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message 1: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Feb 27, 2010 03:52AM) (new)

Heather | 8385 comments

BOSTON, MA.- The Boston Athenæum presents “PAINTER + POET: George Nama and Charles Simic” Feb. 10 through April 10, 2010, in the Athenæum’s Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery, located at 10 ½ Beacon Street on Beacon Hill near the State House. This new exhibition, the result of a collaboration that began several years ago between the two artists, features a selection of Nama’s recent etchings, sculptures, gouaches, and artist’s books that have been inspired by and give visual illumination to Simic’s poetry.

George Nama is a New York artist who specializes in expressive abstracted figures, rendered in a variety of media, that interpret the works of major writers such as Simic, Yves Bonnefoy, and Alfred Brendel. His first one-artist exhibition was held at the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, in 1963; since that time he has had shows at Shepherd & Derom Galleries in New York, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, and in galleries in Brussels, Munich, Vevey, and Paris, among others. His works are in major institutions, including the Boston Athenæum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library, and Yale University Art Gallery. Nama’s versatility and generosity have made him the perfect mentor to and teacher of new generations of artists. For many years, he was on the faculty of the School of the National Academy of Design in New York. He lives in Long Island, New York.

Charles Simic is a poet, essayist and translator. He has been honored with a Wallace Stevens Award, a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Since 1967 he has published numerous collections of poems, the latest of which, That Little Something, was released in spring 2008. A collection entitled Sixty Poems was published in honor of his appointment as United States Poet Laureate. He has also published a number of prose books, most recently Memory Piano (2006), and has translated the works of Yugoslavian poets such as Ivan Lalic, Vasko Popa, Tomasz Salamun and Aleksandar Ristovic. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and is the poetry editor of The Paris Review. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Hampshire.

message 2: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Feb 27, 2010 04:03AM) (new)

Heather | 8385 comments Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Self-portrait, 1847

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 and was later to be the main inspiration for second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement. He was also a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by Keats. His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence The House of Life.

Rossetti's personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris.

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments How about William Blake (28 November 1757 -- 12 August 1827)?
He was an English poet, engraver, and painter.

Some are familiar with the opening lines of Auguries of Innocence
To see a World in a Grain of Sand 

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour.

I'm a big fan of his illustrations/engravings of The Book of Job.

A boldly imaginative rebel in both his thought and his art, he combined poetic and pictorial genius to explore life. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry has led one British art journalist to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Although he only once journeyed farther than a day's walk outside London during his lifetime, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God", or "Human existence itself".

message 4: by Monica (last edited Feb 28, 2010 12:21PM) (new)

Monica | 909 comments Speaking of Rosetti, Pre Raphaelites in Love was a wonderful book.

Susanna, did you have any luck remembering more details of the Pre-Raph movie you mentioned? I asked a friend in the UK, it rang a bells, but he came up empty handed.

message 5: by Harley (new)

Harley | 21 comments Here is a great book: The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture by Writers. This book introduces the art of over 200 writers from Johann Wolfgang van Goethe to Susan Minot and includes Victor Hugo, Edgar Allen Poe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Hardy, O. Henry, Vachel Lindsay, William Carlos Williams, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, Elizabeth Bishop, Dylan Thomas, Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

message 6: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments Those books look great! I added them both to my ever expanding books to read. I am excited to get my hands on them! Thank you for the suggestions Monica and Harley.

And Carol, I need to familiarize myself a little more with Blake. I do know the Auguries of Innocence and really like it. Poetry is one topic with which I am not so well acquainted, thus I began the folder for poetry so I could learn from all of you!

message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Harley wrote: "Here is a great book: The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture by Writers. This book introduces the art of over 200 writers from Johann Wolfgang van Goethe to Susan Minot and include..."

I love this book. I was amazed by how talented some writers were -- especially Hugo who left paintings & 3,000 drawings after his death. For each writer there is 1 page of text & 1 page of 1-3 artworks. Its a big (12" w x 10 1/4" d) and heavy.

message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1905 comments Harley wrote: "Here is a great book: The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture by Writers. This book introduces the art of over 200 writers from Johann Wolfgang van Goethe to Susan Minot and include..."

