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Waler Response

The piece Picture of What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel, "Gravity's Rainbow" 2004 by Zak Smith was outstanding to look at as an installation.

I also viewed the same images in his book but the installation was a much more powerful piece. It covered an entire wall which makes you realize how many images there really are. It also allows you to more easily start to see the underlying story lines. This piece includes more than 750 small drawings, paintings and other forms of mixed media. The images relate to every page of the novel without following the story line exactly. Although these images are done in many different styles and appear not to relate completely, after viewing the installation for some time, you start to create and understand the story lines. Reoccurring figures start to emerge from the piece. Also, the stylistic abstraction of each image makes it very easy to spend a long time viewing these works. Much of his style is very gestural and done with lines. But one the other hand, he has images that are nothing but stick figures or landscapes. He even has a sculptural piece that could only be shown in an installation rather than in his book. Overall, I could stare at all of the very stylized images for hours to only begin to understand what the actually novel is about.


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