Fall Arts Picks, Visual Arts

Kurt Vonnegut’s Works on Paper & Kimberly Butler’s Banned Books

When: Thu., Sept. 8, 6-10 p.m. 2016

There’s an odd simplicity to the hand-drawn illustrations littered throughout the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, matching the author’s straightforward style. In a 1980 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ journal Transactions on Professional Communications, the writer best known for darkly satirical works like Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle offered up a bit of advice to all aspiring artists: Keep it simple.“Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long,” wrote Vonnegut. “Joyce, when he was frisky, could put together a sentence as intricate and as glittering as a necklace for Cleopatra, but my favorite sentence in his short story ‘Eveline’ is this one: ‘She was tired.’ At that point in the story, no other words could break the heart of a reader as those three words do.” This philosophy extended into Vonnegut’s illustrations. Almost childlike in nature, they still manage to communicate the knotty logic of his work. Starting Sept. 8 and running until Oct. 30, original signed prints of Vonnegut’s drawings will be on display at Pulp Gallery. In addition to that exhibition, the gallery will also be featuring a series of intimate photographs by Kimberly Butler that interpret the words and images of books that have fallen prey to censorship in the past. Touching on famous works such as Huckleberry Finn and 1984, Butler photographed local nude models. Shot in stark black and white, each photo depicts its subject naked, painted in the controversial words from the written works they celebrate. Pieces from both exhibitions will be available for purchase. —Dustin Waters

Price: Free

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