Now See This

Artist of the Pen

Lloyd Reynolds

By Randy Gragg March 17, 2011 Published in the April 2011 issue of Portland Monthly

MANY TALENTED ARTISTS, and some truly great ones, have made Portland home. But few have been as widely influential as Lloyd Reynolds was in his primary medium: calligraphy. “The horizon can be extended by standing on tiptoe,” Reynolds once brushed into a haiku-like “weathergram.” And over the four decades he taught at Reed College, Reynolds broadened the horizons of such talented students as poets Gary Snyder and William Stafford, screenwriter Ben Barzman, and type designers Sumner Stone and Chuck Bigelow. This month, Reed’s Cooley Memorial Gallery presents a look at the artist in Lloyd Reynolds: A Life of Forms in Art. Equal parts philosophy and art-making, Reynolds’s courses were always overbooked–despite dispute over whether calligraphy belonged in the curriculum (and, for a time, speculation that he was a Communist). Reynolds’s successor went on to influence the college’s most famous dropout—and the most influential design mind of the turn-of-this-century: Steve Jobs. The gallery’s retrospective will present Reynolds’s calligraphy, etchings, puppets, books, graphic design, and even some rare films—in short, an homage to the one-man institution who taught calligraphy, typographer Bigelow recalls, as “a lesson in civilization.”

Apr 5–June 14 (reception Apr 17, 3–7 p.m.). Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.

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