Note of Thanksby Phong Bui
The truest and most essential painter is the liveliness of fantasy; the first and most essential poet is inspiration, which is co-equal with thought, and by the divinity or divinely-sent influence of which thought becomes due and suitable representation of both. Inspiration is the innermost principle. The philosophers are in certain sense painters; the poets are painters and philosophers, and the painters are philosophers and poets. True poets, painters and philosophers love and admire each other mutually. He is no painter who does not poetize and paint. Therefore it is said not without reason: to understand is to contemplate the figures of our fantasy… He is no painter who does not in some degree poetize and think, and without a certain thinking and painting, no one is a poet.
We feel inspired by the success of our art auction this past February 19 at the Visual Arts Gallery at SVA. Due to the brilliant support of our artist friends (who deeply understand the implications of Bruno’s statement) we will continue to offer our fervent mix of poems and fiction; reviews of books, dance, music, film, and theater; uncompromising political coverage; and of course art reviews, features and interviews on a monthly basis, free of charge to our devoted readership. Needless to say, we’re most grateful to the artists’ humanity and generosity. Like poets and thinkers, they work from inner necessity while guided by ideals of truth; they are relentless in their pursuit of some form of perfection without fear of others. Diderot thought of the artist as an example par excellence of a free individual; we also believe that creative autonomy and independence require both the strictest self-discipline, as well as a ceaseless longing for the advancement of culture.
On behalf of the Rail, I would like to thank Francis Di Tommaso, Richard Brooks, and their amazing staff, including Tyson Skross, Maria Dubon, and Shellyne Rodriguez for allowing us the use of their beautiful space for our benefit during SVA’s very busy exhibition schedule; David Levi Strauss and Suzanne Anker for their firm support from the outset; John Elderfield, Irving Sandler, and Chuck Close, who each gave touching and heartfelt praise for the Rail. And of course, I’d like to thank those who purchased the beautiful works of art. And above all, I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of those whose names appear below:
Peter Blum, George Braziller, John Cheim, Chuck Close, Gabriella de Ferrari, John Elderfield, Ronald and Frayda Feldman, Agnes Gund, Carroll Janis, Werner Kramarsky, Alexander S. C. Rower, Carol Saper, and Julia Shepard.
Board of Directors
Michela Bondardo, Frank Del Deo, Theodore Hamm, Christopher McKenzie, Michael Randazzo, Dorothea Rockburne, Michael Rubenstein, William Ryman, Dan Simon, Michael Straus, and Merrill Wagner.
Marina Abramović, Peter Acheson, Lynda Benglis, Roger Brown, Klaus Bürgel, Maria Bussman, Paolo Canevari, Dawn Clements, Mark di Suvero, Lydia Dona, Jane Fine, Tony Fitzpatrick, Gandalf Gavan, Maria Elena Gonzáles, Tamara Gonzales, Ron Gorchov, Allan Graham, Gloria Graham, Elliot Green, Mark Greenwold, James Hyde, Alfredo Jaar, Bill Jensen, Wolf Kahn, Deborah Kass, Alex Katz, Mel Kendrick, Abby Leigh, Margrit Lewczuk, James Little, Nicola López, Robert Mangold, Chris Martin, Susan Meiselas, Loren Munk, Catherine Murphy, Shirin Neshat, David Novros, Tom Nozkowski, Philip Pearlstein, Bruce Pearson, Judy Pfaff, Ellen Phelan, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Ishmael Randall Weeks, David Reed, Joyce Robins, Dorothea Rockburne, Will Ryman, Katia Santibañez, Peter Saul, Charles Seliger, Richard Serra, Ben Shahn, James Siena, Arthur Simms, Kim Sloane, Kiki Smith, Peter Sullivan, Deirdre Swords, Sarah Sze, Tomas Vu, Dan Walsh, Joan Waltemath, Chuck Webster, Martin Wilner, Terry Winters, Lisa Yuskavage, and Joe Zucker