The whole gallery feels like the metaphor of a home of someone who truly loves art and wishes to share his experience with the rest of the world. We’ve often dreamed of such a place, and wished to see it, but very seldom if ever, really find the opportunity to see it.
Loretta Howard Gallery in New York City, in homage to the Pulitzer awarded poet John Ashbery, has transported Ashberry’s world and his private art collection at his Victorian-era house by the Hudson in upstate New York into the gallery space, reflecting the ambience in which Ashbery has surrounded himself with art, and cultivated his own inspiration in poetry.
Often considered to be the most important living poet of the English language, Ashbery is no stranger to art and the art world. He has worked as executive editor of Art News, and as art critic for New York magazine, and Newsweek, and owns a large collection of rarely seen art works by artists such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Mark Tobey, Joan Mitchell, Giorgio de Chirico, Joseph Cornell, Alex Katz, Norman Blum, Utagawa Kunisada… He also makes collages that have been exhibited by the Tibor de Nagy gallery in New York.
The exhibition is by itself an unusual installation showing the world of a much acclaimed poet, his poetry, his painting, his collection of art and personal objects, offering a warm invitation to a unique and unforgettable experience, richly blending literature with art.
By John Ashbery
This room I entered was a dream of this room.
Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.
The oval portrait
of a dog was me at an early age.
Something shimmers, something is hushed up.
We had macaroni for lunch every day
except Sunday, when a small quail was introduced
to be served to us. Why do I tell you these things?
You are not even here.
(Your Name Here, 2000)
Rendition of “Music Room” with works by:
Elaine de Kooning (left)
Untitled (Abstraction), c. 1957-60
Watercolor on paper
17 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches
Jean Helion (center)
EquiLibre (Blue and Yellow), 1933
Watercolor and pencil on paper
8 3/8 x 11 inches
Jean Helion (right)
Untitled (Red and Blue) 1933
gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper
8 1/2 x 6 3/8 inches