NauenThen

The Ashbery collection

October 30, 2013

Tags: Ashbery, Brainard, Johnny, Larry Rivers, Freilicher

a Freilicher peonies
What a treat to spend a little time this afternoon at the Loretta Howard Gallery, way west on 26th St, looking at some of the art (and bric-a-brac) John Ashbery has collected over the years. Unsurprisingly (for an art critic), he has good taste: there are several Joseph Cornells (not my faves, except for one that's a plain almost empty, weathered box called "The Storm that Never Came"), and works by Henry Dargar, Joe Brainard, Trevor Winkfield, de Kooning (both Willem & Elaine), Joan Mitchell (Johnny's favorite), and a beautiful Jane Freilicher "Peonies"—probably the single work I most would want.

Except wow things really cost a lot. "Inflation," Johnny snorted. Hey we have Brainards at our house. Johnny also had a little drawing Larry Rivers did as a cover sketch for Johnny's novel Mangled Hands, but he lost it.

Well-chosen excerpts from Ashbery's poems make it homey, as in You Are There in his pad. The show is there till November 2.