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Bharat Pant for "The Mountain Eye"

  • SubText Books 6 West 5th Street Saint Paul, MN, 55102 United States (map)

Join us in the store on Tuesday, April 24th at 7:00 PM for a discussion with Bharat Pant for "The Mountain Eye." The work is a dialog between Pant's paintings and the poems of the late John Rezmerski. Book signing to follow!

From Bharat Pant:
This work is a dialog between my paintings and poems of John Rezmerski. We are both transplants in Minnesota – John from Western Pennsylvania, and I from the foothills of the Himalaya in North India.

John and I met more than twenty-five years ago through our common friend—the great
Minnesota essayist and poet—Bill Holm. Bill had the prairie eye: the eye of clarity, the eye of harsh truth. He wrote about the prairie eye and the woods eye in his essay “Horizontal Grandeur” in the book The Music of Failure. One is the eye of clarity, another the eye of mystery and intrigue. Bill’s way of looking at things resonated with me as a way of looking at the natural world. And it informed my desire to paint things both in their stark contrasts and in subtle nuances.

John and I began our collaboration after Bill died in 2009. It started as a tribute to Bill but, as these things go, rapidly evolved along its own logic. We agreed that my paintings would not be an illustration to his poems nor his poems a caption to my paintings, but rather these would comprise a dialog between the two.

The twelve instances of dialog in this book spanned about two years: 2011–2013. John started
with a selection of paintings from my body of work and began speaking to them. But then John’s health began to decline and I did not see him again. I have decided to bring out what we got done together. This dialog speaks to the common truths that John and I carried with us from the Himalaya, Western Pennsylvania, the prairie, and Minnesota. Maybe you will find a little of your own truth reflected here.

About Bharat Pant:
Bharat Pant is a painter and a physicist. Growing up in the Himalayan foothills in North India, he developed a love of nature and for air painting early in his life. He has what he calls his “distant eye” that is reflected in the primary subjects of his works—landscapes or abstractions thereof.

Since 1985, he has lived primarily in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This has been a fortunate choice since this is where he became friends with writers such as Bill Holm and John Rezmerski. Visual arts are well supported in Minnesota and there is a thriving community of artists in Northeast Minneapolis where he has a studio. His media include watercolor, ink, charcoal, and lately, oil. His paintings are in private collections in Minnesota, throughout the United States, and Italy.

About John Rezmerski:
John Rezmerski was a writer, editor, and storyteller who grew up in Pennsylvania and lived in Ohio, Kansas, and in Minnesota from 1967–2016. Published widely in magazines, anthologies, chapbooks and full-length collections of poems (including in 2010, Breaking the Rules: Starting with Ghazals, Red Dragonfly Press), he also participated in dramatic productions as a playwright, director, actor, or magician. He was a member of the Cabaret le Ruse comedy company, and a long-time member of the science-fiction performance poetry group Lady Poetesses from Hell.

His most recent work was a 2016 chapbook about the Minnesota River entitled "Cataloging the Flow: Elegy." He counted as his three most treasured poetry experiences the publication of his first book Held for Questioning, 1969, University of Missouri Press, his appointment to a five-year term as Poet Laureate of the League of Minnesota Poets, and being invited to join the Pine Nuts workshop. For thirty-five years he taught writing and literature at Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minnesota. He won a National Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Riesling Award for science fiction poetry, and the Devins Award.

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