the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Fran Herndon
Fleece + Dolmen, 1961
Acrylic on Canvas
88.9 x 114.3 cm
Collection of Scott Watson

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1974
acrylic on board
27 x 30 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
morocco, 1976
acrylic on board
25 x 50 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Untitled, 1992
acrylic on board
27 x 30 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
3 wizards, 1983
acrylic on board
61 x 45.5 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Untitled, 1983
acrylic on board
56 x 50 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, circa 1968
acrylic on board
47 x 71
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1965
acrylic on board
47 x 71 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1971
acrylic on board
38 x 51 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
dancing kiyots, 1986
acrylic on board
62 x 62 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1972
acrylic on board
25.5 x 31 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

Geoffrey Farmer
Actor / Dancer / Carver, 2003
lightjet print, basket, wood, rope, VHS video loop, video camera, monitor, various materials
dimensions variable
Private Collection, Vancouver

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Judith Copithorne
Poster for Poem Drawings, 1969
Print
49.5 cm x 33 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Judith Copithorne
Release, 1969
ink, paper
20.32 x 25.4 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Robin Blaser
Untitled, n.d.
acrylic, collage, bird wing, glass bulb
86.3 x 112 x 12 cm
Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia. Gift from the Estate of Robin Blaser, donated by David Farwell.

Fran Herndon
Everything as Expected, 1955
Mixed media
48.42 x 71.12 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian DeBeck

Fran Herndon
Black Angel, 1955
Mixed media
48.42 x 71.12 cm
Collection of Christos Dikeakos

Fran Herndon
White Rabbit, 1954
Lithograph
17.78 x 25.4 cm
Collection of David Farwell

Jess
Section Through Hairy Skin, 1954
Mixed media
63.5 x 63.5 cm
Collection of the David Farwell

Jess
The poet’s lofty brow, 1954
ink on paper
17.78 x 25.4 cm
Collection of the David Farwell

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Judith Copithorne
Poster for Poem Drawings, 1969
Print
49.5 cm x 33 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Judith Copithorne
Release, 1969
ink, paper
20.32 x 25.4 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Robin Blaser
Untitled, n.d.
acrylic, collage, bird wing, glass bulb
86.3 x 112 x 12 cm
Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia. Gift from the Estate of Robin Blaser, donated by David Farwell.

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Fran Herndon
Everything as Expected, 1955
Mixed media
48.42 x 71.12 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian DeBeck

Fran Herndon
Black Angel, 1955
Mixed media
48.42 x 71.12 cm
Collection of Christos Dikeakos

Fran Herndon
White Rabbit, 1954
Lithograph
17.78 x 25.4 cm
Collection of David Farwell

Jess
Section Through Hairy Skin, 1954
Mixed media
63.5 x 63.5 cm
Collection of the David Farwell

Jess
The poet’s lofty brow, 1954
ink on paper
17.78 x 25.4 cm
Collection of the David Farwell

Jess/ Robert Duncan
Broadside, 1966
Print on paper
50.8 x 88.9 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian DeBeck

Roy Kiyooka
David, Gladys Max & Daphne, Double Exposure, 1981
photograph
90 x 80 cm
Collection of Daphne Marlatt

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1974
acrylic on board
27 x 30 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
morocco, 1976
acrylic on board
25 x 50 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Untitled, 1992
acrylic on board
27 x 30 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
3 wizards, 1983
acrylic on board
61 x 45.5 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Untitled, 1983
acrylic on board
56 x 50 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, circa 1968
acrylic on board
47 x 71
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1965
acrylic on board
47 x 71 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1971
acrylic on board
38 x 51 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
dancing kiyots, 1986
acrylic on board
62 x 62 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1972
acrylic on board
25.5 x 31 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

Judith Copithorne
Poster for Poem Drawings, 1969
Print
49.5 cm x 33 cm
Courtesy of the artist

