Nancy Tankersley Review

by Kirby Congdon…….

This artist, familiar with the Maryland Institue of Contemporary Art, is active in Baltimore while Paul Gildea has provided a show of of her intimate paintings at his gallery on February 26th. Most of her thirty pieces are quiet interiors, an afternoon at the beach or casual portraits. One scene was located in Paris. One portraits was a cow in a sitting position looking contentedly at us. The title was “In the Clover.” Another was simply of a young person washing her feet, called “Tired Feet.”

We asked Ms. Tinkersley, “Where, in either a public or private way, are you going?” She felt that her overall aim was to “capture the essence of the scene” through observation, giving us a quiet moment in contemporary life. She said, however, that the appeal of history was becoming a new interest for her. She pointed to a new work larger than her usual output. It depicted a large tree to one side that had grown there on its own through the years. Across the bottom of the painting was an abandoned railroad viaduct or bridge. It suggested an era that hd a sense of romance that it had taken on with memory and age. This picture had, again, a quiet aura that her earlier work suggests. This viewer thinks now of Proust’s madelaine dipped in tea. In a country like ours that ceaselessly heralds the new, Ms. Tinkersley’s stance is a refreshing antidote to involuntary distraction, capturing so well so many details we can so easily miss.

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Kirby Congdon
Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action.

Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.

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