Visual art, writing combined in new exhibit

Sean Caulfield, Phlegyas, Mezzotint, digital, Chine collé, 6” x 5.5”, 2007

“Darkfire” and “The Waiting Room,” an exhibit by Sean Caulfield, with collaborators Sue Colberg and Jonathan Hart, opens Oct. 10 in Fairbanks Gallery.

Darkfire, and The Waiting Room is an exhibition of two collaborative artist’s books, which explore the interface of visual art, design and creative writing. Each of these works is exhibited framed and unbound in the gallery, consisting of mezzotint prints by Caulfield, accompanied by poems written by Hart, with Colberg’s book design, which consists of a title page, text layout, colophon, and portfolio box.

In creating Darkfire and The Waiting Room, Caulfield, Hart and Colberg used themes and poetic images taken from Dante’s Inferno and Purgatory as a common start for each of their image and text pairings. They eventually worked towards responding to all three volumes of Dante’s famous work. Caulfield, Hart and Colberg share an ongoing interest in the Divine Comedy, as well as with the long history of illustration associated with this work by Blake and Botticelli.

Sean Caulfield is a Centennial Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, and has exhibited his prints, drawings and artist’s books extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Susan Colberg, who teaches Visual Communication Design at the University of Alberta, is a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. Her research and practice focus on book and publication design and typography.

Sean Caulfield, Waiting and Yearning, Mezzotint and Chine collé, 12” x 12”, 2010.

Jonathan Hart, who teaches at University of Alberta, has written books of poetry, history and literary criticism and theory. He has held visiting appointments at Toronto, Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, the Sorbonne-Nouvelle, and elsewhere.

Fairbanks Gallery is free and open to the public Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. The exhibit concludes Nov. 2.

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