Spring 2019 Opening Receptions

The reception for both Koo Kyung Sook: Markings and The Collages of Douglas Blazek will be on Thursday, Feb. 7 during 5 to 8 p.m. Parking for the reception is free with this printed parking pass.



Koo Kyung Sook_Markings 18-4
Markings 18-4 2018 (detail)
relief woodcut and collage
38.75 x 229.5 inches

Koo Kyung Sook: Markings

February 7 - May 17, 2019

Koo Kyung Sook: Markings comprises multiple series of works that seek to present the experience of human life. Koo began working with this theme after undergoing medical treatment in 2004. As a result of all the body scans from her treatment, she began to understand how intricate the body is as a biological collaboration between the visible and the invisible in order to maintain the life of the body. As an organic structure, the physical body continuously evolves in a dynamic interaction with its environment. This continuous flow offers Koo significant insights to the complexity of biological, psychological and emotional flux. The duality between the internal and external as well as the physical and spiritual is evident in her creative process. 

Koo does not have any particular images in her mind when she starts her work. Instead, she makes hundreds of improvised marks with everyday substances, such as bubble wrap, tinsel-like fabric, plastic bags, and a wig. She then, follows her intuition in the process of constructing, discovering, and reconstructing the selected marks to join them together to create figurative images. As a result, the energy of the life force is generated by these complex structures of markings. In Koo’s work the markings are analogous to the essential elements of the body such as water, lymph, cells, veins, and blood. By manipulating the impressions that are cut and carved in wood blocks, and then moving oil ink fluidly on the woodcut surface, her marks convey an awareness to tangible and intangible forces. Koo experiments with traditional and contemporary printing technologies as well as a range of media including photography, painting, and collage, and combines them all into her multi-media process. 

This exhibition features 19 large-scale works, including one collaborative painting, two digital prints, and 16 relief woodcuts created since 2014. The most recent works span approximately 20 feet in length. They are constructed from recycled fragments of woodcuts. Through a painstaking process of subtraction, addition, pushing, and pulling, the contrasting opposites of yin-yang emerges. Koo’s Markings not only allude to her desire for life, growth, struggle and survival, but also becomes the viewers’ desire to celebrate their own lives and surroundings.



The Collages of Douglas Blazek

Curated by James D. Fox
February 7 – March 30, 2019

Douglas Blazek (born December 31, 1941) is a prolific and widely acclaimed poet. He has lived in Sacramento since 1969. During his sixty-year career, he has published more than fifteen hundred poems, which have appeared in over five hundred journals and a dozen books. He has edited a subversive literary magazine (Ole) and created an alternative small press (Open Skull).  He published important new works by Charles Bukowski, d.a.levy, and Robert Crumb when few others were willing to do so. He is recognized as one of the central figures responsible for the Mimeo Revolution, which sprang up in the 1960s and 70s as part of a transformative effort to move control over poetry publishing away from academic and commercial presses to the artists themselves. The Mimeo Revolution has been described as a course correction for the culture dedicated to “making poetry dangerous.”1  

For the past thirty years Blazek has been immersed in the unparalleled and enormous literary undertaking of writing new poetry and rewriting all of the original versions of his poems. His complete life’s work is now being published by Edition Muta. Concurrent with his poetic output, he also has been producing complex and mysterious collages that are just as dangerous as his literary works. Until now he has chosen to withhold these collages from public viewing. This exhibition reveals them to the public for the first time. Blazek has said little about his reasons for keeping them private.

February 28, 2019

Douglas Blazek will give a reading of his poetry and discuss his collages at 2:30 p.m. in the University Library Gallery. The event is free to the public. For more information, contact James Fox at james.fox@csus.edu.