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  • Michael Morris, Paris Letter, 1967, acrylic on canvas, mirror, Plexiglas, 6’ ½” x 10’ ¾”.

    “Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry”

    Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
    1825 Main Mall University of British Columbia
    January 13–April 8, 2012

    Curated by Scott Watson and Michael Turner

    Flickering in and out of fashion since the 1950s, concrete poetry offers a model of interdisciplinary practice that is emphatically transnational and transportable, linking artists and writers in far-flung locales. Vancouver emerged as an international art center during the 1960s, due in part to the efforts of Michael Morris, whose collaborative endeavors—from the Image Bank (an idea-exchange system via the postal service) to the artist-run space the Western Front Society—prefigured current interests in cross-media and networked practices. Featuring more than 150 examples of concrete poetry’s many formal manifestations, “Letters” situates roughly sixty works by Morris—including all eight of his large “Letter” paintings—with prints, ephemera, and books by Henri Chopin, Augusto de Campos, Kriwet, Jirí Kolár, Gerhard Rühm, and others (much of which is drawn from the Belkin’s extensive collection), along with a catalogue containing multiple essays and an interview with Morris.