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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Suze Bienaimee

I am an artist, poet, birdwatcher, chocolate magician, lover of all things New York City and collector. Wishbones, marbles, my children’s books, hand-blown glass perfume bottles, butterflies, red glass, found rocks — these are the threads of a lifetime of collecting. Now I collect artist monographs and poetry, primarily by living artists and poets. I focus on the traditionally marginalized: women, LGBTQ and people of color. I love artist books, chapbooks, broadsides, bookplates and artists who work in more than one medium. I have selected three of my favorite multi-talented living artists for “Grolier Collects”: Molly Peacock (poet and non-fiction), Sarah Plimpton (painter, poet, printmaker), and Patti Smith (poet, musician, performer, memoirist, fine artist). Their common artistic thread is their celebration and combination of words and fine art.


The Analyst: Poems.

Molly Peacock. New York, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017.

Molly Peacock's poems in The Analyst honor the heart’s challenges to rebuild and find their way to peace and joy after tragedy as her analyst transitions to painting following a disabling stroke. Poetry and painting are also celebrated in Molly’s inscription: For Suze — for what painting says to poetry and how poetry speaks back… I cherish this as well as The Analyst, for what they say about the larger interplay of creativity in poetry and art. It doesn’t get any better. 


The Noise of the Rain: Poems with Drawings and Illustrations.

Sarah Plimpton. Rhinebeck, New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 2016.

This is a book of Sarah Plimpton’s poetry and drawings; I find both sublime in their execution, synergy and sparsity. Her vision of relationship is very satisfying to me — she is concerned with the visual and the paradox in both mediums. In her drawing, I enjoy looking at the white lines — size, shape placement and their rhythm with the black. In her poem WHITE NIGHTS, she writes: swollen minutes/ give more time/ an endless day…


Strange Messenger: The Work of Patti Smith.

Patti Smith. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The Andy Warhol Museum, 2002.

Patti Smith is best known as a poet, musician, performer and memoirist, but she is also a fine artist. This is a catalogue from her exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum. I love her almost calligraphic drawings, portraits and self-portraits; they have an intimate and confessional nature. What is clear to me is her joy in words, the visual and the creative process — all are important to her, as they are to me.