los-angeles

View of “Stan VanDerBeek,” 2014. From left: Poemfield No. 5, 1968; Poemfield No. 3, 1967. Both from the series “Poemfield,” 1965–71.

Stan VanDerBeek

The Box

View of “Stan VanDerBeek,” 2014. From left: Poemfield No. 5, 1968; Poemfield No. 3, 1967. Both from the series “Poemfield,” 1965–71.

Comprising eight films from Stan VanDerBeek’s “Poemfield” series, 1965–71, including two versions of Poemfield No. 1, 1967, and more than two dozen of the artist’s works on paper, this exhibition provided a welcome point of access to one of the late twentieth century’s major innovators of computer-based visual art during a key period of his production. Appropriately, the “Poemfield”films were accorded pride of place, projected side by side in the Box’s large main gallery space.

Each of the films hinges on a poem written by VanDerBeek. Unfolding as associative wordplay and emphasizing the words’ formal attributes as graphic images, these poems were originally arrangements of single words or short phrases in vertical columns on a typewritten page. With the assistance of Ken Knowlton at Bell Labs, VanDerBeek then transferred the poems into code, linking the text’s corresponding

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