Cycle

Photo of Matthew Langley's studio with the large painting in process that is mentioned in the interview; Unfinished, 2020, 60 x 96 inches

The first flakes of snow of the year have arrived earlier than usual to our corner of the northeast. Although they are unlikely to blanket the land they are a reminder of the cycle of the year and, indeed, the larger cycle of time. All things that begin will end and all things will return in their way. The snow we saw last year will not be the same, but there will be snow again. The warm sun of summer will once again shine down although it – and we – will be different then.

Sarah Lawson and Lee Norton are part of the Ugly Duckling Presse Collaborative in Brooklyn. When the lock down began in March they had been away from the studio for some time but both found their way back and moved toward a more regular schedule of collaborative studio work. Along with their other collaborators, they work with yearly apprentices who they were able to keep on to keep things moving even as ways of working changed during the pandemic. Their mission is publishing – mainly books of poetry, poetry translation, experimental non-fiction, performance texts and books by artists. They put out 20-25 titles/year and have a volunteer editorial collective that selects the books and assists with the process. The small staff includes Lawson who is the publicist and Norton who works in development and they share the day to day tasks of running a publishing company. The collaborative has just celebrated its 25th year. To hear more about their work, listen to the complete interview.

Matthew Langley spoke to us in May of 2020 and again just now at the end of October. Throughout the pandemic he has been able to get into the studio four or five times a week in a building that is closed to visitors and has strict safety protocols for those who hold space there. He finds this studio time a much needed escape from the atmosphere of pandemic and political talk in which we find ourselves. Langley screen prints, paints and runs a zine. Most recently he has been back to working on paper paintings of large format color field work as well as smaller daily sketch paintings. At the moment Langley is finishing up an exhibition at Calloway Fine Arts in Georgetown, DC and also has work on exhibition at KW Contemporary in Maine. To hear more about his work, the exhibitions and more, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

All things will pass and come around again in their own time. It is a comfort to remember this and know that we are one small part of the cycle of time.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Ugly Duckling Presse Collective publishes books that might not find a home in traditional publishing. Matthew Langley has been escaping talk of politics and pandemic in the spy novels of John Le Carre.

Deadlines

Land Art Mongolia is accepting submissions for their 6th biennial to be held July 21 – September 24, 2021. The theme of this edition is A Nomadic Horizon and the biennial will be structured into sub-thematic parts: The New Horizon, From Countryside to Urban Spaces, Sustainable Tools and The Sacred Gobi (at the origin of the World). To learn more about these themes, and for more information, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is November 30.

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