Monday, June 07, 2010


"And how remote that bare and sunscrubbed room,
Intensely far, that padlocked cube of light
We neither define nor prove,
Where you, we dream, obtain no right of entry."

-  the ending of  the poem Dry-Point by Philip Larkin (1922-1985), quoted from this--> volume

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sylvia Plath, Volcanic Ash and the Black Sun of Poetry

A new word in the vocabulary - the name of a volcano in Island that had turned upside down quite a few plans and even more fumes: Eyjafjallajökull.

I had been searching for poetic references to volcanic ash on google – and I couldn’t find anything worth noting.

Then the realization set in that the approach I had taken was pointless.

I should have formulated my expedition into ash with different parameters – what poetic universe is closer to eruption, annihilation, ash and darkness?

And Sylvia Plath’s poetry seemed a natural answer to this question.

Sylvia Plath, the brilliant student, who committed suicide at thirty and who continues to remain a lighthouse of poetic modernity.

The dance with death is one of the prevalent elements in Sylvia Plath’s poetry.

Death is a continuous presence, an antic choir which holds, in counterpoint, her poetic message, draped in black. 
But the dark shadows in her poems also have a dose of intimacy, as if death were a well-known character:

"I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free -
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet."
( Tulips)

Another salient feature in Sylvia Plath’s poetry  (in my view)
is the contrast of colors in obsessive associations: orange, bright carmine violently interlaced with black in an outburst that reminds us of volcanic lava. And after the onset of the eruption, we can begin to comb through the scoriae of words:

"The austere sun descends above the fen,
an orange cyclops-eye, scorning to look
longer on this landscape of chagrin;
feathered dark in thought, I stalk like a rook,
brooding as the winter night comes on."
 (Winter Landscape with Roots)

Finally, a general note of hopelessness and the submersion into a void:

"The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole ---
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things."
In this desolate universe, there is however one certainty: that the black sun of poetry will rise at dawn.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Opening of "Unmoorings" by Bogdan Luca on June 4th 2010 in Toronto

Bogdan Luca at the opening of "Unmoorings" - June 4th, 2010 in Toronto

  Tea and Heartbreak by Bogdan Luca - from "Unmoorings"

 I arrived at the opening of "Unmoorings" at about 8:30 pm.

First impressions – the faint smell of oil, delicately oozing from the canvas of the paintings. A multi-dimensional harmony of composition, a fluidity of colors cascading from the walls of the exhibition in colours I have never seen before.

Or, if I had seen these colors in previous moments of my life, it’s likely I had failed to understand their meaning up till now. 

Event Horizon by Bogdan Luca - from "Unmoorings"

The palette of “Unmoorings” vibrates in a mix of deep blue, cerulean light blue from Giotto’s panoply, pink, red, white, undertones of lilac and shades of black. And possibly many more hues, filtered, throughout the evening, in a melodic space. 

 Hearts of Oak by Bodgan Luca - from "Unmoorings" 

In “Unmoorings”, Bogdan Luca’ s brush moves in a rhythm held in balance by a temperament full of rigor, out of whose shell an unbridled artistic creativity springs forth. 

 Exploding Rainbow by Bodgan Luca - from "Unmoorings"  

The images of his paintings, of a haunting and wintry beauty, continue to follow me, even as I end this post.

Machine of Desire by Bogdan Luca - from "Unmoorings" 

“Unmoorings” – June 2nd to June 27th, 2010
Wednesday-Friday 12-6 pm
Saturday-Sunday 12-6 pm
1183 Dundas Street West Toronto, ON, M6J 1X3

The exhibition can be viewed on line at 

Thursday, June 03, 2010

“Unmoorings” by Bogdan Luca at “LE Gallery”, in Toronto - June 2nd to June 27th, 2010

 A painting from "Unmoorings": "Bridge"

The visual themes of “Unmoorings” – Bogdan Luca’s art exhibition at the “LE Gallery”, in Toronto, from June 2nd to June 27th, 2010  - converge in a  symphonic and criss-crossed harmony to  provide us with a view into what might be defined as the aftermath of sight and vision.

It’s by no means a safe viewpoint – rather, its author confronts us with a fractured and continuously shifting visual mood, in which planes of shapes move toward the viewer in a gallery of mirrors, funneled through doubts, de-constructing and re-constructing moments and narratives.

“What remains is the subject of "Unmoorings": an infinite negotiation of subjectivities, suggested through works that trundle between abstraction and figuration, image and material, documentation and indeterminacy.” - a quote from the presentation of  “Unmoorings” printed on the  post-card issued on the occasion of the exhibition.

Throughout the paintings, however, a pervasive sense of balance unifies the uncertainties that hold a harsh mirror to reality and self in Luca’s works.

This balance, rooted in the rhythm and sense of purpose of his paintings, provides us with catharsis and levitates us from grief into an emotion of new and original overtones.

Such is the hallmark of great art, and in  “Unmoorings”  Bogdan Luca, takes us into a new realm at the frontier of sight and sign, a realm that could be described in the words of one of  Ted Hughes’ poems: the  “eye’s cold quarantine”.

“Unmoorings” – June 2nd to June 27th, 2010
Opening June 4th, 7 -10 pm
Wednesday-Friday 12-6 pm
Saturday-Sunday 12-6 pm
1183 Dundas Street West Toronto, ON, M6J 1X3

The exhibition can be viewed on line at 

and if you click an image, you can view the whole painting.
I look forward to the opening of this exhibition, whose author is one of the up-and-coming young Canadian artists.

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