Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bpNichol at Hugh Gallery

Artist Jason McLean runs an informal gallery space inside a display case at the Fred Landon Library in London, Ontario. Named The Hugh Display Case, after the late Hugh Mcintyre, former bass player for the Nihilist Spasm Band and head librarian at the library, the venue primarily presents holdings from the artist's own collection.

The current show is a selection of work by bpNichol which was bequeathed to McLean by Sheila Curnoe, the widow of artist Greg Curnoe.

Nicol is highly regarded in the Coach House Press/experimental poetry communities, but less known in the art world, despite making an enormous contribution to Concrete Poetry, DIY self-publishing, Mail Art, Sound Art and even Artists’ Multiples. He was a member of the Four Horseman, an important Sound Poetry foursome who released several albums that are featured in most surveys of Artists Records. The group included Paul Dutton, who now performs in CCMC with Michael Snow and Jon Oswald. His 2008 essay from St. Art: The Visual Poetry of bpNichol can be read here.

Future posts will look at bpNicol’s bookworks, his Pataphysical Hardware Company multiples and possibly his time spent working on the TV show Fraggle Rock.

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