John Furnival


John Furnival
A survey of prints, drawings
and collaborations from the 1960's to today.

England and Co Gallery.
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John Furnival’s prints and drawings connect his antecedents in the Dada and Surrealist movements to his affinities and associations in the early 1960s with the innovators of Concrete poetry, the Beat poets, and the Fluxus and Mail Art movements. Furnival somehow has avoided falling into any one of these specific categories, styles or movements. Furnival’s distinctive métier is ‘primarily one of ironic precision and evocation’: ‘iconic exactness is combined with a spirit of semantic complexity and irony’, somewhat different from the pared down, minimalist poetics of Concrete poetry.

Furnival’s method is a kind of verbal/visual accumulation that takes the reductive qualities of Concrete poetry and subjects it to the accumulative poetics and cut-up collage techniques used by Surrealist and Dada artists in the 1920s and ’30s, and by the generation of Beat poets and writers exemplified by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. Furnival creates his own idiosyncratic system, saying that ‘my whole work has been involved with the making of a moiré pattern of meaning, the laying of one message over another, unrelated one, to produce a third, unrelated to either.’