James McCorkle ’76, who teaches in the First Year Seminar Program and in Africana Studies at HWS, moderated a panel discussion as well as presented a lecture on the work of the painter Wlodzimierz Ksiazek at the Polish Consulate in New York City on Jan. 28.
Widely exhibited, Ksiazek’s works are meditations on exile, time and process; often alluding to archaeological foundations, the paintings are simultaneously complex, monumental and lyrical. McCorkle has written on Ksiazek as well as collaborated with him; most recently they created an artist’s book, “To Be Here, Again,” for a collateral exhibit at the 2009 Venice Biennale.
Part of the evening’s discussions revolved around the process of collaboration and the tensions and reciprocalities between writing and visual art. The panelists included the art historians Richard Brilliant, Dominque Nahas and Linda Norden as well as Ksiazek and McCorkle.
McCorkle’s interests in the connections between the visual arts and poetry extend back to his Honors project with Professor Emeritus Claudette Columbus on William Blake’s illuminated books of poetry, to his writings on the ekphrastic work of contemporary poets such as John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Susan Howe and Derek Walcott, to his own poetry’s conversancy with painting.
McCorkle holds the M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and the Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.