PRINT May 1988

James Bishop: Remembering How to See

Carter Ratcliff

This week, associate editor Zack Hatfield revisits “James Bishop: Remembering to See,” Carter Ratcliff’s 1988 feature on the unclassifiable painter, who died in February at age ninety-three. Art historian Molly Warnock reflects on Bishop’s legacy in the current issue.

John Ashbery once described the art of James Bishop as “half architecture, half air.” In other words, a ruin. In his 1988 essay on the elusive painter, who was born in America but resided in France, the poet-critic Carter Ratcliff revels in the “ruined image” of Bishop’s abstraction, locating in his idiosyncratic treatment of surface,