Concrete Poetry: Robert Montgomery's Hammersmith Poem

Geoff Cowart, The Quietus, March 25, 2017

As Robert Montgomery unveils his latest commission at Hammersmith Town Hall, Geoff Cowart catches up with the Scottish-born artist to chat modernism, Malevich, and metaphor

 

What’s black and white and read all over?

 

The answer is artist, poet, and agitator Robert Montgomery’s monumental new installation called Hammersmith Poem. Unveiled this week at Hammersmith Town Hall, the stark fabric of the six-metre-tall poem wraps a glass atrium under the brutalist extension of the building and adds a new dimension – literally – to Montgomery’s work to date.

 

Now aged 45, Montgomery primarily studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art. But as a fan of poets and lyricists ("There’s no one better than Bob Dylan!"), he’s forged a career using the written word. In his early days, he hijacked outdoor advertising spaces by plastering over them with his rants, musings and prose.