Feminist Avant-Garde Poetry

English 660:001 / Spring 2007 / Tues 4:30-7:10 / Krug Hall 253 / George Mason University

Susan Tichy / stichy@gmu.edu / Robinson A-455A / 703/993-1191

Main Page


6 March: I have posted guidelines for the final papers and portfolios, including grading criteria for the papers. You will find them on the main course page.

21 Feb: On the schedule page, I've added a link to another essay (by Marjorie Perloff) on Loy's "Anglo-Mongrels."

Also, two essays on Sanchez, which will be on electronic reserve as soon as they are processed.

16 Feb: Revised schedule posted, in response to the snow day. Please check your e-mail for comments on the changes.

12 Feb: Just starting  Braque, and I'm out of time. I'll put this up, unfinished, so you can get started - and will try to finish tonight. You can easily explore Braque on your own, however.

Here are some images and short commentaries on painters who part of Stein's circle, or were influential in her work.

Start with Cezanne: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/C/cezanne.html
Read the commentary. Click the links called mountain peak, abandoned quarry, solitary house, tree, & bojects on the table. At the bottom of the page you will find more links to early paintings, landscapes, still lifes, etc.

Look at how Cezanne, in all but his earliest work, flattens the pictorial space, to make representation more a matter of geometry, color, and composition than of illusion. He uses the whole surface of the canvas more or less equally.

Go next to Picasso: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/P/picasso_protocubism.html and the beginnings of Cubism. Braque and Picasso took from Cezanne the idea of form simplifying toward a state of geometry. Early Cubist work (what this web site calls "proto-Cubism") is exemplified by paintings like "Pitcher and Bowls," "Fruit in a Vase," and "Woman with a Mandolin."

<>Now click to the page called Analytical Cubism <http://www.artchive.com/artchive/P/picasso/tellier.jpg.html> and compare that latter painting to "Girl with a Mandolin," from 1910. There's some text to go with it, if you like.  For a further step forward, look at the "Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler," often cited as a premier example of Picasso's work in this phase. From the same page, look "The Glass," (a.k.a. "Wine Glass") and compare it to "Pitcher and Bowl."

By 1910-11, Picasso & Braque had pushed Analytical Cubism to the very edge of representation. A painting in the Guggenheim collection, "The Poet," is offered as an example of that edge. Text on their site is quite good, as well.  <http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_work_md_126_17.html>

On the Guggenheim page, click "Next Picasso Work" and you arrive at "Pipe, Glass, Bottle of Vieux Marc," a collage work of 1914, which is the Guggenheim's only example of the next phase, Synthetic Cubism. This phas is a movement back toward representation, but not a move back toward 19th century ideas of representation. Back on the Art Archive page <http://www.artchive.com/artchive/P/picasso_syntheticcubism.html> have a look at "Glass and Bottle of Suze" (1912) and other works from this period. If you have a color printer, print out "Still Life with Bowl and Fruit" (1912) and bring it to class. (Marjorie Perloff references this work in "The Invention of Collage," in The Futurist Moment-- highly recommended.

A side note: Art historians rarely acknowledge any political content to these works, treating the newsprint as abstract blocks of color, pattern, or, at best, general references to the café scenes in which newspapers were read. But the newsprint often remains legible, and their status as texts cannot be deleted from the works' meaning. Patricial Leighton's "Picasso's Collages and the Threat of War, 1912-1913" reads from those texts the anarchist and Symbolist milieu that "helped form Picasso's view of himself as an artist in society, his ideas about spontaneity and the inspiration of the artist, and about the virtues of 'unsophisitcated' primitive art." The article  appeared in The Art Bulletin 67, no. 4 (December 1985).