A Silent Poetry

16 January - 1 March 2002 London

Alighiero Boetti
Jean-Marc Bustamante
Bruce Conner
Jenny Holzer
Roni Horn
Ed Ruscha
Cy Twombly
Joel Shapiro

And each poem a picture
at an exhibition
upon a blank wall
made of concrete chaos
caught in chaos
Sounds compounded
of chaos
made of chaos
‘gathered from the air’
And every poem ‘a raid on the inarticulate’
And all about to fall
poet and poem and wall and all
back into it
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Meaning can be contained as much in the random hand-drawn line as the written mark. This exhibition explores what happens when language is undermined and discarded, and meaning is found in chaos.
Cy Twombly’s  hand-drawn lines and scrawlings communicate pathos with real immediacy. Joel Shapiro’s line-based sculptures develop an alphabet of human movement and expression. Bruce Conner’s inkblots teeter on the brink of chaos and being deciphered. These artists do not need to resort to language to convey meaning.
The text-based pieces by Alighiero Boetti, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn and Ed Ruscha displace words, phrases and sentences from the signifying context that language assumes. Words can become material prompts to an imaginative and emotionally intuitive world ‘gathered from the air’.