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Works Of William Carlos Williams And Frank O'hara

2839 words - 11 pages

During the early nineteen hundreds painters began to break away form traditional subjects and ideas associated with painting in order to refresh old conventions. Some artists claimed that painting was simply a matter of paint upon canvas and not a mirror to nature or a window on the world. They began to explore new ways to describe the world with the intent to shock viewers out of their preconceptions. This new breed of painter, the abstract expressionist, recognized the spontaneity of the creative moment and constructed works that would attempt to deconstruct ideas from the past. The focus of this essay will be how these revolutionary ideas infused their way into literature with specific focus on works by American writers William Carlos Williams and Frank O'Hara. Using critical analysis the author of this essay will attempt to show how both authors incorporated ideas from the abstract expressionist movement into their works. As a result the reader may acquire a new appreciation for the themes and images discussed by both authors while achieving an understanding for the ideas perpetuated by abstract expressionists. In order to assess how writers, like Williams and O'Hara, were influenced by ideas propagated by painters one may be inclined to look into the historical period in which they livedBetween the years of 1909 through 1925 there was a period of unprecedented collaboration between art communities in New York, Paris and London. In 1913 abstract expressionist art made its first major appearance in North America at the Armory Show in New York and this is cited as having a major influence on American artists of this time period. A poet, William Carlos Williams, was impressed at the advances made in painting and set out to revive literature with the philosophies of abstract expressionists. Even before the date of the Armory Show, Williams was interested in painting and he had associations with painters, such as Charles Demuth. As abstract expressionist art gained momentum in America, alliances were made between poets and painters and Williams made valuable connections. He joined a painter and poet circle financed by Walter Arensberg in 1915 and he exchanged intellectual ideas with artists from Europe and America. Williams collaborated with painters by using their abstract ideas and paintings to gain inspiration to fuel his own literary projects. He was concerned with breaking away from old European poetic tradition and verse in order to create poetry for modern times. His poetic style and conceptions led the way for other poets to adopt his foundations and helped create a modernist type of poetry. Frank O'Hara dealt with poetry in a similar fashion as Williams and this could be attributed to his collaborations with modernist abstract artists. O'Hara, like Williams, became associated with American and European artist when he moved to New York and started working at the Museum of Modern Arts in the 1950's. O'Hara is cited as being one of the...

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