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Paul Bartlett Ré (pronounced Ray) is an American artist, writer, poet, and peace worker. He is known for his book THE DANCE OF THE PENCIL: Serene Art by Paul Ré, his widely shown traveling exhibit of TOUCHABLE ART FOR THE BLIND AND SIGHTED, and most recently for the Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize administered by the University of New Mexico Foundation.
Ré has been acclaimed by art critics as "a virtuoso of the pencil" for his art of "quiet greatness and noble simplicity." http://www.paulre.org/dance.html, Writing in the 23 February 1974 edition of THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Alfred Frankenstein says that "He (Ré) is a virtuoso of the pencil, which he uses entirely for tonal modeling, and with incredible delicacy and refinement." Echoing this, John Marlowe writes in the 22 March 1974 issue of ARTWEST "(Ré) is genius...His white and gray drawings of animals from countries of his mind are fascinatingly displayed...They're of birds, snakes, fish, and combinations thereof. The near geometric, but perfectly natural balance of the mythological have a cut crystal quality...the tranquility of beasts that seem forever silent, the dignity and simplicity of curves...all quietly and confidently add up to an imaginative, individual art that makes Ré an important influence at an age when he should be trying to figure out what to do with his life." Fast forward, and Editor Gwen Roath writes in the November 2003 issue of STEPPIN' OUT NEW MEXICO about Ré's DANCE OF THE PENCIL, “The pictures seem to have a rhythm in their grace, to dance upon the pages. They also have a rhyme, like poetry, calling up ethereal themes. Some are so graceful, so satisfying, they leave me breathless in wonder and awe-struck. This book is truly magnificent, a must for art devotees and those seeking a simpler, more serene life.”
Among Paul's inspirational sources we find: the archeological, cultural and natural richness of New Mexico and the South-West of the U.S.; a deep naturalism anchored in his scientific studies; and a spirituality cultivated through direct contact with the Eastern monastic tradition of yoga and decades of the practice of meditation. His work combines surrealist reminders with concepts coming from advanced physics. The seamless integration of the complexity of technique results in a striking meditative simplicity.
Ed Garman was a member of the Transcendental Painting Group of the 1930's which was co-founded by Raymond Jonson. In his 7 March 1997 letter to Paul Ré, Garman states: "Your book arrived here in perfect condition. What a wonderful gift it is. Several of the plates took me back to 1978 when Jonson and I reviewed your exhibit at the Jonson Gallery. I can still remember Jonson's exclamations of delight and my own echoes of similar appreciation. Such fine work! We, Jonson and I, discussed the problems of simplicity and I think at the time I coined the word "simplexity" as appropriate to your art. A word that I feel is still very apt in defining your art. Neither simple nor complex but finding a dynamic equilibrium which finds a vital balance just like our life forces." http://www.paulre.org/art.html
And Dennis Wepman writes in the Third Edition of CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC ARTISTS in 1988, referring first to Ré's TOUCHABLE ART, "The singular purity of his simple, highly stylized designs gives them a unique place in modern art. Even the paintings and drawings Ré has done for the sighted exhibit a subtly tactile feeling, the extraordinary sensitivity of their line and composition appealing with a haunting directness. They are, according to Ann Newell (in the catalog to the 1978 exhibit of Ré's work at the Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico Art Museum) 'the result of a way of life. The many facets of this artist are daily polished by the world in which he lives--a world of music, poetry, yoga and meditation.' The artist himself expresses his perception of his work directly in his statement for his 1981 exhibit at Baxter Gallery of the California Institute of Technology: 'My art is a kind of meditation. It is peaceful and pure; only the essence, no distracting of superfluous elements are presented. Its aim is to help quiet and uplift the viewer.'" (Dennis Wepman is the former Cultural Affairs Editor of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS and the author of 15 books on history and art.)
Ré's 2001 exhibit at the Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico Art Museum, entitled "Shaping Serenity", opened 2 weeks before September 11th. In his 7 October 2001 review in the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, Wesley Pulkka writes “I was struck by the quiet quality of Paul Ré's exhibition at the Jonson Gallery. Ré seems to be a reincarnated member of the Transcendental Painting Group. Elegant rhythms from the dance of life inform all of his work. With images ranging from snowflake delicacy to the implication of solid three-dimensional sculpture, Ré examines and stylizes nature. With a background in physics, Ré blends a love of nature with a mathematically precise sense of form...THE DANCE OF THE PENCIL was published in 1993 to document his evolutionary development. The book chronicles his body of work that grew from realism toward a search for the essential elements of form that make up a deer, bird, tree or human being. His well-crafted works are naturally graceful and tend to be crucibles of spiritual and intellectual discourse. From cut paper flames to an analysis of bird wing beats in "The Dance of the Hummingbird Wings", Ré brings intelligence and draftsmanship to abstraction. In his ink drawing "Moon Flame", searing brightness manifests from absolute black. It was executed with the belief that positive visual art echoes across time and space to uplift consciousness. Ré's collection is a skillful blend of science, mathematics, aesthetics, mythology and spiritual discipline. Jonson would have been proud of this show...Ré's vision discovers balance and true understanding of the inherent order in the universe.”
