new-york

Larry Rivers, Pyrography: Poem and Portrait of John Ashbery II, 1977, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 58".

“Painters & Poets”

Tibor De Nagy Gallery

Larry Rivers, Pyrography: Poem and Portrait of John Ashbery II, 1977, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 58".

In 1950, Hungarian émigré Tibor de Nagy and American impresario John Bernard Myers announced their new gallery. “Not only will painting and sculpture be here,” they declared, “but also anything that an astonished or adoring eye might select instantaneously from the cinema of life. . . . [Visitors] will be objets trouvés among objets trouvés, beheld by one another in joy.” Much of the venerable gallery’s ethos is predicted here, from the tone of amused overripeness, to the accent on instantaneity and life as cinematic. What Myers and de Nagy didn’t anticipate was that the “objects” joyously found under their auspices would often be poems and pictures. The mutual regard between writers and artists at de Nagy made avant-garde history, fusing postwar American Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism into Pop, while arcing toward the 1970s downtown literary scene around the Poetry Project

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