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Taaffe and Burroughs shooting guns
Taaffe and Burroughs shooting guns

William S. Burroughs and Philip Taaffe, behind the punk club The Outhouse, Lawrence, Kansas, January 31, 1987, Ph. Philip Heying.

The Semiose Gallery presents for the first time to the public the hallucinatory visions of William S. Burroughs and Philip Taaffe, displayed in a series of four-handed drawings.


“No two spirits meet without thereby creating a third force, invisible and intangible, which must be assimilated to a third spirit. "Each collaboration holds for William S. Burroughs the possibility of generating a "Third Mind", a third unpredictable and unpredictable force which transcends the personalities involved. The one he undertook with Philip Taaffe when they met in Lawrence (Kansas) in 1987, and which gave life to a series of four-handed drawings currently presented at the Semiose gallery, joins this order of collaborations. The creative process that leads to the production of this series is less an artistic collaboration in the classical sense than a musical collaboration where the gesture of one responds directly to that of the other, according to a method of composition that one could relate to jazz music or the exquisite corpse of the surrealists.

At the time of their meeting, the author of The Naked Lunch is 73 years old and lives in a remote Kansas home where he can devote himself entirely to painting and drawing, while Taaffe is only at the promising start of his career. painter. Despite the generational gap, the two artists share a very similar vision of painting as a divinatory medium capable of bringing out images belonging to the sphere of the unconscious. Painting is for both an exercise in spiritual quest. With Burroughs, this is expressed through impulsive forms and instantaneous explosions (as in his famous series of shotgun paintings ), while with Taaffe, this meditative work translates into a process of iteration of geometric and controlled forms.

Read full article at artpress.com