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Western Practice

Western Practice


“Nervy, desperate, and mysteriously stoic, Motika’s debut is a paean to California’s artists, geography, and history that wrestles with urban diminishment and cacophony every step of the way.” —Publishers Weekly

"If twentieth century California artists established a tradition of speculative innovation, then Western Practice ushers visionary West Coast poetics into the twenty-first. Motika's ingenious ear renders place prosodic; his 'baroque leaps' tender a sprung rhythm that turns history into 'a theory at map's edge.' The 'mystic / gather' of this music gives Motika's ambitious projective praxis visual beauty and structural rigor. Open this book—'crawl inside & lie down against the future.'"—Brian Teare

Shaped by California's cultural and political landscape, Western Practice reflects on the rituals of artistic activity, including an obsessive scrutinizing of the founders of Los Angeles' postwar art scene, from composer Harry Partch to painter Richard Diebenkorn. Stephen Motika's debut collection draws striking parallels between geography and visionary artists' work, creating an aesthetic and emotive topos all its own.