Thanks for the tip, Harley. This sounds like something I would like.

message 9: by Harley (new)

Harley | 21 comments Yes, Ruth, I know you would enjoy it. Like Carol says, it is a large book and only contains one work of art per author. But what is amazing is how many writers also dabbled in art.

message 10: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1905 comments I've got in on hold at the library.

message 12: by Jomie (new)

Jomie | 3 comments A good poem is the highest level of art. It is like a song without music, it is like an art without drawing but it could be combined into an art, it is like a feeling without a face.

message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) that is how I feel about lyrics in a song, that is poetry also, if it moves me emotionally it has done its job.

message 14: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments Amen, Robin

message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Thanks, Heather!

message 16: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Dante Gabriel Rosetti is not bad looking, and the two arts are intertwined poetry and painting go hand and hand. We do think of musicians as artists too, don't we?

message 17: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments of course! To me music is definitely an art.

message 18: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Agree wholeheartedly with you Heather. Anything that moves a person be it in either a positive or negative way, to make an impact on others is in my opinion art.

message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I think for me poets and painting go hand in hand, it is another way of expressing art altogether in whatever form or medium.

message 20: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 157 comments I didn't know Frieda Hughes is a painter, I'd love to see some of her works so if anyone has seen a place pleace link us. As for William Blake, he is a master of painting and engraving. When I teach his poetry to my students I always produce the related art work.

message 21: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments Papa’s Damn Good Pictures

Charles McGrath
The New York Times

ERNEST HEMINGWAY the hunter, Hemingway the fisherman, Hemingway the drinker — they’re all part of the legend. But Hemingway the art lover? If you haven’t read “A Moveable Feast” or seen “Midnight in Paris,” the recent Woody Allen film that takes place partly in 1920s Paris, you might not know that through Gertrude Stein, Hemingway became friendly with many of the painters there. He even had a small personal collection, including etchings by Goya and paintings by Gris, Miró and Klee — artists who in some ways mirrored his own modernist aesthetic.

And he was a museumgoer of sorts. When in New York he was as likely to visit the Metropolitan Museum as Toots Shor’s.

In general Hemingway had little use for New York, which he called a “phony town,” and it tended to bring out the worst in him. On his most famous visit to the city, the one chronicled in Lillian Ross’s scathingly brilliant profile in The New Yorker in 1950, he mostly behaved like a parody of himself, more exaggerated even than the Hemingway character in “Midnight in Paris,” who is always looking for a fight. In the profile Hemingway swills a lot of Champagne, some of it in the company of Marlene Dietrich — the Kraut, he calls her — and never tires of wheezy old boxing metaphors: “I started out very quiet and I beat Mr. Turgenev. Then I trained hard and I beat Mr. de Maupassant. I’ve fought two draws with Mr. Stendhal.”

Even worse, Hemingway also lapses frequently into baby talk, or maybe it’s mock American Indian. “Not trying for no-hit game in book,” he says of “Across the River and Into the Trees.” “Going to win maybe 12 to nothing or maybe 12 to 11.”

Aside from buying a coat and a pair of slippers at Abercrombie & Fitch, Hemingway didn’t accomplish much on that visit. But with his wife, Mary, and his son Patrick, known as Mousie, a sophomore at Harvard, he did drop by the Met and spent a couple of hours looking at paintings, periodically topping himself up from a little pocket flask.

The paintings Hemingway lingered over, according to Ms. Ross, are an extremely odd and eclectic bunch: Titian’s “Portrait of a Man,” Francesco Francia’s “Portrait of Federigo Gonzaga,” van Dyck’s “Portrait of the Artist,” Rubens’s “Triumph of Christ Over Sin and Death,” El Greco’s “View of Toledo,” Reynolds’s portrait of George Coussmaker, Cabanel’s portrait of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, Cézanne’s “Rocks — Forest of Fontainebleau,” Manet’s portrait of Mlle. Valtesse de la Bigne, and Carpaccio’s “Meditation on the Passion.” (He also wanted to look at Bruegel’s great painting “The Harvesters,” but its gallery was closed that day.)

The Met has since sold the Rubens, and the Cézanne is not currently on view, but the other pictures are still there, and a contemporary museumgoer can spend a baffling hour or so trying to discern what, if anything, links them to what we know of Hemingway’s life and work.

The Reynolds portrait, depicting a lordly and swaggering army officer, makes a certain amount of sense. Hemingway called it “a damn good picture,” and said approvingly, “Now, this Colonel is a son of a bitch.” He added, “Look at the man’s arrogance and the strength in the neck of the horse and the way the man’s legs hang.”

But at least two of the other portraits seem positively sissyish. The van Dyck self-portrait, though a great painting, is of a foppish, effeminate figure, with rouge-red lips and long tapered fingers adorned with a little pinkie ring. Not exactly Hem’s type, you would have thought, especially considering that at the other end of the gallery these days is a giant and gory hunting scene from Rubens’s workshop with hounds and horses and a guy stabbing a wolf with a spear.

