Monday, December 27, 2010

For Avigdor Arikha, a poem by Samuel Beckett, 1967

From a small catalog for an exhibition of Avigdor Arikha's work that I found in a used book store in Charlottesville many years ago.

For Avigdor Arikha, by Samuel Beckett, 1967

Seige laid again to the impregnable without. Eye and hand
Fevering after the unself. By the hand it unceasingly
Changes the eye unceasingly changed. Back and forth the
Gaze beating against unseeable and unmakeable. Truce for
A space and the marks of what it is to be and be in face of.
Those deep marks to show.

Prints by Robert D'Arista

Some work by Robert D'Arista, courtesy of Lowell Gilbertson. D'Arista was one of my mentors in graduate school at American University. More work, and details on medium and dimensions can be found at

The works posted here are all drypoint engravings except for the first, which is a monotype, and the third, an etching. A drypoint is usually made by incising a metal plate with a sharpened stylus, which creates a furrow on one or both sides of the line, like the action of a plow through soil. This raised line holds the ink and, along with the wiping of the ink, imparts to the medium its characteristic qualities.  Drypoint, of all the intaglio techniques, is the closest to drawing in its directness and its sensitivity to the pressures of the hand.

D'Arista often carried small, thin, copper plates in his coat pocket in place of a sketchbook, along with styluses that he fashioned from crushed shards of semi-precious stones.