Friday, July 09, 2010
Where Paint and Poetry Meet
This is a fascinating article. I love how the painting was created in reference to a poem, rather then the reverse. What do you call the inverse of Ekphrastic? Is there a name fore it?
Charles Demuth's 'The Figure 5 in Gold' is a witty homage to William Carlos Williams and one of his poems.
On its own, this visual impact might have made Charles Demuth's most famous work into an icon of American art. But "The Figure 5 in Gold" has much more going for it. It's the best work in a genre Demuth created, the "poster portrait." It's a witty homage to his close friend, the poet William Carlos Williams, and a transliteration into paint of his poem, "The Great Figure." It's a decidedly American work made at a time when U.S. artists were just moving beyond European influences. It's a reference to the intertwined relationships among the arts in the 1920s, a moment of cross-pollination that led to American Modernism. And it anticipates Pop art.