Thus, beauty and peace are the preeminent values in the life and work of Paul Ré. This includes the beauty of hand work and intellectual research in the rational structuring of reality, the peace of immersion in the intricacies of nature and in the inexpressible, and the peace humans find in their social engagement.
In 2007, the University of New Mexico (UNM)established a bi-annual peace prize named after Paul Bartlett Ré honoring his commitment and work for promoting peace around the world. Marcus Price, Professor of astronomy and emeritus Dean of Graduate Studies at UNM, said, “The Ré Peace Prize enriches UNM and does a great thing for the state and beyond.” http://www.unmfund.org/2012-paul-r%C3%A9-peace-prize In 2012, the pool of eligibility for the award was increased to include all UNM alumni, a group of about 160,000 individuals in 129 countries. The Ré Peace Prize has been endowed to operate in perpetuity.
Paul Bartlett Ré was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the U.S.A. in 1950. His father, of Northwestern Italian origin, was a wood-worker who clearly instilled within Paul the passion and value for work done with one's own hands. Paul's mother, of English descent, inspired him with a love for words, humor and peace. Valedictorian of his high school, Ré went on to earn a BSc in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1972, graduating with honors (fifth in his class). To the amazement of many, Ré then decided to become an artist where he could employ his training in the sciences and ability in visual and hand work. He planned to live simply and quietly, close to nature. In her feature article on Ré entitled, "Expressing the Art in Science", which appeared in the August 1989 issue of the CALTECH NEWS, Winifred Veronda quoted Paul, "I was deeply moved by the beauty and harmony that can be found in mathematics and physics. But gradually I came to realize that I should use those disciplines, not as a research scientist, but as a visual artist." With his love for simplicity, Ré selected as medium one of the most humble and basic, yet sophisticated visual tools, the drawing pencil. In his speech for the 2010 Paul Ré Peace Prize Reception, Paul relates, "I chose to work with the graphite pencil because of its precision and the subtlety obtainable in long tonal graduations. This diversity of grays reminds one to look for the in-between, or third way, in seeking solutions to the challenges of life."
Ré started exhibiting in California and New Mexico during the 1970s. Since then, he has had 22 solo exhibits in 13 states, including those at the UNM Jonson Gallery, Albuquerque Museum, Triangle Gallery, Wichita Museum, Sumter Gallery, J. B. Speed Museum, the Colorado Springs Museum and the Karpeles Museum.
In 1979, Ré created the embossing works which gave a tactile form to his visual creations and the resulting exhibition “TOUCHABLE ART: An Exhibit for the Blind and the Sighted” traveled in the United States and into Canada from 1981 to 1994. The exhibition, with 18 showings, was met with great success and a handmade, Thermoformed companion volume with braille and text was produced in 1983. Blind students have responded to his art in these words, "made my skin and bones real excited" and "trailing along the wall and feeling the embossings was a warm, human experience come to life". Another student commented, "I imagined that what touched the embossings was my heart pumping." A documentary film on his Touchable Art was produced by SCETV in 1990. He is now making a second tactile exhibit INSPIRED BY NATURE which is dedicated to environmental conservation.
In 1993, the volume "THE DANCE OF THE PENCIL: Serene Art by Paul Ré” collected and chronicled the development of Ré's work up to that date. Writing in the Fall 1994 issue of THE JOURNAL OF THE PRINT WORLD, Dennis Wepman states “The New Mexico artist Paul Ré, perhaps best known for the remarkable embossings which addressed the sense of touch as well as that of sight, has ascended new heights with the publication of his long awaited volume THE DANCE OF THE PENCIL. An immaculately produced collection of Ré’s graceful imagery, it traces an extraordinary career in art from his early quasi-surrealist drawings to recent abstractions that are almost unearthly in the purity of their form. Ré’s early works foreshadowed the haunting simplicity of design that was to become his hallmark. He integrates the aesthetic and the intellectual and uses art as a spiritual exercise. THE DANCE OF THE PENCIL contains examples of work from every stage of Ré's career: complex, precisely detailed symbolic drawings of the "Growth Series" with echoes of primordial antiquity and a suggestion of Hopi motifs; the "Mandala Series" of beautifully balanced designs; the "Animal Series", including some beasts unknown to zoology as well as more or less recognizable deer, rhino, and elephant...all elevated by the elegance of their rendering into emblematic significance; and finally, pure abstractions, sensuously modeled with the same feeling of tactile substance as his TOUCHABLE ART... The 71 full-page plates give this book its enduring value as one of the outstanding art books of the year."
