Jerome Rothenberg writes about Milton Resnick's poetry and posts three unpublished poems by the painter.
Rothenberg also writes that "Resnick was a very visible & dynamic artist when we met him in the early 1960s, but beyond that he was also a persistent practitioner of poetry, less in a public sense than as a release for feelings & ideas that were a necessary supplement to his life’s work as a painter" Rothenberg continues, noting that Resnick "left behind at least 16 envelopes of unpublished, often handwritten poetry with some 40 poems in each. The poems that follow (the last one in particular) were written in the desperation of his later years, when the overall brightness of his early abstractions had changed to figurative depictions of what I would take, rightly or wrongly, as the terror (still luminous) within."
Poet Jerome Rothenberg remembers his encounters with painter Milton Resnick.
"Milton's declaration, right from the start, was that he was a painter who had given up painting in favor of poetry & that he thought that I & my fellow poets should now give up poetry in favor of painting... carrying the intensity he had lavished on painting into a new medium that of words. That he did it instantly & with equivalent grace & fury astonished me, as did his natural & credible assumption of the poet’s [bardic] voice..."
Reed writes: "Resnick told us that we had to decide between two ways of being painters. You could either “climb the ladder of art, struggle and sacrifice to make great works,” or “get on the moving belt, just move, you and the painting which equals your brain.” It took me a long time to figure out that he disapproved of the first and approved of the second. He told us that, as younger painters, we should put on “the shirt of Abstract Expressionism.” Each of us would then have to admit, “I can’t understand this shirt. It doesn’t fit my mind.” Only that way would we get on the moving belt."
Painter Geoffrey Dorfman, author/editor of Out of the Picture: Milton Resnick and the New York School and a definitive resource on Resnick, has recently posted an audio recording of Resnick speaking about painting and his work at the Englewood Library in New Jersey on October 13, 1978. The video, like Dorfman's book, can make you feel like Resnick is in the room, or like you are attending one if his lectures.
Dorfman has titled the video There's a Measure Called Recognition after Resnick's opening statement of the recording:
"There's a measure, which is called recognition. There's a measure which is called the foot, the inch, the pound, and there's a measure which is much more strong in your life, which is recognition. You recognize people. You recognize character. You recognize something that frightens you. You recognize qualities which cannot be measured except in this thing within your emotion."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.