Ann Knickerbocker
In my November 2014 annex show, “TAGS,” at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station, California, I exhibited digital prints (photographed by Blow Up Lab in San Francisco) from original mixed media paintings on wood. This series was inspired by the three-stage process on city walls of graffiti (tagging) covered over by blocks of paint (buffing) on which sometimes more graffiti is made. The buffing of graffiti creates a form of abstract art on its own—these resulting rectangles (evidence of paint rollers on the edges) of varied and muted colors are everywhere in every city. The layers, the textures, the overwriting create an art to rival the pentimenti found in action painting. These inspire me, but all the images and graphics in my paintings are my own.

Those paintings were created in a large basement studio in San Francisco. In December, 2014, my husband and I moved from the West to the East Coast. I am now an artist member of the cooperative gallery A3 in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Until we renovate the space for a studio here, I am working in smaller formats.

I have been reading Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters, along with critical and poetic essays (principally by Susan Howe) about Dickinson and her own “publication”: forty small bundles, known as fascicles, copied out in her own script and sewed together.

What was really shocking is how quickly these bundles were ripped apart and spread across the floor. Editors, some with good intentions, some not, changed words, forms and series order to make her poems more conventional; they inked over at least one entire poem, then partial poems, and letters. It would be almost impossible to recover the original life and art of Emily Dickinson, though scholars are trying.

I will work to un-alter the book and life of Emily Dickinson. “MISSING EMILY” is the first piece of book art in that new direction; it was created for the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art's Altered Book and Book Arts Exhibition, a fundraiser taking place in April and May, 2015.