Gerald Coble
Battenville (Greenwich), NY 12834
Greenwich info/map
Wash Co info

Gerald Coble was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1932. The Outer Banks became a strong influence on his early drawing and painting. He moved to New York in 1962, making frequent visits to Italy where he had studios in Florence and in Pomerance, near Volterra. After an extended stay in Italy, in 1971 he moved to upstate New York to Battenville in Washington County where he continues to live and work, returning to Italy whenever possible. His drawings, collages, and constructions are in many private collections in the United States and Europe, and he is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

"Coble is not a classic collagist, not a descendant of Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, or the delicate Anne Ryan. He does not integrate a variety of materials or images torn or scissored from many sources nor does he attach the real, a newspaper, to a drawn or painted world. Most often Coble juxtaposes his materials. He likes space between the various elements so that relationships are formed at a distance. These elements are presented cleanly, without fuss, and are separated by matte board. A frame finishes the collage.

There is room for the viewer's imagination to assert itself. Take the sharpened pencils and stamped postcards in Coble's Proust and Whitman works. These are arranged like military units formed for battle. How many divisions would each employ to achieve his ends? Another reading leads the viewer to consider how much both Proust and Whitman have given us to write home about. Coble limits his means to achieve the poetic compression that expands the possible ends of his art.

  Gerald Coble
photo by Durston Saylor


Beachside Entries/Specific Ghosts
Peter Weltner, Stories
Gerald Coble, Drawings
Five Finger Press, 1990
Available at Amazon and Alibris

Homage to Proust

Ten in the Morning
Gerald Coble, Collages
William Corbett, Introduction & Poems
Pressed Wafer Press, 2004
Available at Amazon and SPD Books

Battenkill Book page 36

Battenkill Book 2
Gerald Coble, Collages
William Corbett, Introduction
Pressed Wafer Press, 2009
Available at Amazon and SPD Books

Botticelli Landscape
Ink Drawing - 1968
Museum of Modern Art
New York

Gathered in this book are Coble's memorials to two sorts of stars. Proust, Whitman, Melville, Dickinson, and Thoreau sit firmly in the Western world's pantheon of writers. Indeed they sit so far above us it is easy to forget that those of us who love their work have a personal relationship to it. Coble's response is of such an individual character - long white gloves and a white thorn branch for Dickinson! - that viewers will be spurred to remember their first ongoing encounters with these generative writers.

Ava Gardner belongs in a different firmament. Being a Tarheel raised in Lucy Johnson's neck of the North Carolina woods, Coble has personal associations with the actress. He is also a passionate moviegoer who knows the value of his enthusiasms. Gardner is a queen, at least in Coble's eyes and my own, who put herself at the service of her subject's imaginations. In return, she expected life in our dreams and that our adoration be uncorrupted by the inevitable vulgar thoughts that occur to those who worship in the dark of movie theatres. My poems were written in response to and not in collaboration with Coble's collages."

- William Corbett

From the Introduction to TEN IN THE MORNING, a book of collages by Gerald Coble with an introduction and poems that accompany the book's Ava Gardner section: Pressed Wafer Press, 2004 (9 Columbus Square, Boston, MA 02116). Work can be viewed by appointment at the artist's studio in Battenville. Phone 518-692-2688 or email to arrange an appointment. All photos on this page and most of the photos on the following pages will enlarge, if clicked. Use your back button to return to the original page.

Small monuments Small Monuments
Wood constructions
Battenkill Book Pages from the
Battenkill Book

Slicker Slicker
Piero Norma Piero Norma
Obligato Obligato
Ava Ava
Other Works Other Works

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