Reported Sightings: Art Chronicles, 1957-1987

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Harvard University Press, 1991 - Art - 417 pages
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"Ashbery's art reviews for the Paris Herald Tribune, ARTNews, New York and Newsweek go beyond journalism. Generous, astute, never dull and possessed of catholic taste, this poet-critic shows us what is special about a Bonnard or a Grandma Moses. He especially admires artists who have undertaken individualistic, spiritual pilgrimages, like Marsden Hartley, Odilon Redon ("a kind of Cezanne of the unconscious"), Belgian fantasist Leon Spilliaert and undervalued American still-life painter John F. Peto. Nearly 100 reviews and essays are gathered here, amplified by 35 color and black-and-white reproductions. Topics range from Frank Lloyd Wright to Japanese folk art, from Jean Baptiste Simieon Chardin's timeless simplicity to Red Grooms's zany urban caricatures. Ashbery gets past art-world hoopla to reveal the substance, or lack thereof, in works and reputations discussed."--Pub. Weekly via

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Reported sightings: art chronicles, 1957-1987

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One of the pleasures of a fine dinner is the way in which each course adds its own special flavor to the overall meal. This collection of Ashbery's pieces of art criticism, written for such ... Read full review

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About the author (1991)

John Ashbery was born on July 28, 1927 in Rochester, New York. He was educated at Harvard and Columbia universities and studied in Europe on a Fulbright Scholarship. Initially wishing to be a painter, then a musician, he has had a variety of careers including reference librarian and art critic. In the early 1950s, he was a copywriter with Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill. His collection of poems, Turandot and other Poems, published in 1953, established his reputation as one of the leading American poets of his generation. Ashbery feels strongly influenced by film and other art forms. The abstract expressionist movement in art had a profound effect on his writing style. Frequently termed a philosophical poet, Ashbery's poems often deal with the mind and the connection of the reader. Ashbery has published several volumes of poetry, including Houseboat Days and Flow Chart. Highly regarded by critics, he received a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976, all for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. He received the Ambassador Book Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. In 2011, he won the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He also writes under the pseudonym Jonas Berry.

David Bergman's previous poetry titles include Heroic Measures (Ohio State University Press) and The Care and Treatment of Pain (Kairos Editions). He won the the George Elliston Poetry Prize for his poetry collection Cracking the Code and the Lambda Literary Award for his anthology Men on Men 2000. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Republic, Poetry, and The Yale Review, among other journals. He is Professor of English & Cultural Studies at Towson University in Maryland.

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