Past Exhibits

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Kuch2This exhibition features the provocative work of Michael Kuch, a printmaker and book artist who pushes the realm of the possible and, in doing so, creates artists’ books that give us great insight into timely world issues. Joining reality and fantasy, Kuch—a protégé of pioneering book artist Leonard Baskin—merges human figures with natural forms. Characters from mythology and the Bible comment on our times.

In Falling to Earth (2002), featured in the first case, Kuch offers a poignant response to the tragic collapse of the World Trade Center Towers.  He incorporates angels, Jacob’s Ladder, and the mythical Icarus, who flies to close to the sun with his wax wings; “Greek mythology warns us about trying to reach too high.  Tragedy is a consequence of that,” notes Kuch in a February 2002 article in Hampshire Life.  Falling is a metaphor for the physical and spiritual costs of violence, but Kuch’s work is also about healing.

In the second case, Kuch's earlier 1999 book entitled Apocalypse Clocks offers a meditation on timelessness and the ephemeral associated with the new millennium. The third case includes work from Michael Kuch’s collaboration with poet Anthony Hecht in Séance for a Minyan (2001).  In this work, Kuch’s intaglio prints paired with evocative poems by Hecht show Biblical characters forming a figurative minyan, the quorum needed to commence prayer under Jewish law.

Kuch’s most recent book and second collaboration with Oxindale Press is the focus of the final case. Waterlines: Après Moi Le Deluge & Orpheus on Sappho's Shore (2009) features illustrated musical works in which human agony finds solace in the redemption of music. In "Après Moi," a chorus questions why Noah has forgotten the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Kuch will deliver the 22nd Fox-Adler Lecture entitled "The Annotated Image:  When Picture Precedes Text—the Books of Michael Kuch" on Thursday, September 23rd at 5:15 PM in Gannett Auditorium.  The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Schick Art Gallery, which features an exhibit of his work.

Dr. Catherine J. Golden
Professor of English

Exhibited mounted by Catherine J. Golden, Professor of English and Wendy Anthony, Special Collections Curator

The exhibit will be on display in the cases by the library entrance (1st floor) through October 10.

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