Rene Ricard, Enlightenment, 2010, acrylic and marker on canvas, 27 × 20".

Rene Ricard

Half Gallery @ 16 Morton Street

Rene Ricard, Enlightenment, 2010, acrylic and marker on canvas, 27 × 20".

This past February, Rene Ricard, the hard-living art-world personality, died at the age of sixty-seven. He was too many things to pigeonhole solely as a poet, though the poems in Rene Ricard, 1979–1980, a slim volume of confessional free verse bound in glossy turquoise like a Tiffany catalogue, leave little doubt as to what his true vocation was.

Flying the colors of the maudit adolescent aesthete (Arthur Rimbaud meets Raymond Radiguet), the Boston-born Ricard arrived in New York City in 1964 and was quickly absorbed into the world of Warhol’s Silver Factory, where—unsurprisingly—he added his own transgressive stardom to that cavalcade of underground superstars. In the 1980s, he wrote stream-of-consciousness essays for Artforum, notably defending the work of the young Julian Schnabel (whose painting would provide the neo-expressionist template for Ricard’s own) and

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