Portrait of a Man Titian

Portrait of Federigo Gonzaga Francesco Francia

Triumph of Christ Over Sin and Death Rubens

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View of Toledo El Greco

[image error]
Rocks in the Forest Cezanne

[image error]
Meditation on the Passion Carpaccio

Federigo Gonzaga was about 10 when Francia painted him, and in the picture he has a dreamy, eye-rolling expression. Far from suggesting grace under pressure, that greatest of Hemingway virtues, it makes you think that he’s about to pass out. What on earth did Hemingway see here? The trees in the background. “This is what we try to do when we write,” he said pointing them out to his son. “We always have this in when we write.”

Hemingway’s choice of female portraits is similarly mystifying. The Cabanel painting of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe is far from a great picture and is remarkable mostly for its subject. She was a great tobacco heiress and an early benefactor of the Met’s, and she looms here stiff and formidable, decked out in fur-trimmed lace. What Hemingway said he liked about the Manet portrait — a pastel sketch, really — of Valtesse de la Bigne was that it was an example of how “Manet could show the bloom people have when they’re still innocent and before they’ve been disillusioned.” He must have been misled by Mlle. de la Bigne’s high-ruffed collar and yearning, pale-blue eyes. She was actually a famous, high-priced courtesan, most likely the model for Zola’s Nana.


message 22: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Interesting article, Heather.

message 23: by Caryl (last edited Sep 17, 2011 06:31AM) (new)

Caryl (cdahn) | 32 comments Thanks, Heather. I have just finished "The Paris Wife" about Hemmingway's first wife. This article came in a timely manner for me.

message 24: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I finished Hemingway's Wife also. A good book.

message 25: by Mejix (new)

Mejix My personal favorite is Henri Michaux. Blake is fantastic of course. Garcia Lorca and Rafael Alberti did a lot of graphic work. Elizabeth Bishop did some pretty interesting watercolors.

message 26: by Ed (last edited Sep 18, 2011 10:30PM) (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments Mejix wrote: "My personal favorite is Henri Michaux. Blake is fantastic of course. Garcia Lorca and Rafael Alberti did a lot of graphic work. Elizabeth Bishop did some pretty interesting watercolors."
Ah yes, Blake.

Here's a few examples of how he combined words and images. I think you can pretty much make out the words. He turned the production of printed poems into a kind of painting.

Blake developed an unusual method of relief etching. In ordinary etching, the lines are inscribed in the resist on the plate and then bitten with acid, the resist is removed, and the ink is rubbed into the lines and removed from the rest of the plate. Blake however, had the resist only on the lines, and removed the rest of the plate, giving a bolder and thicker line and instead of type, he used had written words, and printed the words in colored ink.

The Tyger

Infant Joy

The Lamb

Excerpt from Jerusalem

His actual technique was very complex and highly individual, here's a quote from a long paper on Blake's printing methods:

[image error]

.....[W]hat made the books “illuminated” was not colored inks ... on each plate or even the addition of water colors ....

“Illuminated printing” was created simply by printing from relief-etched plates—that is, from plates produced by the “method of Printing both Letter-press and Engraving” that Blake had “invented,” a mode of printmaking which combined the printmaker with “the Painter and the Poet” ....

Features equally distinct were its cost...Blake believed he had invented for “the Artist, the Poet, the Musician” a means to “publish their own works” that did not require the specialized training of the engraver or typesetter....

Blake claims that etching word and image in printable relief, and doing so in an affordable and accessible way, are the distinguishing features of his new invention....

The color prints that Blake produced, between 1794 and 1796 but a few as late as c. 1808 ...range from very simple to very elaborate, from one or two colors applied to relief areas colors applied to both relief plateaus and etched shallows...where Blake also used different colored inks for text and illustration. Blake also color printed relief etchings without text....

His color prints reflect a printmaker far less orthodox than ...any other [printer] of his period, and far more the artist... [in] the print studio and in his thinking about graphic art....Blake deployed another strategy. He erased the grounds for hierarchies in the arts by reducing both painting and engraving to “drawing” and asserting that “he who Draws best must be the best Artist” ... and by producing prints whose aesthetic originality was stunning.... He showed how prints could be as original and unique as drawings and paintings, as creative as the works normally imitated in prints.... When Blake printed in colors, his relief-etched copperplates offered two different printing surfaces, relief and intaglio, that he fully exploited as an artist, creating color images unlike any ever seen before...

message 27: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments Beautiful! I didn't know that about Blake. Thank you, Ed!

message 28: by Monica (new)

Monica | 909 comments Heather wrote: "

BOSTON, MA.- The Boston Athenæum presents “PAINTER + POET: George Nama and Charles Simic” Feb. 10 through April 10, 2010, in the Athenæum’s Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery, located at 10 ½ Beacon S..."

