In Poses: An Essay Drawn from the Model, poet Genine Lentine develops a flexible and encompassing form for an ongoing inquiry into what we see when we regard the body. Featuring 8 figure drawings by Richard Diebenkorn (courtesy of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation).
Poses dwells in a space between forms, and in fact these pieces feel like spaces, each block of text becoming the rectilinear space of a drawing. The white space between passages of ink creates a rhythm, a sense of time passing, as each piece points toward a different moment of composition – a response to what the model or the world is placing before the writer now.
— Mark Doty
A Note on the Process:
This book took shape over the past decade or so, within the context of figure drawing groups in which I’ve participated in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. I’m especially grateful to Selina Trieff and Robert Henry, whose Friday morning drawing group was a haven for me when I first moved to New York in 2000. I first started coming to their group as a figure model, and sometimes came to draw. One morning, intrigued at the possibility of borrowing some of the conventions of the drawing studio – the timed poses, the focus on the model, the drawing materials themselves – I decided to experiment with writing from the model instead of drawing.
I liked the idea of writing in the spirit of the gesture drawing – responding to what’s in front of me, moving quickly from one pose to the next, and writing on large paper, in pencil. I also found it very grounding to write within the quiet hum of a room of people drawing. In particular, it was a gift to sit in the circle with Bob and Selina, whose asides about drawing and painting felt so tuned to questions I was addressing in my own work. And being able to witness their own studio process, and the commitment they embody, has been a source of subtle and sustaining instruction.
–Genine Lentine, 2012