The Secret Birds: New Drawings by Tony Fitzpatrick
Jul 1, 2014 – Sep 12, 2014
Monday–Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tony Fitzpatrick draws on his talents as an actor, dramatist, poet, and visual artist for an elaborate array of work with Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation this summer. The Secret Birds, a clutch of fantastic creatures of the artist’s own invention, is Fitzpatrick’s final show of drawings before leaving Chicago for New Orleans, where he will study ornithology and natural history at the University of New Orleans. The work is interlaced with poetry, ephemera, and his institutional memory of the city itself: “a bird made from bright planets.” In a multimedia feature, Fitzpatrick discusses these drawings.
This exhibit will be augmented by a performance of the same name, featuring Martha Lavey (Steppenwolf Theater Company) and Frank Orrall (Poi-Dog Pondering) on Thursday, July 31. A corresponding portfolio of drawings and an essay by Fitzpatrick, a tribute to his close friend Lou Reed, will appear in the July/August issue of Poetry magazine (“The Day Lou Reed Set me Free”).
Tony Fitzpatrick was born on the South Side of Chicago, the son of a burial vault salesman. Fitzpatrick was routinely suspended from Catholic School on bad behavior. On those days he would ride along with his father to sales appointments and listen to stories of life and of Chicago. Birds were especially important to Fitzpatrick because, as his grandmother used to say, “For the price of a piece of bread you can hear God sing.”