Music is another facet of Ré's creativity. His 50 minute recording COMPOSITIONS FOR CLASSICAL GUITAR included an introduction to the traveling exhibit TOUCHABLE ART FOR THE BLIND AND SIGHTED. This was reviewed in the Summer 1986 issue of THE LOG OF THE BRIDGETENDER of the American Council of the Blind by Editor Sue Tullos: "Paul Ré's music is just as intriguing as his art. A fine guitarist influenced by classical jazz, Indian chants and oriental musical rhythms, he composes his own works, which, like his art, are cyclical and represent the fluctuations in earth and the seasons. The tape features three pieces: Waves, Yearning and a most energetic selection, Rising Currents. Even without the accompanying art exhibit, Paul Ré's tape is a study in mood and precision and I found it truly an audible treat." (Sue Tullos is blind from birth, has a Doctorate in English from Texas Tech, and is also a poet and musician.)
Paul has received enthusiastic reviews from scientists and Nobel Laureates Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Richard Feynman and Roger Sperry; artists Georgia O'Keeffe, Raymond Jonson, and Ed Garman; Caltech President Emeritus Tom Everhart and many others. http://www.paulre.org/dance.html In his 17 October 2006 letter to Paul Ré, Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau states: "I was pleased to discover that Caltech has played an important role in your life and has had a positive influence in your extraordinary artistic accomplishments. I was also intrigued by your work as an advocate for environmental, social, and cultural issues...Your book is a singular example of the correlation that exists between art and science." Fredrick Shair, Caltech Professor Emeritus and past National President of Sigma Xi, writes in his forward to THE DANCE OF THE PENCIL: "The integrated creativity, self discipline, and intense dedication of Paul Ré are a triumph of life which I am sure will continue to enhance the human spirit for centuries to come...This volume should firmly establish his stature as a national and world treasure."
In 2007, the University of New Mexico established a bi-annual peace prize named after Paul Bartlett Ré in recognition of his active work for promoting peace in the world.
Ré Peace Prize 
Extending Paul Ré's decades of work promoting harmony in the world, the bi-annual Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize has been established at the University of New Mexico. http://www.paulre.org/peace.html Managed by the UNM Foundation, the bi-annual prize awards that UNM student, faculty, staff person, retiree or alumnus who has demonstrated notable achievements in promoting world peace and understanding.
The recipient of the award may be an artist but may also be an individual in any field who has pursued peace and harmony with creativity and dedication. Emphasis is on promoting both internal and external peace and fostering discussion of what really constitutes peace. Possible projects may be environmental, involve individual or social healing, integrative medicine, sustainable energy or green architectural design, art creation or preservation, human population control and family planning or any positive endeavor. Included is Conflict Resolution, but Conflict Prevention is to be particularly strongly emphasized.
The 2007 awardee was Stephen Littlejohn, faculty at UNM in communication and journalism. Alternate awardee was Arti Prasad, internal medicine professor at UNM. Honorable mentions were given to William Gross, professor emeritus, engineering, and Hakim Bellamy, graduate student in communications and journalism.
In 2010 the awardees were Arti Prasad, founder of the UNM Center for Life , and Peace Talks Radio , cited for its efforts in communications. http://www.goodradioshows.org/peaceprize.htm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDpS7kwqsDE
The 2012 awardees were William Brown for his environmental work including with the Climate Reality Project, and Peace Talks Radio for its 110 programs on a diversity of peace issues.
Writings and Awards 
Paul Ré's writings appear in Leonardo 13-2, 14-2 and 15-2, SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE: The 1990 Rolex Awards, The Journal of Visual Impairment, New America, La Mamelle and Design Journal. Illustrated essays, 1000 to 3000 words in length, on Ré's work are included in CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC ARTISTS 3rd edition, GREAT MINDS OF THE 21st CENTURY 2nd and 4th editions, and THE DICTIONARY OF INTERNATIONAL BIOGRAPHY 36th edition. He is also profiled in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN ART, WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA, and WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD and other reference volumes worldwide.
