Living legend of prose focus of show

     (AAPNW-NY) – Opening Friday, April 1 at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) in Rochester, “John Ashbery and Friends: Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” is an exhibition centering around the 30th anniversary of Writers & Books Special event with the focus on Ashbery, who has been noted as one of America’s greatest living poets.

John Ashbery

     Born in Rochester, Ashbery began taking art classes at MAG during his boyhood years and from there, his paths took him to Harvard, graduating in 1949; residencies in New York and Paris, where he wrote art criticism as well as verse; thusly garnering him acclaim by major critics for his poetry works of our time.

     In 1984, Andrew Hoyem, founder of Arion Press decided to publish a limited-edition artist’s book of Ashbery’s masterpiece, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.” Hoyem typeset radiating lines of verse, echoing the shape of Parmigianino’s painting, and invited eight artists, friends of Ashbery to contribute prints. The choice of artists was quite deliberate: the eight plus Ashbery were informally linked in the 1950s and 60s to the avant-garde group of poets, painters, dancers and musicians that would become known as the New York School.  Ashbery also won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and his poem, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” became a meditation on a 16th-c. painting by Italian artist Francesco Parmigianino

     Poet Ashbery will speak on his life and work on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00 pm and joining him will be James Longenbach, who is a poet, critic and Professor of English at the University of Rochester. The exhibit marks the first time his book has been shown at MAG and will remain on view through June 12, and the exhibit coincides with National Poetry Month.

Published by on March 2011. Filed under Archives, Poet's Corner dept. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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