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1974
acrylic on board
27 x 30 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
morocco, 1976
acrylic on board
25 x 50 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Untitled, 1992
acrylic on board
27 x 30 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
3 wizards, 1983
acrylic on board
61 x 45.5 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Untitled, 1983
acrylic on board
56 x 50 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, circa 1968
acrylic on board
47 x 71
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1965
acrylic on board
47 x 71 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1971
acrylic on board
38 x 51 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
dancing kiyots, 1986
acrylic on board
62 x 62 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

bill bisset
Nine various paintings, 1972
acrylic on board
25.5 x 31 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian Debeck

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Roy Kiyooka
Fontaine Bleu Dream Machine, 1977
Print portfolio, 18 framed images
35 x 60 cm
Collection of Denis Walz

Al Neil
Pythagoras, 1984

mixed media

acrylic on board
25 x 50 cm
Collection of Christos Dikeakos

Al Neil
Easy Street, 1982
mixed media
45 x 53 cm
Collection of Denis Walz

Al Neil
Untitled, 1982
Mixed media
45 x 60 cm

Collection of Denis Walz

Carole Itter
Talk Walks Tongue Around Teeth, 1968
10 at 10 x 14” framed, Pen and pencil on paper
25.4 at 25.4 x 35.5 cm
Courtesy the artist

Carole Itter
Untitled, 1962
Ink drawing
40 x 47 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Carole Itter
Untitled, 1962- 63
drawing
35 x 45 cm
Courtesy of the artist

the poets have always preceded

Roy Kiyooka
Fontaine Bleu Dream Machine, 1977
Print portfolio, 18 framed images
35 x 60 cm
Collection of Denis Walz

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Carole Itter
Talk Walks Tongue Around Teeth, 1968
10 at 10 x 14” framed, Pen and pencil on paper
25.4 at 25.4 x 35.5 cm
Courtesy the artist

Carole Itter
Untitled, 1962
Ink drawing
40 x 47 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Carole Itter
Untitled, 1962- 63
drawing
35 x 45 cm
Courtesy of the artist

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Rhoda Rosenfeld
from Maps of the World, 1977
graphite on paper
110 x 80 cm
Collection of Meredith and Peter Quartermain

Rhoda Rosenfeld
Geobiology from Maps of the World, 1970-73
silver gelatin prints
36 x 28 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Roy Kiyooka
Fontaine Bleu Dream Machine, 1977
Print portfolio, 18 framed images
35 x 60 cm
Collection of Denis Walz

the poets have always preceded



Rhoda Rosenfeld
Geobiology from Maps of the World, 1970-73
silver gelatin prints
36 x 28 cm
Courtesy of the artistbr>
the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Marian Penner Bancroft
for Susan/seasons after, 1979
silver gelatin prints
16 27.94 x 35.56 cm
Private Collection

Dennis Wheeler
Homage to Artaud, 1969
graphite, paper, board, glass
35.5 x 28 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian DeBeck

Pierre Coupey
Painting the Lion from a Claw (for DMcN), 1976
Acrylic on canvas
152.4 x 152.4 cm
Private Collection, West Vancouver

Christos Dikeakos
Language Mask for Robin Blaser, 1985
Mixed media
63 x 82 cm
Collection of David Farwell

the poets have always preceded

Marian Penner Bancroft
for Susan/seasons after, 1979
silver gelatin prints
16 27.94 x 35.56 cm
Private Collection

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Trudy Rubenfeld
Scenes from Painting Without End , 1983-84
c prints
30 x 25 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Trudy Rubenfeld
Scenes from Painting Without End , 1983-84
c prints
30 x 25 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Nancy Shaw
Picture Window (Green Acres), 1987
photography
82 x 61 cm
Collection of Gillian Wood

Nancy Shaw
Vista (From Affordable Tedium), 1988
photography
28 x 22 cm
Collection of Gillian Wood

Nancy Shaw
Vista (From Affordable Tedium), 1988
photography
28 x 22 cm
Collection of Gillian Wood

Judith Copithorne
Untitled, 1992
Lettraset
21.59 x 27.94 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Judith Copithorne
Untitled, 1992
Lettraset
21.59 x 27.94 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Judith Copithorne
Untitled, 1992
Lettraset
21.59 x 27.94 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Judith Copithorne
Untitled, 1992
Lettraset
21.59 x 27.94 cm
Courtesy of the artist

