John Ashbery

Recent Collages

October 20 – December 3, 2011

Press Release

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new collages by acclaimed poet John Ashbery. This is the gallery’s second solo exhibition devoted exclusively to Ashbery’s collages, following his hugely successful debut with the gallery in 2008.

Ashbery was fascinated in his youth by the collage novels of Max Ernst and the partly collaged Cubist paintings of Picasso and Braque. He started making collages as an undergraduate at Harvard, and has continued the collage process in both his visual and literary creations ever since. Influenced by such collage giants as Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, and more directly, Joe Brainard, Ashbery’s work combines equal doses of art historical and contemporary pop culture references.

These recent works are more inventive and confidently his own than ever before. Ashbery continues to explore the collage medium, pushing the imagery into increasingly amorphous shapes with unexpected and often humorous juxtapositions, in much the same way that he has consistently pushed the boundaries of poetry.

Considered by many to be the most important living poet writing in English, Ashbery has published more than twenty collections, most recently Planisphere (2009, Ecco), and his highly acclaimed translation of Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations (2011, Norton). In May he received the Medal of Honor of New York University’s Center for French Civilization and Culture, and in November he will be presented with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. His Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror won the three major American prizes – the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He served as executive editor of Art News and as the art critic for New York magazine and Newsweek. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1988 to 1999. The winner of many prizes and awards, both nationally and internationally, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was a MacArthur Fellow from 1985 through 1990.

For further information and visuals please contact the gallery at 212.262.5050.