Just saw this--SIMIC wrote DIME STORE ALCHEMY about the works of Joseph Cornell.

message 29: by Monica (new)

Monica | 909 comments description
Francia's portrait of young Federigo Gonzaga that Hemmingway liked is new to me. Mr. Altman donated many fine works to the Met and it's a shame it's not on view. I'm somewhat of a scholar of the period, have visited Palazzo Te twice, gone to Giuilo Romano's home in Mantua. Here's Titian's portrait of Gonzaga, patron of the arts of the highest order. He left us so much.

message 30: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I like Blake's work. Also did not know that he did illustrations along with his poems. I like Tyger, Tyger.

message 31: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 368 comments Very nice posting about Blake, Ed. "Tyger, Tyger" is one of my favorites.

message 32: by A. (last edited Oct 05, 2011 10:43AM) (new)

A. (almas) | 232 comments not to forget

Gibran Kahlil Gibran

[image error]

message 33: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Oct 05, 2011 06:23PM) (new)

Heather | 8385 comments I LOVE him!!!

I know this isn't 'art' as in pictures per se but this is my absolute favorite quote by him. I just had to post it:

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Gibran Kahlil Gibran

message 34: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 368 comments I'm so glad you posted that, Heather. I love it too. I think it's from "The Prophet." I remember it being read at my high school graduation, but I can't remember any of the speeches on that day. Considering how long ago that was, I'm surprised I can remember anything :)

message 35: by Monica (new)

Monica | 909 comments Thank you for the Gibran post. I collected his books in high school. One of my early Goodreads pleasures was digitizing my library and finding the ones my dad gave me during the tumultuous 1960s
Tears and Laughter
The Prophet
The Procession
The Madman: His Parables and Poems
Spirits Rebellious

message 36: by Konrad (last edited Oct 24, 2011 05:48AM) (new)

Konrad R (krad) Hemingway calling New York phony town, how interesting? This brings to mind a curious question ( stick with me ) I was thinking the other day, would I like to be buried in the apartment I'm currently living? NO! Where would I like to be buried? Not in most cities and definitely not in a cemetery ... Why, and how might this relate to art? ...... Reigning this back into the thread, might Hemingways feel or view of New York and things be similar ? And how might this relate to how he saw art?

To me, often with art I feel a disconnect, there is not a holistic feel to it. Why is this ?

I feel this with cities , places, creations and people as well.

Maybe it has to do with convincing.

Maybe it has to do with soul and what is that?

message 37: by Dvora (new)

Dvora I can't really explain why, but I find much of the USA phony, although somehow I wouldn't say that about New York. More like Los Angeles (where I grew up).
As for being buried and feeling somewhat disconnected, maybe that has to do with your state of well being? I find that when I'm happy and feeling good about my life, I am more accepting and when not (like now) then nothing feels really good (except watching my cats!).
KRad wrote: "Hemingway calling New York phony town, how interesting? This brings to mind a curious question ( stick with me ) I was thinking the other day, would I like to be buried in the apartment I'm current..."

message 38: by Mejix (last edited Oct 27, 2011 06:45PM) (new)

message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments The cover artwork for this book I believe was done by Sylvia Plath.

message 40: by Mejix (new)

Mejix I hadn't seen that book. Looks very interesting. I think the cover does say Sylvia Plath. Looks like she was channeling Stuart Davis.

message 41: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments Yes, I wouldn't have noticed that it does have her name on the cover. Thanks for pointing that out, Mejix. I really like her work and that book does look interesting. Thank you for introducing it, Carol.

message 42: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments it is a great book, i was amazed how many authors were so talented artistically

message 43: by Monica (last edited Nov 27, 2011 09:12AM) (new)

Monica | 909 comments description
Francesco Francia (Italian, Bolognese, active by 1482, died 1517/18)
Federigo Gonzaga (1500–1540), 1510

I'm pleased to learn that this painting is in fact on view, so when at the Met to see the Perino del Vaga show, I plan to visit gallery 605 to see this incredible portrait of a 10 year old child painted in Bologna in an astounding 12 days while on his way to Rome where he was taken hostage. To be honest I used to remember exactly why this happened. It may have been because Spain and France fought to control Italy and his father sided with the Holy Roman Emperor and not the papacy and was captured and taken prisoner of war in Venice in 1509. Italy was like several separate countries, and, in many ways, still feels these repercussions. What is important is that young Federigo came into contact with Raphael and his school while living at the Vatican and upon return home to Mantova brought the high renaissance to northern Italy.

message 44: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8385 comments That is some very interesting history, Monica. I didn't know any of that. Thank you for enlightening me.

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