by Alice Quinn
A fetching show of watercolors and oils by Wendy Mark, a New York based artist, will be up at the Jill Newhouse Gallery at 4 East 81st Street until October 29th (open Monday - Friday 10 - 5:30 and Saturday 11 - 5), and we want to alert you to it with this note and the accompanying images, selected by our Managing Director and Web Editor, Brett Fletcher Lauer.
Wendy started out as a writer, attending the Sarah Lawrence College program in Florence, Italy in 1970, and then receiving her MFA in Poetry from the Writing Division of Columbia University's School of the Arts.
In recent years, Wendy has produced several exquisite limited edition books with a number of her favorite poets and writers—among them Charles Simic, Paul Muldoon, David St. John, Adam Gopnik, Louis Menand, Javier Marias, and Mark Strand, whose poem, "The Secret Rose" accompanied a beautiful monotype from her series, Roses Like Clouds, in the February 12th , 2001 issue of The New Yorker.
She's also written a poem "Drivethroughttown" (reproduced at the end of this article) for the catalogue.
Note: Click to enlarge images.
The Pink Street + Pale Green
Wendy loves cars! She's told us a bit of what she loves about them. "The way chrome and the lights reflect everything around them. Also, the way the trees, the sky, faces, houses, doors are all absorbed into the car, through the windows. You can see in, and you can see out: this is rather like what Roland Barthes talks about in Mythologies when he writes about the Eiffel Tower…which you enter to look out of… My father used to collect cars. Not expensive cars, often just cars he found abandoned by the side of the road, or very old Rover's, which he would work on and rebuild."
Where or When/Sunlight
"… I love songs about cars, too. I love the ways things pass you by in cars. And you pass by things, that you only half see… Also, the relationship between cars and identity. What's the car for you!???"
We hope you enjoy the poem and can find the time to explore the show.
Drive Through Town
There is a privacy I love in this snowy night
Driving around, I will waste more time
Robert Bly, from "Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter"
I understood something I had been seeing without understanding ——
why a piece of tin foil had sparkled so on the pavement ——
Vladimir Nabokov, from "Spring in Fialta"
The car race in Un Homme Et Une Femme
The Blue Rover, parked in the High School Parking Lot
"And I stood on the station platform"
The Red Jag, buried by the side of the road.
Were you picked up
By a passion,
Were you carried away:
Addicted to love, addicted to a place
A 17th C. "Roving Ecstasie" And/Or
Sinatra's All Or Nothing At All
Nabokov's story where S _____ falls
Or N____ dies in a Yellow Car
The L Shaped Room
And The Room At The Top Of The Stairs
Was there a Citroen
Dirk Bogarde's Darling
Last Year At Marienbad's
My Night At Maud's ?
"Maybe Later" or much later
I followed the plan:
The Christmas Ride home in the convertible
Ashbery's "We could drive hundreds of miles
At night/ through dandelions"
which told me that the yellow car
I had seen / and the sign
TURN HERE >>>>>>>>>
The White 55 in Drive
Was the same Aston Martin
That Renata Adler drove for 1.9
Miles over the limit
In Pitch Dark
In Driving rain, in
Drive-in movies, Driving sleet
"The Depth one cannot leap"
Or Stendhal's Auto - In - Disguise
A marked car, a Fiat
Viotti in Milan
At 68 miles per hour
All seemed like roads
I might end up on:
A snowy scene of
Perils, Pearls, and Snow.
Or Lowell's Tudor Ford
On 35, One Thirty Five,
On 22, Route 6
Someone asked what it meant
And I lied
(in a fake fur muff)
On the margins of fashion
I said Goodbye
With glimmery lipstick
To S and to S ( to the power of 2 ) or Squared
To David St. John
Lost and charming
To X forever and ever when the light had changed
With nothing to say to Blaise in his Saab
@ the end. That's when
Angus drove up in a T Bird
Painted Azur Blue. (He said that over-
Verisimilitude is what drove him
Over the edge) and/or was it
The little Austin Healey
Where I first kissed you
The car arrives again and again
1) AS A GAME
2) AS SILENCE
3) AS WEARINESS
4) AS COLOR
5) AS DISTANCE
6) AH THIS !
Driven by a parallel passion:
The other idea is Brooks'
Illusion of getting Somewhere
Fast: "Rastignac's Paris" ? Maybe ?
Rolande Barthes' Table of Contents,
Or covering ground.
Again, by A, called Some Old Tires
This, "This was mine and I let it slip
Through my fingers"
Isuzu, Isaka, Jiotto,
Mitzubishi, Mazda, Miata, Lamborghini
Renault, or "While traveling
On a train going west" Dylan's
"I'll drive," I said, once
On that set.
I pulled you out
And we were safe
We were safe
But you went running back
Into this LESS- THAN -A DREAM
REV, or vraiment
Reve, what's left to say
SHUBOP, SHUBOP, MY BABY , OOOOOOO
Is there a car in The Wings
Of The Dove ?, The Good
Soldier in Love and Fame
The Sweet Cheat Gone ?
How far is it ?
Are we almost there ?
And is there a chevrolet ?
* * *
The car for me, once upon a time.
Alice Quinn, circa 1985, Shelter Island, New York
* * *
Poem and artwork reprinted with the permission of Wendy Mark. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.