DOM SYLVESTER HOUÉDARD edited by Andrew Hunt and Nicola Simpson
Richard Saltoun Gallery / Ridinghouse, 2017 First edition, 157 pp., 9 3/4" X 13" Hardcover
Widely recognized by his contemporaries as one of the leading theorists and outstanding practitioners of concrete poetry, Dom Sylvester Houédard (1924–92) is an unsung intellect of the 20th century. This elegant oversized hardback monograph reinstates the Benedictine monk and artist as an important pioneer in the countercultural and transnational art movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, especially within kinetic and concrete poetry. Presented for the first time in full-color illustrations are an extensive array of Houédard’s spare and highly personal “typestracts”—typewriter works from the 1960s and early 1970s. Houédard’s work is deeply relevant to our digital age and the man himself would have been delighted by the permutational possibilities offered by a tweet, or the visual shorthand of emojis and hashtags. Introduction and essays and interview by curators Nicola Simpson, Charles Verey, Guy Brett and Andrew Hunt on the artist, his work, and his context, as well as numerous writings including an autobiographical statement by Houedard.