OBELISCOLYCHNY

Oxford English Dictionary: 

Obeliscolychny, n.

Etymology: <Middle French obeliscolychnie (Rabelais, 1548-52) <ancient Greek όβελιοκολύχνιον a spit used (by soldiers) as a lamp-holder < όβελίοκος OBELISK n. + λυχνίον lamp-stand (see LYCHNIDIATE adj.)

Obs. rare. 

A lighthouse: a lamp-bearer. 

detail, Obeliscolychny

The final state my etching Obeliscolychny is now completed and can be seen on my website. It will ultimately become the visual component of a limited edition artist’s book that will attempt to bring together the image with the texts from which the ideas that inspired it were derived. 

“Obeliscolychny?” you may be tempted to ask. 

And with good reason. Arguably one of the most obscure and rarely used terms to be found in literature (or anywhere else), but with, perhaps, undue influence relative to its obscurity, obeliscolychny was invented/appropriated by Francois Rabelais (@1483-1553) and used in books IV and V of his sprawling tales of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Possibly derived from Aristotle’s Politics, which used it to describe a kind of spit used by soldiers to hang lamps on as a metaphor for…well, something or other, it acquired the meaning somewhere along the way of a lighthouse in the form of an obelisk. 

Centuries later, Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), poet, playwright, critic, puppeteer, and subverter of objective reality, discovered the word while reading Rabelais and became enamored with it, using it (pataphysically, of course) in several of his novels. That these works tend to be as convoluted and recondite as the origins of obeliscolychny itself is part of what provides grist for the mill of this project. 

We are expecting the book to be completed soon, and are aiming for an opening event in mid July, so please stay tuned. Below are listed my most recent exhibitions.

Purchase Award, Ink, Press, Repeat 2013; 1/21 to 2/15/2013, Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts, William Patterson University, Wayne, NJ (Jacob Lewis—Pace Prints Chelsea).

Lindquist  Purchase Award, 2013 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition; 1/17 to 2/20/2013, Bradbury Gallery, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR.     (Anne Coffin-IPCNY). 

Man, Machine and Nature; 1/17 to 3/1/2013, LA Print Space, Los Angeles, CA.

New Prints 2012; 2/1 to 3/9/2013, Visual arts Center, University of Texas at Austin, TX.

34th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition; 3/9/13 to 4/20/13, Bradley University Galleries, Peoria, Il. (Stephen Goddard—Senior Curator, University of Kansas Kress Foundation).

24th National Drawing and Print Competitive Exhibition; 4/2 to 2/26/13, Gormley Gallery, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, MD. (Amy Cavanaogh Royce).

26th Annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition; 3/21 to 5/9/2013,  Ambercrombie Gallery, Lake Charles, LA. (Claudia  Schmuckli).

The New York Society of Etchers 3rd National Exhibition of Intaglio Prints; 5/20 to  6/7/2013, The National Arts Club, NY, NY. (Dr. Leonard Moss and Dr. Muriel Moss).

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