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Elizabeth King, Idea for a Mechanical Eye,1988-90, Cast acrylic, carved wood, brass, springs.

10¾ x 2¼ x 2¼ inches including stand; eyeball diameter ⅞ inches, eye, eyelids, and socket independently movable. Eyeball made in collaboration with ocularist Earle C. Schreibe

Dear Readers,

In the Summer issue of The Art Section, we present three dialogues with artists who have been working in their chosen medium for more than several decades.

Martha Whittington’s sculptural work in wood, metal, felt, and leather is material oriented. In her dialogue with writer Robert Stalker, she reveals a story about making a knife from a broken discarded hacksaw and popsicle sticks when her brothers received knives as gifts, but she did not. Tools play a big part in the installations that she is making currently, most recently a series of wood forms that emulate tools. The transformation of materials into forms drives her art.

Nicolette Reim is a published poet who has been making visual art for decades, primarily works on paper, and has described herself as a “drawer.”  Her poems are very visual; the language she uses cites color and form. Her conversation with poet Amy Gordon for TAS focuses on her recent work composed of text in richly saturated colors. These compositions are collaged; they are cut, torn, and reassembled to create visual poems for the eye to absorb.

Sculptor Elizabeth King told her students not to discard early work as so to be able to “have epiphanies later” in their lives as artists. King speaks about her own early work, Theatre, 1972-3, in which the viewer sits in a chair and a red box closes around the viewer’s head to constitute a small theatre. Speaking about this work, King says “if you are not too claustrophobic after about 40 seconds a series of events will occur.” This concern with theatricality is reflected in the animation of her own sculptures and her recent book with W. David Todd, Miracles and Machines: A Sixteenth-Century Automaton and Its Legend, about a 16th century automaton that is a sculpture of a monk. Philip Auslander, who writes about performance and theatre, converses with King about her book, her sculptures and films, and the sources that have led to her ideas and art.

The Art Section appreciates these artists and writers whose dialogues open passages into the art. It is meaningful to read about the artists’ use of medium, form, and language as they reflect on their decades-long investigations and experimentation.

Many thanks,


Deanna Sirlin


The Art Section

DS by EB.jpg

Deanna Sirlin is an artist and writer from Brooklyn, New York currently living and working outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She received an MFA from Queens College, CUNY where she studied with Robert Pincus-Witten, Charles Cajori and Benny Andrews. She has received numerous honors, including a Rothko Foundation Symposium Residency, a grant from the United States State Department, a Yaddo Foundation Residency and a Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Award for its Art Writing Mentorship Program. Sirlin is currently an artist in residence for the Midtown Alliance and Emory University.

Deanna Sirlin

Photo: Emma Brown

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