David Robilliard: Notebooks 1983-1988
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Publisher: Rob Tufnell
Rob Tufnell announces a new publication of extracts from the notebooks of the poet and artist David Robilliard (b.1952 – d.1988).
After his premature death from an AIDS-related illness in 1988, Robilliard left a large number of notebooks in the care of his close friend and fellow artist Andrew Heard. These were obsessively filled with drafts of poems, diary entries, addresses and telephone numbers, blunt observations, quiet reflections, short stories, ideas for paintings, portraits and crude drawings. Robilliard’s superficially simple, pithy prose and verse is riddled with the dichotomies of an era that was both exuberant and miserable. His notebooks reveal his creative process, his interests, ideas, ambitions and then his illness but always embody his often repeated belief that ‘Life’s not good it’s excellent.’
Many of the books contain the inscription: ‘If found please return to 12 Fournier Street, London E1. Thank you’ – the home and studio of his patrons, Gilbert & George. In their lament ‘Our David’ (1990) they describe their protégé as:
“…the sweetest, kindest, most infuriating, artistic, foul-mouthed, witty, sexy, charming, handsome, thoughtful, unhappy, loving and friendly person we ever met… Starting with pockets filled with disorganised writings and sketches, he went on to produce highly original poetry, drawings and paintings.”