Steve Clorfeine's Blog

Correspondence: A note from the curator
March 30, 2015, 2:01 am
Filed under: Correspondence Show


A note from the curator

When I first conceived the project, I was sorting through 7 shoeboxes of letters and postcards that I’d saved since 1962.  Some of the correspondence had continued for 30-45 years and stood in stacks 4-6” high.  Starting in college, a year abroad in Paris, graduate school, another year abroad in Eastern Europe, summers teaching at Naropa University in Boulder, Co., on tour in Europe performing and teaching, studying and teaching in Nepal and India – letters and postcards kept me connected as I shifted place and persona.

What to do with all of this?  I set aside long-standing correspondences as well as family and intimate letters.  The remainder went into a shopping bag to be burned.  That never happened. A few years went by until the idea came that the material could be transformed.  I invited a few artist friends to choose from the collection and create an artwork. Through our mutual enthusiasm the idea grew and I invited more friends – visual and performing artists – near and far. The final group materialized during a residency at Vermont Studio Center this past Fall.  At the same time I began to burn the love letters and most of the intimate correspondence and created a series of ash drawings and collages.

In this project, the correspondence is re-ignited as found text and revealed as an installation site of friendship and discourse.  It moves into a three dimensional present through a process of fabrication and interpretation. 

There is another aspect of correspondence which plays in this exhibition:  what corresponds to what and how.  In the present moment there is ultimate correspondence – things are as they are. We can draw inspiration from the way things are as we perceive their relationships before we judge or interpret.   

Correspondence: relationship across time and space.  Thoughts and feelings across the page.  

When I write to you, I remember you now.  Even before I write your name, you are there – in mind.  We are in correspondence. We tell the news, we write our stories, and the invisible intimacy of our relationship leaves marks in the visible world.

Hands on: pen/typewriter/paper                        



Steve Clorfeine is a performer, writer and teacher with a life-long interest in stories and coincidence. 

Press Release: Correspondence
March 30, 2015, 1:55 am
Filed under: Correspondence Show


Exhibition of Artworks Inspired by Fifty Years of Letters and Postcards on view at Westbeth Gallery May 2 through 17, 2015


Life Vest by Ursina Vogt.

Photo by Christine Alicino

Opening Reception:
Saturday, May 26 to 8 p.m. 

Gallery Talk: Sunday, May 3, 4 p.m

April 2, 2015 — New York, NY:

CORRESPONDENCE presents works by forty visual and performing artists inspired by letters and postcards written to Steve Clorfeine, the creator and curator of the exhibition, over a period of fifty years. The exhibition will be on view at the Westbeth Gallery from May 2 through 17, 2015.

Spanning multiple generations and cultural backgrounds, the artists were invited by Mr. Clorfeine to create works that incorporate selections of original correspondence material into their chosen format and reference the time-honored practice of exchanges of written words and pictures. The art of correspondence–sensory, temporal, tactile, aesthetic, imaginative–is interpreted and presented through a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, collage, video, photography, film, and installation.

Among the works on view are Life Vest by Swiss artist Ursina Vogt, a wearable size 44R vest comprised of love letters written over a period of ten years;Postkart by Andra Samelson that evokes roads traveled and postcards sent; Digitial Cards by Delhi, New York-based artist Bob Rosen that digitally re-forms sixteen material images into a single luminous work; Christoph Zihlmann’s House of Cards, an architect’s rendering that incorporates both private and public information; Hoop by textile designer Birgitte Bush; and Mislaid Memory by Leslie English, a diorama featuring letters, images, and geometric shapes that tells a four-part story.
Steve Clorfeine is a performer, writer and teacher with roots in the downtown New York City dance and theater scenes. He is a two-time recipient of Cultural Envoy grants from the U.S. government and has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and Poets & Writers. He is a founding arts faculty member of Naropa University and a former faculty member at SUNY New Paltz. His poetry and non-fiction have been published by Station Hill of Barrytown, Codhill Press, and Parabola Magazine. Steve lives in New York City and in Kingston, New York.

The project was conceived and developed, in part, during Mr. Clorfeine’s residency fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in 2014. CORRESPONDENCE
represents the culmination of the project.

Featured Artists
Elana Adler, Christine Alicino, Joan Anderson, Theresa Antonellis, Agness Au, Susan Banyas, Barbara Bash, Ursula Brookbank, Brenda Bufalino, Birgitte Bush, Steve Clorfeine, Marilyn Crispell, Jon D’Orazio, Marcello Dolce, Leslie English, Monica Frisell, Aimee Gilmore, Roy Gumpel, Kate Hamilton, Lanny Harrison, Gurmi Lama, Ralph Lee, Cyndi Levine, Elmer Luke, Bob Rosen, Claire Rosenfeld, Marchel Ruygrok, Andra Samelson, Robert Seward, Robert Spellman, Constance Steckel, Louise Steinman, Suzy Sureck, Hiroshi Tachibana, Lauren Turk, Ursina Vogt, Hy Varon, Wilma Vesseur, Lucie Weinberger, Christoph Zihlmann, Jane Zipp.

Westbeth Gallery is a not-for-profit gallery located on the first floor of Westbeth Artists Housing at 55 Bethune Street at Washington Street in New York City. It exhibits the work of resident artists and presents independently curated exhibitions. Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.

Fields: Jazz recording inspired by the book Field Road Sky: poems
March 25, 2015, 1:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Fields, jazz by Stefan Heidtmann and Friends, inspired by Steve Clorfeine’s poetry collection “Field Road Sky”.