• Plan your visit

    Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space

    March 28–July 30, 2017

    Getty Research Institute

    Three-dimensional folding poem with lines of text in the shape of a diamond featuring the words "open," "close," "yellow," "reopen," "blue," and "red."

    Open (Abre), Augusto de Campos (b. 1931) and Julio Plaza (1938–2003), 1969. From Poemobiles (São Paulo, 1974). 92-B21581. Courtesy Augusto de Campos. Courtesy Anabela Plaza

  • Open book with the letters "F," "O," "R," "S," "Y," "T," "H," "I," and "A" forming an image of a forsythia plant on the right-hand page.

    Forsythia, Mary Ellen Solt, 1965. From Flowers in Concrete (Bloomington, 1966), n.p. 94-B19512 copy 2. Gift of Susan Solt. Courtesy of the Estate of Mary Ellen Solt

  • A glass sculpture with a wooden base on which the word "star," repeated twelve times in a zigzag formation, is followed by the word "steer."

    Star/Steer, Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1965 (original poem). Lent by the Estate of Mary Ellen Solt. By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

  • A red screen print reproducing a concrete poem that satirizes advertising and consumerism.

    Beba Coca Cola, Décio Pignatari, 1957. From Poesia concreta in Brasile, 1991. 45-13. Courtesy of the Estate of Décio Pignatari
    English translation: drink coca cola / drool glue / drink coca(aine) / drool glue shard / shard / glue / cesspool

  • /
    The French word "vite" is repeated dozens of times to form the shape of a kite.

    Vite (Fast), Henri Chopin, 1961. From Le dernier roman du monde: Histoire d'un chef occidental ou oriental (Wetteren, 1970), n.p. 93-B2246. Permission given by Brigitte Chopin Morton
    Audio: Poem read by Jean-Claude Carron (Los Angeles, 2016). Permission given by Brigitte Chopin Morton

  • /
    A postcard featuring five concentric circles of text naming many types of stars such as "morning star," "day star," and "guiding star."

    Sea-Poppy 2 (Fishing Boat Names), Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1968. 890164 box 16, folder 9. By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay
    Audio: Poem read by Mark Tweddle (Los Angeles, 2016). By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

  • A group of flat and three-dimensional concrete poems by Augusto de Campos that belong to a lavish portfolio of works by Augusto and Julio Plaza.

    Poems from Caixa Preta (Black Box), Augusto de Campos. From Augusto de Campos (b. 1931) and Julio Plaza (1938–2003), Caixa Preta (São Paulo, 1975). 92-B22192. Courtesy Augusto de Campos. Courtesy Anabela Plaza

  • In this print, lines of the repeated individual letters of the word "Acrobat," "a", "c", "r", "o", "b", "a", and "t" create an animated pattern.

    Acrobats, Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1964. From The Blue and the Brown Poems (New York, 1968). 2016.PR.36. By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

  • A large standing "cubepoem" (printed text on heavy paper folded into a square) with text on the interior and exterior faces spelling the invented word Linguaviagem.

    Linguaviagem, Augusto de Campos, 1967. 2016-B266. Courtesy Augusto de Campos
    Glossary: Lingua = tongue, Via = via, Linguagem = language, Viagem = voyage

  • In this print, a square of black letters repeats four words: "lock, lack, block, black," in various combinations creating shifting meanings.

    Homage to Malevich, Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1963. From Rapel: 10 Fauve and Suprematist Poems (Edinburgh, 1963). 890144 box 16. By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

  • Resistento (Resisto + Tento) = I Resistry (Resist + Try), Augusto de Campos, 1971. From Colidouescapo (São Paulo, 1971), n.p. 92-B21562. Courtesy Augusto de Campos
    Video: Watch the curator turn the pages of Colidouescapo, following the poet's instructions to "refold the paper and mix the pages at your will." Courtesy Augusto de Campos

  • In this print, the word "horizon" takes the form of a pyramid enclosing the words "no, oh," and "ho ho," which gradually overwhelm the visibility of "horizon."

    Ho/Horizon/On, Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1968. From The Blue and the Brown Poems (New York, 1968). 2016.PR.36. By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

  • /
    In this love poem for his wife-to-be, Lygia, Augusto de Campos uses color to highlight words and phonemes that borrow letters from her name.

    Lygia Fingers, Augusto de Campos, 1953. From Poetamenos (São Paulo, 1973). 92-B22170. Courtesy Augusto de Campos
    English translation: lygia fingers (pretends) / to be / digital / dedat illa (grypho) / lynx lynx so / mother felyna with ly / daughter me felix yes na nx / be it when so far so / ly / gia la evening / sister / so only lonely tt- l
    Audio: Poem read by Augusto de Campos. From Grupo Noigandres (São Paulo, 2002). Courtesy Augusto de Campos

  • Three-dimensional folding poem features red geometric shapes spelling the words "Viva" and "Vaia" (hurrah and hissing).

    Viva Vaia (Hurrah/Hissing), Augusto de Campos (b. 1931) and Julio Plaza (1938–2003), 1974. From Poemobiles (São Paulo, 1974). 92-B21581. Courtesy Augusto de Campos. Courtesy Anabela Plaza

  • This trio of folded works printed on heavy red, yellow, and blue paper evokes the shape of boat sails. Each features four lines of verse: rosy far black / patched broken faded / lucky full / green fainter loath.

    4 Sails, Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1966. 97-B786. By courtesy of the Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space

March 28–July 30, 2017, Getty Research Institute

/ Plan your visit

Drawn principally from the Getty Research Institute's collection of prints, artists' books, journals, and manuscripts documenting the international concrete poetry movement, this exhibition focuses on the visual, verbal, and sonic experiments of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Featuring works by foundational figures Augusto de Campos and Ian Hamilton Finlay, Concrete Poetry explores how these artists invented new forms such as cube poems and standing poems and continuously re-created their projects across media. Poetry by contemporaries including Henri Chopin, Ernst Jandl, Mary Ellen Solt, and Emmett Williams also plays a prominent role.

BRAZILIAN CONCRETE POETRY

IAN HAMILTON FINLAY

AROUND THE WEB

Avant-Garde Archive | Ubuweb

Extensive archive of sound poetry including work by Hugo Ball, Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos, Henri Chopin, Ernst Jandl, Kurt Schwitters, and Emmett Williams. A tribute to Mary Ellen Solt and her books Flowers in Concrete (1966) and Concrete Poetry–A World View (1968)

RELATED VIDEOS

link to video

REVER | Sesc Pompeia

Video of REVER, the retrospective exhibition of the work of Augusto de Campos, held at Sesc Pompeia in Sao Paulo, May 5–July 31, 2016

Gallery Tours

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m.
March 28–July 27, 2017

Related Event

Related Publications

EXHIBITION BROCHURE (PDF, 1P, 1.3MB)

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST (PDF, 15PP, 1.4MB)

Press Kit

Plan your visit