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Concrete poetry’s first manifestation as a distinct, self-aware development took place in early-1950s Brazil. Two groups of Brazilian concretists, the seminal Noigandres (especially the de Campos brothers) and the younger, more demonstrative Poema/ Processo (including Wlademir Dias-Pino), were seen to some advantage in Linguaviagem (which means language/voyage in Portuguese). England also produced a bumper crop of concretists, mostly in the 1960s. The Paterfamilias of British concrete poetry was Ian Hamilton Finlay. One of the touchstone figures in Linguaviagem, Finlay is revealed in the show as a devoted naturalist and, almost as a result, a sculptor—not just creator—of word-images. Several of his fellow UK concretists—notably Ken Cox, almost as formally inventive—accompanied him here. A few Europeans – pioneer Eugen Gomringer, publisher Hansjörg Mayer, and Jiri Valoch from behind-the-Iron-Curtain Czechoslovakia— rounded out this relatively cursory selection of typogrammatizations. Linguaviagem was anything but comprehensive. But its range across continents, forms and styles worked in its favor. Propped up in raw boxes in a tiny space, the works of concrete poetry beckoned brightly and yet mysteriously, their devices and even languages conflating the common and the exotic. It was an appetite-whetter, the perfect amuse-oeil. GREGORIO ESCALANTE, CHINATOWN Moira Hahn: Night of 1000 Fire Monkeys (April 9 to May 15, 2016) Words Shana Nys Dambrot

Moira Hahn is almost too adept at what she does for her own good. Her uncanny ability to recreate the formal, stylistic and technical characteristics of her source materials and inspirations—Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, Persian miniatures, Tibetan devotional thangka paintings—risks obscuring the Pop-infused, cinematic, contemporary Western visual and narrative wit that is the true treasure of her practice. Hahn’s masterfully executed watercolor painting and crisp, radiant printmaking, are dedicated to the portrayal of anthropomorphic animals enacting convincingly authentic historically Eastern tableaux. Giant chickens-of-prey on the attack, primates checking their cell phones, tigers in the trappings of warlords and more cats in kimonos than your Facebook feed, occupy tatami-matted, paper-lanterned domestic spaces in which families feast and frolic, offspring play board games and samurai warriors defend against attack from outsized parrots. Hahn’s exotic, saturated palette, mannerist line work and knack for adding tiny details—lost dice, a fish tail in a kitten’s mouth, a cartoon cat smoking a cigarette, the traditionally misshapen bound feet of geisha 85

Fabrik - Issue 31  

This issue coincides with Fabrik’s Photo Independent Art Fair, and the Month of Photography LA. The photography theme crops up in our covera...