Selected as one of Artforum’s Best Books of 2022!
The chromatic, linguistically playful, erotic conclusion to Wayne Koestenbaum’s acclaimed trance poem trilogy.
$9.99 – $19.95
Ultramarine distills four years of Koestenbaum’s trance notebooks (2015–2019) into a series of tightly-sewn collage-poems, filled with desiring bodies, cultural touchstones, and salty memories. Beyond Proust’s madeleine we head toward a “deli” version of utopia, crafted from hamantaschen, cupcake, and cucumber. Painting and its processes bring bright colors to the surface. Through interludes in Rome, Paris, and Cologne, Ultramarine reaches across memory, back to Europe, beyond the literal world into dream-habitats conjured through language’s occult structures.
Urges, observations, memories, directions, and aspirations scissor, smear, and echo one another within and between verses demarcated by austere, unbroken dashes. The book is filled with carbonated queries—philosophical, literary, homophonic, ontological—that burst and fizz on ultramarine’s oceanic, auratic surface. When Koestenbaum asks, “Isn’t art / a transcendent category?,” the answer can only be an emphatic yes.