Vanderbilt Divinity art exhibit inspired by Rilke’s poetry

drawing of trees
(Ken Procter)

Powdered charcoal drawings by landscape artist Ken Procter that he created in response to a beloved European poet’s work are featured in a fall exhibition at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

“Duino Suite: Drawings Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s First Duino Elegy” is presented by Divinity’s Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture from Oct. 2 through Dec. 4.

“Procter’s technique involves a level of abstraction that allows Rilke’s poetry to take root in unfamiliar soil,” said Dave Perkins, associate director of Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture. “Through the lens of Procter’s deep connection to the landscape of Southern forest, his interpretations of the poet’s words and concepts allow new perspectives on this much loved poem.”

Drawing of night sky
(Ken Procter)

Rilke, whose poetry has become increasingly admired since his death in 1926, wrote the Duino Elegies while staying at Duino Castle near Trieste, Italy. His work continues to be referenced in popular culture on topics that include love, life and loss.

Procter earned the master of fine arts in studio art from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is dean of arts and sciences and professor of art at Georgia College and State University. His art has appeared in dozens of juried, group and solo exhibitions. It is included in collections at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art and the Huntsvilile Museum of Art.

Procter, who is represented by Alan Avery Art Company in Atlanta, has been a regular contributing editor to Drawing magazine since it began 10 years ago.

The gallery is open to the public Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and by appointment.