Ruth and Marvin Sackner spent their lives collecting language-based artworks. Over the course of decades, the Miami-based couple amassed over 400 pieces that included artists’ books, typewriter art, sound and performance poetry, mail art and experimental calligraphy, creating the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. In 2016, the entire collection was gifted to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), and now major pieces from the collection are on display as part of a fascinating exhibit.

Titled “From the Truer World of the Other: Typewriter Art from PAMM’s Collection,” the show explores how 15 artists and poets have transformed the typewriter into an artistic instrument to create dreamy optical effects, singular geometric abstractions and rhythmic poetic expressions. Some of the artworks featured in the show include Jeremy Adler’s “Blue Whirl” from 1974, an azure spiral of typewriting on paper mounted on cardstock, and “When the Light Went On,” a nostalgic paper collage with ink, mimeograph, offset text and typewriting, created in 1967 by d.a. levy. Other highlights include South African artist Willem Hendrik Boshoff’s “Untitled,” from 1980. Part of the Kykafrikaans series, the piece consists of a dark blur of typewritten letters that become legible as the eye shifts to the right.

Through their works, the 15 artists were able to use the precision of the typewriter to defy its physical limitations and create a new form of conceptual art.

“From the Truer World of the Other: Typewriter Art from PAMM’s Collection” runs until April 29 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

Featured image: Boshoff Kykafrikaans, 300.