Philip Van Keuren was a grad student when I was an undergrad at SMU, and was one of my artist friends during the seventies and eighties -- he was a key influence on me. Philip was mainly a printmaker and sculptor when I knew him.
November 16th, 2009 Glassfire article by Chris Jagers
Philip Van Keuren has mounted a fantastic show of his work on paper from the past forty years (at the MAC). This includes poetry, drawings, photographs and photogravure. Impeccably arranged, the show contains a wide variety of forms and formats, but also an amazing focus over such a long time-period.
The invitation to the show shared a beautiful comment made by New York writer Damian Van Denburg:
"Your poems display a remarkable sensitivity in their descriptions of the physical world, and within so many of them, as I was led along by your unfolding lines, there would come a sudden surprise, an arresting image or thought, that many times sent me back to the start of the line, just for the pleasure of repeating the journey.
The photographer and the poet are seamlessly folded into each other here, and both adhere to your willingness to become as still as what you are observing; to let patience guide you in what you observe and capture in the chosen moments and occasions of your poems. Some of these poems seem to have the upward draft of prayers but all remain securely rooted in the raw materials and elements of earth: a sagacious blending of the secular with the spiritual. Others are nakedly romantic – and all the more unashamed for that."