But You Could Laugh at Our Hopelessness
After Andrew Marvick’s Sky Solidified
A hard division splits two panes to the right of center. Graffiti climbs from its
concrete and inhabits us at the underpass. Clouds consume our excesses, bear the
grease of machines long-since retired. We are cloistered in the perfect place to make
things that matter to almost no one. Taught to crouch under our desks when
the sirens sounded and not much else, the open spaces slow us down, interrupt our
languages with wind and dust. We court fear like a darker world might bolster this
by comparison. The gold-trimmed failure is a crown and those around us care too
much to even let us down easy—it’s not a metaphor that Cato’s daughter swallowed
fire.1 Brows furrow at the edge of questions and daylight’s running down. A lone fox-
glove spills pink against the backdrop of a tincture-blue sky dulled by the threat of
storm. More and more we veer toward silence in the hours that are actually ours.
1 Words borrowed from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 1/Act 3, Scene 3.
Andrew 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 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, Sky Solidified, by Andrew Marvick.