Klaus Peter Dencker

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Klaus Peter Dencker belongs to the great tradition of visual poets whose approach includes an encyclopedic dimension. Such is the case with Ian Hamilton Finlay and Tom Phillips, to mention two members of the tradition perhaps more familiar to English speaking readers. A simple example of the encyclopedic approach is Dencker's ongoing catalogues of visual poets.
But more important in the context of this site is Dencker's encyclopedic approach as worked out in his visual poetry. The graphic elements in his poems recapitulate not only the iconography of Europe for several hundred years, but also in the process recapitulate the range of techniques used by artists and designers of all sorts. One of the great satisfactions for me in his work comes from the interplay of techniques collaged together. A simple aspect of this appears in different types of shading in the images, ranging from the cross-hatching, layering, and feathering of woodcuts and stone lithographs, to the gradations produced by photographic techniques for offset and rotogravure printing, to the gradations introduced by airbrushes and now by computer programs. This wonderful confluence of icons and graphic techniques finds a match in Dencker's approach to letters. A page of Dencker's poetry will probably include at least half a dozen type faces, and it seems an interesting bit of serendipity that living in Germany provides Dencker with Fractur type faces as well as Roman and sans serif faces. Just as important is Dencker's hand lettering, which adds a great deal to the interplay of letter forms in his poems.

(Source: Karl Young, http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dencker/dencker.htm)


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Klaus Peter Dencker
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Alvaro Seica