You are not likely to find the work of Mimi Gross and Marcia Marcus in the permanent collections of any major New York City museum. I find that both predictable and troubling.
On Thursday, Pratt Manhattan Gallery will present a talk in conjunction with their current exhibition, John Ashbery: The Construction of Fiction.
Ashbery’s primary subject matter concerns an alternate world where nothing goes permanently wrong, and where disasters are nothing more than pranks.
Curated by Antonio Sergio Bessa, the exhibition spans seven decades of work, presenting over 120 collages and archival materials.
For a poet who is notorious for writing opaque poems, a number of collages celebrate the youthful male body with an innocence that is touching, tender, and, frankly, poignant, and sweet.
A few months ago in the New Yorker, essayist John McPhee recalled an exchange with his editor at Playboy in 1970, Arthur Kretchmer, about whether to remove a certain reference in a draft he’d submitted.
I do know that I had no intention of writing about the two exhibitions currently at Tibor de Nagy, John Ashbery & Guy Maddin: Collages and Richard Baker: The Doctor is Out, when I went to the gallery.
“As poets remain unpaid workers there is a perverse comfort in the façade of integrity, promised as resulting from that misfortune, which beckons me to trust their company. The idea of a strategy is still alien to poets.”
If you’re interested in John Ashbery—and why wouldn’t you be?—you probably read the profile on him that was recently published in the New York Observer. The best part, the part that had the most to say about his poetry, came about a third of the way into it, with the writer, Michael H. Miller, describing his visit to Ashbery’s Chelsea apartment.
An annotated list of some of Albert Mobilio’s and John Yau’s favorite poetry books published this year.
It’s to be expected that when America’s greatest living poet publishes a translation of one of the greatest and — to borrow a phrase from the titles of old forgotten anthologies — best-loved poets of world modernity, readers would take notice. And they have, so maybe I should think twice before adding more kudos to the pile. But it’s surprising that people haven’t been more surprised by John Ashbery’s decision to undertake a translation of Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations.
“I’m sure the people of Iraq are looking forward to your poem about Franco and his economy,” Isabel tells the main character, Adam Gordon. Since the death of the self, the author and painting, the desire for significance has led to a daily slew of preposterous claims and downright silly statements.