The Nancy book

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Siglio Press, Apr 30, 2008 - Art - 144 pages
6 Reviews
From 1963 to 1978 Joe Brainard (author of I REMEMBER) created more than 100 works of art that appropriated the classic comic strip character Nancy and sent her into an astonishing variety of spaces, all electrified by the incongruity of her presence. Whether inserted into hypothetical situations, dispatched on erotic adventures, or seemingly rendered by the hands of artists as varied as Leonardo da Vinci, R. Crumb, Larry Rivers, and Willem de Kooning, Brainard's Nancy revels in as well as transcends her two-dimensionality. Together these works accumulate into a sophisticated, complex work of great wit, equal parts surprise and subtlety.The Nancy Book is the first published collection of Brainard's Nancy texts, drawings, collages and paintings (with nearly eighty full page reproductions), including collaborations with luminary New York School poets such as Frank O?Hara and Ted Berrigan, an essay by Ann Lauterbach that illuminates, with critical and poetic acumen, the complexity of Brainard's transformation of Nancy.OEvery page of this book will make you smile or laugh'not with recognition but with startled joy. Joe Brainard took an unchanging icon of the American norm and inserted her into countless fashionable or scandalous contexts, subtly metamorphosing something that seemed eternal into absurdly contemporary forms. He is as funny as only a philosopher can be.O Edmund White.OJoe Brainard's pursuit of the once ubiquitous fuzzy-haired pest Nancy chronicled one of the great love-hate relationships in American popular culture. It's wonderful to have it all between the covers of a book.O John Ashbery

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Review: The Nancy Book

User Review  - JA - Goodreads

Nancy is charming. The art Brainard made with Nancy is charming. And the contributors' essays and bits of Brainard's own writing surrounding the images collected here are equally so. Glad I spent an afternoon reading / viewing it. Read full review

Review: The Nancy Book

User Review  - Marcus - Goodreads

so excited to read this . . . seen some of it . . . ahhh the Southbank Poetry library in London rocks!!! Read full review


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About Joe Brainard

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About the author (2008)

Joe Brainard (1942-1994) left Tulsa at eighteen for New York City and soon became a part of the thriving downtown art scene and the New York School of poets and painters. Over his career, Brainard created a prodigious body of work, distinguished by its breadth, originality, and rare alchemy of sensuality and precision, sophistication and sweetness. Admired for his writing as well as his visual art, Brainard wrote the legendary and beloved memoir I REMEMBER, which was hailed as "a masterpiece" by Paul Auster and inspired George Perec's Je me souviens. Brainard's drawings, assemblages, collages, and paintings are in private and museum collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of America Art, and a major travelling retrospective was organized by the Berkeley Art Museum in 2001 and included a stop at MOMA P.S 1.

Ann Lauterbach is the author of eight collections of poetry, includingIf in Time: Selected Poems 1975-2000, and a collection of essays, The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience. She has taught at Brooklyn College, Columbia, Iowa, Princeton, and at the City College of New York and Graduate Center of CUNY. Since 1991 she has been Director of Writing in the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College, where she has been, since 1999, Ruth and David Schwab II Professor of Languages and Literature. Lauterbach was the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 1993. She lives in Germantown, New York.

Ron Padgett is a celebrated translator, memoirist, and "a thoroughly American poet, coming sideways out of Whitman, Williams, and New York Pop with a Tulsa twist" (Peter Gizzi). His poetry has been translated into more than a dozen languages and has appeared inThe Best American Poetry, The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, The Oxford Book of American Poetry, and on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. He was also a guest on Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion in 2009. Padgett is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and his most recent books include HOW LONG, HOW TO BE PERFECT, JOE: A MEMOIR OF JOE BRAINARD, and IF I WERE YOU. Born in Oklahoma, he lives in New York City and Calais, Vermont.

Bill Berkson is a poet, art critic and professor of art history at the San Francisco Art Institute. Of his eleven books and pamphlets of poetry, the most recent are Lush Life (Z Press) and Start Over (Tombouctou). He is a corresponding editor for Art in America and a regular contributor to Modern Painters, American Craft and other magazines. He lives in San Francisco, California.

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