Paul is editing his collected poems THE IRIS BALLET and compiling his 48 volumes of aphorisms and micro–essays into THE RéCYCLED DICTIONARY.
He has received many awards including the top honors and NASA awards in the 1967 and 1968 International Science Fairs, Wurlitzer Foundation Residencies, the World Lifetime Achievement Award and Da Vinci Laureate. Ré has been cited for "Universal Art that Transcends" and "Serene Art that Elevates and Unites."
Statements by Ré 
"My work is an exploration of that delicately balanced region between the stasis of absolute simplicity and the chaos of uncontrolled complexity. I feel that this balance lies quite close to the 'simple' end, so I begin by removing all that is not absolutely necessary, simplifying to almost nothing. In this state, things become rather clear and one can see just what to add--enough so as to give the creation life in one strong and meaningful direction that can be focused upon, but not so much that the image becomes diffuse. This philosophy, originating with my work, has of necessity premeated my life--it appears that both extremes--the stasis and the chaos--must be experienced before the balance can be achieved." from LA MAMELLE, summmer 1975, pp 24-5
"Since 1973, the basic shapes within my artworks have been derived from closed curves, with possibly one or more line segments removed...This derivation from closed curves is significant; it represents the interconnectedness of everything in existence, from the scale of the universe down to the subatomic, and is philosophically related to String Theory of modern physics which holds promise of being a 'Theory of Everything.' In sociology, my closed curves constitute a prayer and visual model for the peaceful, constructive interaction of human beings. In ecology, these closed curves symbolize the dynamic interdependence of all species and encourage humankind to conserve and use thoughtfully the physical and spiritual bounty of nature. I emphasize these ideas in all of my exhibits and writings. When reverence for our natural, cultural and scientific heritage guides our practical actions, then our diverse world civilization can evolve to that higher fulfillment which I believe is the Intent of Life. from SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE: The 1990 Rolex Awards, Bern, Switzerland, pp 378-380
“Global Peace must begin as Inner Peace within each individual. We can invite peace into our lives through thoughtful, healthy living and by offering courtesy, respect and friendship to others. There is a symmetry between the human rights we expect to receive and those we have an obligation to give. When we thoroughly integrate peace into all of our thoughts and actions, our life becomes a work of art. This is a very practical, influential and equable artform that everyone can practice. Ultimately, Peace becomes a natural way of living.” http://www.paulre.org/peace.html
Bridging to Peace
My life has been a journey of bridging – art and science, East and West, the worlds of the blind and sighted, humankind with nature, and most basically, a bridging to the serenity deep within me.
Continuing this journey, may my art help others to nurture their tranquil center. And may they then build bridges spreading outward from their inner harmony to a Global Peace.
from the Frontispiece to 2000 OUTSTANDING INTELLECTUALS, sixth edition, 2010, pp 50-52
- "Paul Ré: Expressing the Art in Physics", by Winnifred Veronda, Caltech News, Dec 1977.
- "My Drawings and Paintings and a System for Their Classification", Leonardo, vol XIII n. 2, spring 1980, Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, pages 94–100.
- "On My Drawings and Paintings: An Extension of the System of Their Classification", Leonardo, vol XIV n. 2, spring 1981, Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, pages 106-14.
- "On the Progression of My Figurative Drawings Toward Higher Abstraction and Outward Simplicity", Leonardo, vol XV n. 2, spring 1982, Oxford, England: Pergamon Press, pages 109-14.
- "Ré, Paul B.", Contemporary Graphic Artists, Vol 3, Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1988, pages 181-3.
- "Expressing the Art in Science", by Winnifred Veronda, Caltech News, Vol 23-4, Aug 1989, pages 6–7.
- "A Book and Two Traveling Exhibits for the Blind and Sighted", Spirit Of Enterprise: The 1990 Rolex Awards, edited by David W. Reed, Bern, Switzerland: Buri International, 1990, pages 378-80.
- "The Dance of the Pencil: Serene Art of Paul Ré", Paul Ré Archives, 1993 (limited edition of 1,000).
- "Paul Ré, Dance of the Pencil", by Dennis Wepman, Journal of the Print World, Fall 1994, page 23.
- "The Dance of the Pencil", Alibi, March 15, 1999: 
- "Artist Ré extends Jonson's transcendental vision", by Wesley Pulkka, Albuquerque Journal, October 7, 2001, page F5.
- "Réograms and the Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize at University of New Mexico", by Paul Ré, Journal of the Print World, Fall 2009, page 21.
- "Duke City Native Starts Peace Prize", by Martin Salazar, Albuquerque Journal, March 22, 2010, page A4:  (subscription required)