Blanco/White: an Atmosphere for Poetry

I'm starting to post texts, images, sounds related to our Sica Grant Art Event: Around Blanco and Campos de Paz Colloquium to be held in January 29th, 30th, 2010. Everyone is invited to participate actively in this blog sending comments, texts etc.

That event is an opportunity to think on poems and colours, precisely on white - as the Paz poem's title, Blanco, translated in Portuguese by Haroldo de Campos, as TransBlanco, indicating an art of transcendence, the sum of all colours and their disparition, the nothingness or the absolute totality, silence, "rien ou presque un art".

Octavio Paz and Haroldo de Campos's works are our starting point to be related to other artists, moments and landscapes.

I start with CY TOWBLY saying:

"The Mediterranean... is always just white, white, white"


Arcadia. Cy Towbly 1958 

Cy Towmbly, Arcadia, 1958 


“Whiteness can be the classic state of the intellect, or a neo-romantic area of remembrance – or as the symbolic whiteness of Mallarmé”(Cy Towmbly, 1957)

These reflections were made by Twombly when he was in Italy in 1957. The white presence is remarkable in works such as Olympia and Arcadia 1958, and in a group of 24 drawings named Poems to the Sea (1959), executed in the beach town of Sperlonga, a small Saracen fishing village between Rome and Naples. As explained by Nicholas Serrota:

“In the spring of 1957, Twombly left America and set sailonce again for Italy. … Roland Barthes has written of the ‘Mediterranen effect’ that entered Twombly’s work during this time... Indeed, it was during a summer spent by the circadian rhythms of the Mediterranean Sea that Twombly’s work irrevocably changed course. In the summer of 1957, on the island of Procida, lying between Capri and Ischia, Twombly painted in a studio perched high on the cliffs with two domed ‘briliantly white rooms overlooking the sea’”

Another explanation is useful to compare to Blanco, an experience where writing wants to become painting and also inspired in Mallarmé’s poetry: “Poems to the Sea also initiated Twombly’s use of a literary title..,by eliding the distinction between painting and literature, drawing and writing, viewing and reading". (Font: Nicholas Serrota, "Et in Arcadia Ego" in Cy Towmbly. Cycles and Seasons. Tate Publishing, 2008, pp.71-74)  

 Welcome to that ESPACEMENT -- It's open to you --

 Cy Towmbly, Poems to the Sea 1959