Pierre Coupey
After Olson I, 1987
Graphite on Arches paper
76.2 x 52.15 cm
Private Collection, West Vancouver

Pierre Coupey
After Olson IV, 1987
Graphite on Arches paper
76.2 x 52.15 cm
Private Collection, West Vancouver

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Pierre Coupey
After Olson I, 1987
Graphite on Arches paper
76.2 x 52.15 cm
Private Collection, West Vancouver

Pierre Coupey
After Olson IV, 1987
Graphite on Arches paper
76.2 x 52.15 cm
Private Collection, West Vancouver

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Geoffrey Farmer
Banana and Grass, 2014

paint, foam, grass, metal stand, 2 wooden wall façades, window, sandbags
banana: 67 x 12 x 12 in. (170 x 31 x 31 cm), grass: 76 x 21 x 21 in. (193 x 54 x 54 cm), each wall façade: 96 x 48 x 3 in. (244 x 122 x 7 cm)
Private Collection, Vancouver

Peter Culley
Area A, 2003-2014
photography
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist’s estate

Judy Radul
Clapping until mildy exhausted. about endings (black and white stills and typography), 1998
black and white stills and typography
75 x 98 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries

Roy Kiyooka
Untitled, 1985
photograph
215 x 21 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian DeBeck

Robert Duncan
Broadside, 1983
41 x 50 inchesbr> Collection of Meredith and Peter Quartermain

Jack Spicer
The Oaks (Broadside), 2005
43 x 36 cm
Collection of Meredith and Peter Quartermain

bill bissett
Untitled, 1984
mixed media
32 x 40 cm
Collection of Scott Watson

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Geoffrey Farmer
Banana and Grass, 2014

paint, foam, grass, metal stand, 2 wooden wall façades, window, sandbags
banana: 67 x 12 x 12 in. (170 x 31 x 31 cm), grass: 76 x 21 x 21 in. (193 x 54 x 54 cm), each wall façade: 96 x 48 x 3 in. (244 x 122 x 7 cm)
Private Collection, Vancouver

Judy Chartrand
If this is what you call being ‘Civilized’, I’d rather go back to being a ‘SAVAGE’, 1997
Ceramic and glaze
30 x 30 x 8 cm
Collection of Maryon Adelaar

Peter Culley
Area A, 2003-2014
photography
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist’s estate

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Judy Radul
Clapping until mildy exhausted. about endings (black and white stills and typography), 1998
black and white stills and typography
75 x 98 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries

Roy Kiyooka
Untitled, 1985
photograph
215 x 21 cm
Collection of Karen Tallman and Brian DeBeck

Stan Douglas
Monodramas, 1991
video
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Maryon Adelaar

Robin Blaser
Nomad, 1995
53 x 74 cm
Collection of Meredith and Peter Quartermain

Robert Duncan
Broadside, 1983
41 x 50 inches
Collection of Meredith and Peter Quartermain

Jack Spicer
The Oaks (Broadside), 2005
43 x 36 cm
Collection of Meredith and Peter Quartermain

bill bissett
Untitled, 1984
mixed media
32 x 40 cm
Collection of Scott Watson

the poets have always preceded

Trudy Rubenfeld
undone, 2017
digital video
3 minutes
Courtesy of the artist

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Judy Chartrand
If this is what you call being ‘Civilized’, I’d rather go back to being a ‘SAVAGE’, 1997
Ceramic and glaze
30 x 30 x 8 cm
Collection of Maryon Adelaar

Peter Culley
Area A, 2003-2014
photography
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist’s estate

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Judy Radul
Postmodern Screen, 2012
Magazine, plexi, highlighters
142 x 36 x 43 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Bookwus Costume, 2016
multimedia
161 cm x 55cm x 115cm
Collection of Michael O’Brian

Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Winatkagilas, 2017
wood, wool
dimensions variable
Collection of Sarah Macauley

