Sarah Plimpton

When I first started to write poetry I was living in Paris. I had a friend who was combining poetry and art to make artists’ books. It seemed to me that this was the perfect marriage of 2 disciplines. I was already painting but it wasn’t until I returned to New York City that I took a course in printmaking and letterpress printing that I began to make my own books. I don’t try to illustrate the poems that I write. I draw all the time – abstract shapes – squares, triangles, circles, arrows, flat shapes, round shapes, letters – an abstract vocabulary. I prepare the images that I will use, aquatints, woodcuts, or silkscreen, and then match at the last moment the illustrated page to the print, an abstract image with words.

It is the balance of forms that interests me. How they interact and push at each other. How they separate leaving the energy of empty space left behind with words or not. One line or a circle on a page can have a force, – early pre-historic art with with its simplicity and directness has always appealed to me and the force of that work has been a major influence.

Sarah Plimpton was born in New York City and lives in Tarrytown, NY. She attended Smith College, Harvard Medical School, and Pratt Institute in Manhattan. She lived in Paris from 1962 until 1982. She works in several media; oil painting, printmaking, and artists’ books, and is also a poet. Two Galleries show her work regularly: June Kelly in New York, and Ute Barth in Zurich. She has published two books of poems: The Noise of the Rain, L’Autre Soleil (bi-lingual edition), and a novel: Hurry Along. Her artists’ books are in such public collections as The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sarah Plimpton’s Website


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