Text art can be 1daful. Okay, that was cheesy, but you get my point. For the purposes of our “Poetic Art” week, I differentiate between word and text art because they represent different ideas. Generally, word art is more literal and obvious, while art with random letters tends to be a little more conceptual. Here are three exemplary artists to put it all in conTEXT (what is wrong with me today?).


Jamie Plensa

Jaume Plensa


You may have seen Jaume Plensa’s works in public gardens and parks internationally such as Chicago, New York, Venice, Germany, Spain, and the U.K., to name just a few. This Barcelona-born artist’s works are also part of many private and museum collections. He is definitely considered a conceptual artist, but he has a great respect for process and graphics. Most of his themes seem to explore language and dialogue in some fashion. Some of his sculptures, like Echo, Chloe, or other heads you may have seen around evoke more of a quiet, almost meditative response. However, his letter sculptures, such as Mirror and Overflow, in the New Orleans Museum of Art Sculpture Garden, are all about dialogue, conversation, and communication. Something about his art, regardless of medium, is Zen-like and always completely captivates me.


Galerie Lelong
528 West 26th Street
New York City



Alighiero Boetti


Boetti was an Italian artist who worked in a variety of media including paint, embroidery, sculpture, and postcard art. He employed written language to examine human characteristics, formulas, and patterns. Though influenced by numerous literary movements, he focused on 16-letter-word combinations when he created his first embroidered works. Thereafter, he explored all sorts of orders throughout the years. What makes the work so special is the very intentional combinations of individual colors, letters, and shapes. These features, along with the detailed execution, result in beautiful, smart, and provocative visual poetry.


Gladstone Gallery
515 West 24th Street
New York City


David Korty Gold Vessels

David Korty


David Korty is a Los Angeles artist who is really best known for his abstract cityscapes. Nonetheless, it is his alphabet ceramics that recently caught my attention.  Influenced by David Hockney, Korty likes turning the benign into something memorable. It seems he is experimenting with different styles and media but always exploring language in some way. The alphabet vessels could prove to be a one-off. Nonetheless, they maintain that common Korty thread of transforming familiar objects and places into exceptional visuals with multidimensional interpretations. And, to bring it back to basics, his ceramics happen to be quite exquisite.


Wallspace Gallery
619 West 27th Street
New York City

Sadie Coles
62 Kingly Street
+44 20 7493 8611


Xx Lottie Dottie