Bay Area art and literary audiences have two more weeks to visit The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art exhibition Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, featuring a large variety of artworks and other objects by the eminent San Francisco poet, painter and publisher. With paint and words, Lawrence Ferlinghetti ponders ideas and feelings, and engages in direct dialogue with other artists and writers, among them Joyce and Pound, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Allen Ginsberg, Van Gogh and Picasso. Guest curator Diane Roby has focused on key themes that have occupied Ferlinghetti as an artist and poet throughout his creative life, in both image and text. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is located at 551 Broadway in downtown Sonoma, just one half-block off the town’s main square. The museum’s galleries are open Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm. For more information visit www.svma.org.
“This popular exhibition has been a real treat for our visitors, as well as an eye-opener,” said Executive Director Kate Eilertsen. “It shows that Lawrence Ferlinghetti remains an artist who is full of vitality and commitment, which he expresses with great inventiveness in a variety of media. We’re grateful that he has lent us so many works that have never before been exhibited.”
Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti features more than twenty paintings on canvas, drawings, monotypes, lithographs, sketchbooks, and a number of painted objects, including a globe, vinyl records, ladies’ nightgowns, and a clock. Several works are exhibited for the first time, including notebooks that combine writings and drawings.
The exhibition is accompanied by a continuous audiovisual program that spans over 50 years, including never-before-seen films of Ferlinghetti in his San Francisco studio and performing in Italy, and new recordings of Ferlinghetti reading selected poems, including his recent “At Sea (for Pablo Neruda)” from his forthcoming poetry book, Time of Useful Consciousness, due out this October from New Directions. Among the films is “Have You Sold Your Dozen Roses?” by Allen Willis, featuring a voiceover by Ferlinghetti, produced in 1957 at the California School of Fine Arts and presented courtesy of the East Bay Media Center. Another short clip features Ferlinghetti’s appearance at The Band’s famed “Last Waltz” concert in San Francisco.
Long celebrated as a poet and publisher, Ferlinghetti, now 93, was first a painter, pursuing his craft at the Sorbonne in Paris shortly after his naval service in World War II. For more than sixty 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. Born March 24, 1919, Lawrence Ferlinghetti is acclaimed as a poet, painter, liberal activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & 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.
Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is generously supported by Cherie and Keith Hughes.
Cross-Pollination: The Art of Lawrence Ferlinghetti is on view at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, 551 Broadway in Sonoma, through September 23, 2012. Museum hours are Wednesdays through Sundays 11am to 5pm. Museum admission is $5 general; free for students in grades K-12. Museum admission is FREE to visitors every Wednesday; SVMA members enjoy free admission every day. More information about the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is available at www.svma.org or by calling (707) 939-7862.