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More On Elizabeth Bishop’s Tibor de Nagy Exhibit

By Harriet Staff

We wrote about Elizabeth Bishop’s paintings, and this exhibit in particular, a while back, and now The Economist offers up this short review.

Here’s a sample:

“Objects and Apparitions”, an exhibition of Bishop’s artwork at the Tibor de Nagy gallery in New York, lends a glimpse of her private life as a painter. The show gathers together a selection of the relatively unknown pieces she produced in her lifetime—for friends, lovers or as gifts, never intended for public display—along with some of the objects she adorned her homes with in Brazil and America.

The result is illuminating. As in so many of her poems, Bishop’s paintings—all small, averaging around 8 by 8 inches in size—are intricately detailed. And yet they can trip you up with a sudden, vertiginous shift in perspective (as in “Table with Candelabra”, in which objects on a flowery tablecloth seem to be poised somewhere between forever slipping off the table, and forever staying still), just as the break of an enjambment in her poetry might suddenly lift you to another, unexpected plane. These paintings feature pansies for one lover, Lota de Macedo Soares; or capture another lover lying asleep on her bed. One depicts a lonely tea service laid out, a single cup and saucer ready for use.

Make the jump to read the rest, and if you’re lucky enough, go see them in person!


Posted in Poetry News on Friday, December 16th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.