The Coup de dessin series

This is the collective title for a series of five small watercolors which were suggested by the text and layout design of Stéphane Mallarmé’s famous 1897 poem, Un Coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard (A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance). 

During his last years of productivity Mallarmé devoted much of his time to the placement of printed text, trying to find a way to reflect the elusive—even absent—content of the poem by encouraging a non-linear reading of the words as they appear in unexpected combinations on the printed page.

Because of its prophetic embrace of non-representational visual design, Mallarmé’s poem has been acknowledged by numerous abstract artists, and has even been re-printed with non-objective “illustrations” by such artists as Robert Motherwell and Ellsworth Kelly. So my own paintings refer not only to the idea of Mallarmé’s work, but also to its visual legacy.