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March 19, 2022April 16, 2022

High Low
3301 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO United States

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Beginning in 1998 and continuing as part of her ongoing work, Vermont State  Poet Laureate Mary Ruefle has produced a series of altered books from which  she creates poetic texts in a process called “erasure,” which Ruefle has defined as an act of “creating a new text by disappearing the old text that surrounds  it.” Using correction fluid, markers, and gouache, and often incorporating  collaged found images, the original texts are partially covered over to reveal  new and surprising voices, phrases, narratives, and fragmented poems.

Extending the Modernist project that includes the collage artists Hannah Hoch,  Joseph Cornell, and Alexander Rodchenko, Ruefle’s postcard collages, altered  books, and erasures blend images and text, creating new poetic artifacts that  establish a counterpoint between verbal and visual syntax. Publishers Weekly, in a  starred review, described her book of erasures, A Little White Shadow, as containing,  “haiku-like mini-fables, sideways aphorisms, and hauntingly perplexing koans.”

Widely recognized as a major figure in American poetry, this is  Mary Ruefle’s first solo exhibition of her visual work.

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