ART IN TIME by Cole Swensen
217 x 175mm, 152 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, 2021
Historically, landscape art has reinforced a sense of human power over nature, but in these twenty lyric essays Cole Swensen addresses a range of artists, from Agnes Varda to Robert Smithson to David Hockney, whose works recognize nature, not as the “other,” not as something out there, but as an intimate and active engagement, encouraging an increased sense of participation in, and reciprocal relationship with, the earth.
In this book, Cole Swensen challenges the tension between land and landscape and the relative relationship of each to “reality”—and her instinct is infallible. She’s a guide, a mentor, a blessing, an event. She explores the thinking behind the works of numerous artists who elevate contemporary culture to our highest expectations. -Etel Adnan
Cole Swensen has published 17 volumes of poetry and a collection of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise. A collection of hybrid poem-essays, Art in Time, from which this piece is taken, will be coming out from Nightboat Books in 2021. Most of her work is related to the visual arts and often addresses landscape and land-use concerns. A former Guggenheim fellow, she has been a finalist twice for the LA Times Book Award and once for the National Book Award and has been awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize, the SF State Poetry Center Book Award, the Sun & Moon New American Writing Award, and the National Poetry Series. She also translates poetry, prose, and art criticism from French and won the 2004 PEN USA Award in Literary Translation. She divides her time between Paris and Providence RI, where she teaches at Brown University.