Thursday, September 27, 2012

Paintings of E.E. Cummings


As a poet, E. E. Cummings has enjoyed wide popularity during the 20th century, and great critical acclaim. His poetry has been widely hailed for its experimental form, typography, grammar, and word coinages, as well as for the subtlety and sensitivity of its perceptions and feeling. His nonfiction prose has been praised for its bitter wit and for the clarity and forcefulness of its expression, revealing Cummings as an intelligent, critical observer and chronicler of the modern, who, bound to no school of writing, expresses himself as an idiosyncratic individualist. His highly developed sense of the aesthetic was married to a deep skepticism toward that which was fashionable but uninformed by critical intelligence and the warmth of the human heart. Ezra Pound went so far as to place Cummings' EIMI as the second most important book of the 20th century, ahead of James Joyce's Ulysses and second only to Wyndham Lewis's The Apes of God.
Less well-known are Cummings' achievements as a visual artist and the extent to which they express in an entirely different medium the same aesthetic principles and rigorous artistic intelligence that inform his poetry. Cummings viewed himself as much a painter as a poet, as evidenced by the enormous amount of time and energy he devoted to this lesser-known half of his "twin obsession." Not only did Cummings spend a greater portion of his time painting than writing, he also produced thousands of pages of carefully thought-out notes concerning his own aesthetics of painting: color-theory, analysis of the human form, the "intelligence" of painting, reflections on the Masters…
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painters and poets

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