June 06, 2011

Palimpsest 12

Palimpsest, i.e., a parchment from which one writing has been erased to make room for another.” H. D.

“For every painter there was a poet.” Eric Brown

January in New York. Snow, cold. At Vince’s loft in Chelsea. Got there at little early. When Vince came in, his sons Oliver & Isaac were unfolding the papel picados I had brought for them from the Casa Bonampak, 1051 Valencia St., one for Dia de los Muertos, one tomato-red Amor for Valentine’s Day. They were happy, thought they could bring them to school for their Spanish class, show & tell. Vince & I hugged, I said I’d brought him a book (my latest), he said he’d brought one for me, and pulled out a large catalog from his bag, the Tibor de Nagy Gallery Painters & Poets.

As New York Times reviewer Holland Cotter says, “I don’t believe in golden ages, but I do believe in golden moments. … [O]ne began at the end of 1950 when Tibor de Nagy Gallery opened on 53rd Street near Third Avenue in Manhattan. … The new gallery … was showing modest portraits and still lifes at a time when abstract painting, the bigger the better, was considered the advanced style. It had female artists on its roster, quite a few. Most eccentrically, the owners, de Nagy and Myers, seemed as interested in new poetry as they were in new art, and were producing a line of books combining the two.” NYT, Friday January 21, 2011

Some of the painters who exhibited there: Grace Hartigan, Larry Rivers, Alfred Leslie, Helen Frankenthaler, Fairfield Porter, Nell Blaine. Some of the poets published by Tibor de Nagy imprint: Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, Ron Padgett. I didn’t get to see the show, but the catalog is a keeper.


And when I thought,

“Our love might end”

the sun

went right on shining

James Schuyler                                                                        Joan Mitchell

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