Robert Miltner


 Jean Paul Lemieux,  Le Rapide , 1968. Oil on canvas, 101 x 204 cm. Collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, gift of the estate of Gabrielle Bertrand. Photo: MNBAQ, Idra Labrie.

Jean Paul Lemieux, Le Rapide, 1968. Oil on canvas, 101 x 204 cm. Collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, gift of the estate of Gabrielle Bertrand. Photo: MNBAQ, Idra Labrie.

 

Quebec Express

Terrifying space trapped in a limitless canvas. Dazzling snow etching the horizon & disappearing into the periphery, a nearly impervious border. The immense white scene is disrupted by stands of conifers forming obsidian humps along a liminal division. A smoke-colored sky clouds into a coal-dust stratosphere. The arrival of graphite & steel lines divides the vanishing point from its widening panorama, its curve slight as a migratory bird’s trajectory like beak or eye or pincer or maw. The tremor like a rapid mammal constructed of iron & rust. Like the past bearing down to erase the future.

After the painting Le Rapide by Jean-Paul LeMieux (above).

     

 Andrea Myers,  SlipSlump , 2013. Layered fabric, 24 x 55 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Andrea Myers, SlipSlump, 2013. Layered fabric, 24 x 55 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Stand of Snakes

a skein of sheep-shorn wool sleeps in a bowl     a woven snake of sundry colors coiled     a twilling of thread waiting in a flax ark     a basket of unwound & whorled line     a coat that envelops a round of rope   of spooled python     impatient to unsling

fissures split as yarn strands breach & pill like entrails     what was once  twined splinters into filament     technicolor tendrils furrow & sleave    a hybrid virus     a helix of protoplasm germinates & cycles     awakened from frozen ages of hibernation

a force from inside the wall     pushes out     seeks a pressure point where plaster shatters     sheet rock slates, faults     fractures like a mobile disassembling      or a trajectory     of hot metal leaving bright tracers    like sewn-closed eyes     what else is structure     except plywood    warped knotty pine    wet pressed board    drywall? 

In response to the sculpture SlipSlump by Andrea Myers (above).

 
 El Anatsui,  Drifting Continents , 2009. Aluminum and copper wire, approximately 118 x 394 inches, variable.  ©  El Anatsui. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

El Anatsui, Drifting Continents, 2009. Aluminum and copper wire, approximately 118 x 394 inches, variable. © El Anatsui. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

What We Were

A speck seen from space. One square black block. Shadows hiding beyond light. A sky silvered with airplanes & high-rise architecture. Jet lines as incisions into blue tableau, a morning mural slashed by fanatic attacker. Gravity thrashing like torn tendons against the sound of bridge supports snapping. A jack-knifed truck trailer as pop-up checkpoint. Homes embossed on monochromatic scrap paper & graph paper of wasp nests. Ants burned crisp by ozone & methane drought. Steel reinforced concrete cracked & collapsing. Coral reefs formed from bottle caps & sun-blistered metal sculpture composed of bent snips of tin. The false epistemology of our  excesses. 

After the metal sculpture Drifting Continents by El Anatsui (above).