Letter to America by Nano Taggart + Andrew Kent Marvick
One Poem and Painting
After Andrew Kent-Marvick’s Absolution Turns Toward Listening and in response to the Charlottesville Rally, August 11, 2017
We have the evidence to know that we guessed correctly. There’s a city, there’s
usually a city, and it’s what we walk away from. Bolts and beams and edges sharpened
by decay frame paths to be repeated. We trace the outline of some slow dream
long enough to know our chances. The unnamed woman perched as a pillar of salt
is an assemblage of steel. Black lines flank bodies all revolving around a deafening
light which presents a way back to somewhere, a welcome torch in the jigsaw
forest. It’s not so much turning back to see what’s left behind, it’s when we open our
mouths that locks us to place. We move through heaps of hands and shoulders, pieces
of faces as sunburst fractures back an almost- third dimension steeped on the disk of Newton’s
color wheel. We feel midnight approach, and with it, not-so-distant pasts that repeat in
unison chants of blood and soil blood and soil that grow only louder and for better or
worse, we tend, it seems, to find each other. The air is wet with so much noise.
Nano Taggart is a founding editor of Sugar House Review, works as director of annual giving and special campaigns at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, and is a co-recipient of a grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Other work from this series can be seen or is forthcoming in 15 bytes and The American Journal of Poetry. He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and St. George, Utah.
Andrew Kent-Marvick is an art historian and abstract painter. He grew up in Los Angeles, with long stays in West Africa, England, France, Germany, Austria and Italy. He holds degrees from Harvard, UCLA, Columbia, and Florence’s Accademia Simi. He has been Southern Utah University’s professor of art history since 2005. He publishes on the transition from traditional to modern art in Europe and America. Until about 2000 his work reflected representational traditions; since then he has been working in a broad variety of abstract styles. To Kent-Marvick, painting is a language, and a natural and indispensable way of responding to life.
This work is part of a collaboration entitled Engine of Color / Motor of Form engineered by Art Works Gallery in Cedar City, Utah. It includes an exhibit (12/1/17–1/31/17) of the paintings and poetry, a small chapbook, broadsides, and educational outreach to Iron County schools. The identically named chapbook is available here.
Header and inset image, Absolution Turns Toward Listening, by Andrew Kent-Marvick.