"Sometimes images fail by themselves, especially in postmodern art, to communicate anything comprehensible to the general public... Sometimes words fail by themselves. In this show, words and images come to the aid of each other, aiming to avoid the cartoonish and striving toward some fleeting profundity beyond paint and beyond language."
Known to many for being part of San Francisco's cultural landscape, founder of City Lights Books and Poet Laureate, Ferlinghetti's new artworks affirm his talent as a visual artist, though he does not abandon the written word. Ferlinghetti's paintings convey literary and poetic references, combined with his intimate personal views of the world that surrounds him. Such perspectives cannot be ignored in his paintings, Under the Mirabeau Bridge, and Bagno di Seni. In the former he integrates lines from Guillaume Apollinare's poetry into the background of a beautiful portrait of a woman, and in the latter a tongue and cheek painting of a gentleman bathing in a fantasy tub.
Ferlinghetti earned an M.A. at Columbia University and a doctorate in literature at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. He began drawing from the model at the Academie Julien in Paris in 1948. In the U.S., his paintings have been exhibited at The Butler Institute of American Art, The Whitney Museum in New York, and at the San Jose Museum of Art. The Smithsonian Museum of American Art and the fine Arts Museums of San Francisco recently acquired Ferlinghetti art for their permanent collections.
In Europe, he is a vital part of the rejuvenated Fluxus movement centered on the Francesco Conz Archive in Verona where he has had several exhibitions. He has also had one-man shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp and at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. Ferlinghetti recently returned from Italy where he had a one-man show at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in La Spezia. He will have a major exhibition in Prague in early 2007.
Ferlinghetti is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters.