Open Book: Linda Schrank

Fragments of Light 5

by Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi
Translated by Zahra Partovi
Publisher: Vincent FitzGerald & Co

Sculpture by Linda Schrank


Like stars

The rays of the sun leave the walls.
Every wall becomes black and dark
As the sunlight returns to its post. 
What stunned you at faces of beauty,
Was the sunlight through three-colored glasses. 
Colorful glass shows the light
Thus in many colors to us.
When the glasses of many colors are gone
Thereupon the colorless light will stun you.
Begin to witness now the light without glass
So as when glass breaks, there is no blindness
Contented with your bookish knowledge
Staring at the stranger’s light?
Watch Him steal the light, as you learn
You are a borrower, not a giver of light.



“I prepared to create Fragments of Light 5 by repeatedly reading the poem.  The image of a dark lantern, its interior filled with brilliant light, began to take shape in my mind, and I struggled to find a suitable structure for this haunting image. I chose a black ultra suede for the cover to suggest the lantern’s exterior. For the interior, I decided to use the form of an ancient Chinese slat book where the “pages” were made of bamboo or bark and fastened together with string or rope. I made the inside, including the title and colophon pages, of transparent acrylic slats incised with a laser to create the English and Persian text. The slats are connected by long multi-colored filaments and can be lifted and extended. When the book opens the glowing color of its central core is revealed.  The core and slats reflect the viewer’s hands along with the text.  This is meant to heighten self-awareness, bind the reader to the words and evoke a sense of ritual.  In choosing materials that reflect and capture light my aim was simultaneously to honor Rumi’s words and dematerialize them.”


Edition: 35
Calligraphy: Jerry Kelly
Type: Alcuin (Modified)
Laser: Studio Associates
Binding: Zahra Partovi
Box: Hands on Bookbinding
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2


About the author:

Linda Schrank has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1978. Solo exhibitions include Spazio E_EMME, Sardinia; The Piero della Francesca Foundation; Sansepolcro, Italy; Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC; Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston; Columbia University; Brown University; Fairleigh Dickinson University; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Pratt Institute; the Etruscan Museum, Cortona, Italy; Gallery Spazio Imago, Arezzo, Italy; Galleria Peccolo, Livorno, Italy; Museo della Ceramica, Monte San Savino, Italy; Palazzo Costa, Mantua, Italy; and Margaret Thatcher Projects, NYC.


Her work is included in major private, corporate and public collections, among them the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Boston Public Library; Houghton Library, Harvard University; Library of Congress; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; Princeton University; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Museum of Ceramics,Torgiano, Italy; Museo Regionale della Ceramica, Deruta, Italy; Pratt Institute; Rochester Institute of Technology; American University, Washington, DC ; The International Museum of the Woman in Art, Abruzzo, Italy; The Morgan Library and Museum; The New York Public Library; University of Houston; University of Iowa; Smith College Museum of Art.


Schrank has completed notable special projects and commissions, including a video collaboration with the composer Huang Ruo, at Symphony Space, NY; a commissioned mural at the The AlbornoZ Hotel in Spoleto; and a permanent installation in the Museo della Poesia, Cesa (AR).


She has been awarded residency grants at the American Academy in Rome; apexart International Fellowship, Melbourne, Australia; Moulin a Nef, Auvillar, France; Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India;  Fundacion Valparaiso, Almeria, Spain; Yaddo; Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, to name a few. Additionally she received grants from the Brooklyn Museum; the Brandywine Graphic Workshop, Philadelphia; Pratt Faculty Development Fund; Cuts and Burns Residency, Output Video Production; Ditta G. Grazia ndC., Majoliche Artistiche, Deruta, Italy; Arts Workshop Grant, The America the Beautiful Fund of New York.


Linda Schrank lives and works in New York City and Tuscany.