Elisabetta Gut's Male Muses

Book artist Elisabetta Gut creates works inspired by her favorite writers and musicians, including Igor Stravinsky, Paul Eluard, Franz Kafka, and Frederico Garcia Lorca. Come see the exhibition Books Without Words: The Visual Poetry of Elisabetta Gut, on view through January 16, filled with intricately crafted artist’s book, book-object, object-poems, and collage-poems.

Join us on December 5 for a Family Program to learn how to make your own artist’s book! Artist Elizabeth Schendel will guide participants in creating books using recycled materials. Free for ages 8-12 accompanied by an adult. Reservations required. (Email reservations@nmwa.org or call 202-783-7370)

Elisabetta Gut, À Paul Éluard, 1985; Cardboard, pencil, collage, and spray paint; On loan from the artist

Elisabetta Gut, À Paul Éluard, 1985; Cardboard, pencil, collage, and spray paint; On loan from the artist

Paul Éluard (1895–1952), one of the most important French lyrical poets, is remembered for his love poems written to his three wives, Gala (who left him first for Max Ernst and later for Salvator Dalí), Nusch (who suddenly died after sixteen years of passionate and devoted marriage), and Dominique (who helped him regain hope). Éluard translator Marilyn Kallet has observed, “Éluard wanted his poems to be heard, sung, painted, danced, to be enjoyed to the utmost by his readers.” À Paul Éluard portrays the mystery of love through the random dark forms protruding into the air.

Elisabetta Gut, “Se una profunda tristezza ci ha dato le sue ali” (Da F. Garcia Lorca) (“If a deep sadness has given us its wings” (From F. Garcia Lorca)), 1987; Wood, cardboard, wire, and ink; On loan from the artist

The title of this mobile is taken from the two final lines of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem “Mañana,” 1918. The poem celebrates spiritual power of water and light. Many poems by Lorca (1898–1936) are elegies that evoke the presence and absence of loved ones. “I wanted to express a never ending sorrow after loosing somebody I loved,” says Gut. “I constructed a mobile flower so that the constant movement of the branches could carry on my pain.”

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