Category Archives: modernism

Robert Rauschenberg and Working in the Gap

It’s hard to read about Robert Rauschenberg without encountering a Great American Image: a uniquely American hero in modern visual art. It seems to me rather that he was more like the Slavoj Žižek of the art world of his … Continue reading

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Rimbaud and de Kooning

Arriving from always, you’ll go away everywhere. —Rimbaud We are modern. We are so because Rimbaud commanded us to be. —Ashbery It is one of those curious accidents (but are they really accidents?) that I have resumed my de Kooning … Continue reading

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Conrad Aiken and the struggle of consciousness

even one’s newness is old —Conrad Aiken   One of the first things that comes up in a google search of the name “Conrad Aiken” (right next to we found Conrad Aiken) is a review of his Selected Poems in … Continue reading

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Yahia Lababidi’s Balancing Acts

The poems of Yahia Lababidi recall some great names: Borges, Pessoa, and Baudelaire. The spirit of Baudelaire looms large in the poems of Balancing Acts. But I think of visual artists too. Striking, novel images are conjured, mysterious and dreamlike, … Continue reading

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Beckett’s Labyrinth

The Minotaur, not Narcissus, presides over the birth of art —Rosalind Krauss Patrick Bowles records a conversation he had with Samuel Beckett while the two were working on the English translation of Molloy. Bowles had shared a quotation from Blanchot: … Continue reading

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Out of the Shadows with Maldoror

Parle, et, puisque, d’après tes vœux les plus chers, l’on ne souffrirait pas, dis en quoi consisterait alors la vertu, idéal que chacun s’efforce d’atteindre, si ta langue est faite comme celle des autres hommes. —Lautréamont, Les Chants de Maldoror … Continue reading

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Conversations with a Clown by Michael Welzenbach

Conversations with a Clown, published in 1991, is the only novel by art critic Michael Welzanbach who died far too young in 2001. The novel concerns art critic Corry Peters who lives in Washington D.C., has profoundly ambivalent feelings about … Continue reading

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