Fork, original artwork and manuscript handwritten by Charles Simić (detail) 2007, mixed media on handmade paper View full image

George Nama

Painter, sculptor

One goes back to his images as one goes back to poems that our emotions and our intellect do not seem to be able to exhaust.... he sets traps for our eyes and our minds, Nama does it with the assurance of a master, an artist who has already made many beautiful and memorable works of art over the years.

Charles Simić, American Poet Laureate (200

George Nama has collected, made and painted in books all his adult life. He began his artistic life in 1966 in Paris, making a hand-stitched book about the Métro. He has since created over 100 sketchbooks. Finding books in thrift shops and often making books from found objects sewn together, he paints over the right-hand pages with gesso and then uses the pages to draw and paint sketches of forms and shapes as they float through his mind. These paintings are his response to the text, the flow of handwriting, a fragment of a headline, a name, an object, a dedication. In turn, the drawings trigger further creations of sculptures or etchings.

Nama’s works are figuratively based. Just as his gesso sketches are responses to the books they appear in, so are they responses to the figure. Rather than depicting real objects, they represent something that might exist. Not of course in the sense of a replication of real objects, but rather parts of them (a torso, or a wing), are united with disparate elements, creating figurative responses.

Montauk Series

Devils' Pageant - with Alfred Brendel

Knife, Fork, Spoon - with Charles Simić

Eternities - with Charles Simić