Everything That Rises Must Converge
By Denise Markonish
(Yale University Press, Paperback, 9780300167702, 128pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
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Unlike many contemporary artists who focus on social or media-related issues, Petah Coyne (born 1953) imbues her work with a magical quality to evoke intensely personal associations. Her sculptures convey an inherent tension between vulnerability and aggression, innocence and seduction, beauty and decadence, and, ultimately, life and death. In her darkly beautiful sculptural installations, she uses unusual and eclectic materials such as hay, black sand, wax, satin ribbons, artificial flowers, white powder, and taxidermy animals.
This handsome book features works spanning the past decade, among them pieces that incorporate literary themes from diverse sources: Flannery O’Connor (who inspired the current book’s title), Yasunari Kawabata, and Dante. Additional works take their inspiration from filmmakers such as Yasuhiro Ozu and Michelangelo Antonioni. The volume includes an interview with the artist and an original short story by A. M. Homes that responds to the themes and narratives in Coyne’s work.
Denise Markonish is curator at MASS MoCA. Petah Coyne is a sculptor who lives in New York City. Rebecca Solnit is an activist, historian, and writer. A. M. Homes is an author of fiction and non-fiction and lives in New York City.