennett transforms brilliantly with her signature magic.
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Product Details

Luna Bisonte Prods
April 5, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
0.59 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 8.5 tall
Product ID
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