Tiziana La Melia
Who is the Boss of My Dreams?, 2015
multi media
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Unit 17

Tiziana la Melia
D-O-G, 2017
Mirror steel, light source
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Unit 17

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Bookwus Costume, 2016
multimedia
161 cm x 55cm x 115cm
Collection of Michael O’Brian

Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Winatkagilas, 2017
wood, wool
dimensions variable
Collection of Sarah Macauley

the poets have always preceded

Installation shot. From left to right:

Tiziana La Melia
Who is the Boss of My Dreams?, 2015
multi media
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Unit 17

Tiziana la Melia
D-O-G, 2017
Mirror steel, light source
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Unit 17

the poets have always preceded

Tiziana la Melia
D-O-G, 2017
Mirror steel, light source
dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Unit 17

the poets have always preceded

Carole Itter
Snake, 1967
Driftwood and ink
87 x 7 x 18 cm
Courtesy of the artist


the poets have always preceded

art and poetry in Vancouver, 1960 - present

January 26, 2019 – April 27, 2019

Opening Reception, January 25, 7-9 pm

Marian Penner Bancroft, bill bissett, Robin Blaser, Judy Chartrand, Jess, Judith Copithorne, Pierre Coupey, Christos Dikeakos, Stan Douglas, Beau Dick, Geoffrey Farmer, Fran Herndon, Carole Itter, Roy Kiyooka, Tiziana La Melia, Al Neil, Judy Radul, Rhoda Rosenfeld, Trudy Rubenfeld, Nancy Shaw with many more.

This exhibition will explore some of the common methods and musings of poets and artists in Vancouver since 1960. Importantly, it gestures to the deep influence of the San Francisco Renaissance Poets on local writers (largely through the invitation of Ellen and Warren Tallman who hosted them in their home and at UBC). This project presents moments from this entwined history of visual and textual poets through examples of publications alongside focused presentations of artist’s work. A conversation emerges through similar modes of cut-up reference and shared formal experimentation, bounding beyond traditional metrical device to realize elegiac elaborations.

  the poets have always preceded will begin its rhizomatic journey around 1960, collecting resonate examples of experimentation in art and poetry to uncover some of the fervent conversation, collaboration and innovation which developed here. Rather than attempting to abridge this incredibly rich history, the exhibition touches on successive moments in artist’s practices to give an inspiring sample of the regions sophisticated achievements in art and letters.

  Many of these artists are known for both their words and images (bissett, Kiyooka, Copithorne, Itter, Neil, Coupey, Rosenfeld, Shaw, etc.) and actively publish writing and exhibit their art. Several these double threats are there from the beginning, and the exhibition takes the opportunity to present works by these steadfast radicals at various points over the decades. Other participants are focused on making art, but deeply involved in conversations with poets, engaged in their critical discussions at venues like Intermedia, the Western Front, the Kootenay School of Writing and Artspeak, to mention only the most public. San Francisco writers play an ongoing role, as they do in the exhibition. Their presence (Duncan, Blaser, Jess, Herndon, Killian, Bellamy) in this project is a tribute to their role in Vancouver’s scene as teachers, champions and companions. The exhibition continues through recent art from Vancouver that goes further in melding the moldable resonances of text with image (Chartrand, Douglas, Farmer, Radul, Dick, La Melia), to bring forward a few contemporary examples of this rich textual tradition.

  An essential element of the exhibition will be the written word itself, and will present the library of the Kootenay School of Writing as a public reading room within the gallery space. Visitors will have the opportunity to dive into a focused selection of the vast production of critical poetry that has been produced in Vancouver. This library space will also host a series of readings and discussion groups to present writing in a direct form, performed in the voice of the poet and digested and dissected through group discussion and review. Programs will include a reading by founding editors of TISH (a highly influential student journal which emerged from UBC in 1960), a Poet Theatre Workshop with Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy presented in collaboration with The Capilano Review, and readings and discussion groups conceived by local poets. Please visit, http://griffinartprojects.ca/events/ for more information.

Image: Pierre Coupey, After Olson I, 1987, Graphite on Arches paper