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Press Release

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of my friend, the puppeteer, Burr Tillstrom and to his beloved Kuklapolitans, who first met in 1960 at Oxbow Summer School of Painting, Saugatuck, Michigan. I miss Burr more than words can express. I include here a lithograph of Kukla and Ollie he gave me which I treasure and below I quote from a letter Burr writes a dog named Yohann he’d recently adopted. I think it was Yohann who adopted Burr, wandering into the yard one day and scratching at the kitchen door. Burr cherished dogs in that way he had of understanding what is essential and lasting in this world. They made him laugh with joy. I speak of a man whose genius made many people very happy. This uniqueness of Burr’s talent was his, and his alone; a gift never questioned, a way he had of expressing himself, he, and his puppet friends, passionately shared. (A paragraph from his letter is as follows:)

“Well if I didn’t have him [Yohann] I wonder what I’d be writing about. Maybe I’d be more deeply involved with people, though I can hardly see how I’d be more deeply involved than I am with the folks who come into my life. Besides it’s foolish to speculate. It’s simply nice to feel affection for a little life, and to watch the growth of a relationship no matter who it is, right?”

Michael Hurson

New York, March 1986

For more information, please contact the gallery: (212) 255-1105 or info@paulacoopergallery.com