Lauren Barger

Nick Sturm

ENGL 1102

20 April 2019

Research Statement

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this project is to provide research and evidence to peers and colleagues of a thorough analysis of the uses of visual art and their effects between three prominent New York School artists - Joe Brainard, Alice Notley, and Ted Berrigan. Even though art is a valuable part of each of these artist's lives, not many articles go into depth on how visual art affected their works. What many people are not aware of is each poet's fascination with other mediums other than just drawings, such as Notley's beautiful fans, Ted Berrigan's doodles in his notebooks, or Brainard's collages he readily created with others. For the three artists being investigated in this research, all of them tend to use visual art in different ways to further enhance their poetry. Other New York School poets also frequently made time for painting, collages, sketching, etc. However, the investigation into why the connection between The New York School’s visual arts and poetry has not been heavily looked into. By organizing all of the information I have researched and collected into one place, I will be able to give other researchers and peers a deeper insight into the connection between the Joe Brainard, Alice Notley, and Ted Berrigan and their works in visual art. With this research, others will be able to access and analyze the pictures I have taken from the archives. With these pictures now in digital format, hopefully it can reach more people than before.

RESEARCH FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS:

Throughout my research, I've discovered most of the artwork seen in these poet's writings is used primarily for visual aid for the viewer. Although sometimes abstract, these visual elements further enhance the reading for the viewer, allowing them to see into the mind of the author(s). Visual art comprises of several different sub-categories: fine art, contemporary art, decorative arts and crafts, and other (a fall through category). Each of these categories of visual art can be exploited in different ways and the same effect will be obtained - creation. Each of these three artists utilized the creative process in their own way. For Joe Brainard, his works were often done through collaboration, with one person writing the poem, and another creating a picture or collage to visually represent the feeling, theme, place, or person in the writing. Brainard did this collaboration technique with many other New York School poets and was often an illustrator for Ted Berrigan's “C” magazine. Brainard would also use drawings and sketches to accompany his poems and other writings. This was most likely used as an enhancement for the reader as they visualize for themselves their own interpretation of what Brainard is writing about. Brainard also was a fan of the cartoon character Nancy. Brainard used Nancy to challenge norms regarding a "safe" and "childlike" cartoon character. This character allowed Brainard to mesh the topics of the mundane and ordinary with taboo topics many thought of as inappropriate. Visual art, along with their poetry, was just another medium for these artists to use to get a message across to the reader. The use of art was not only seen in writings and poetry, but also in these poet’s day to day life. Ted Berrigan kept notebooks and would readily doodle, sketch or even paste pictures in the notebooks while writing about things occurring in Berrigan’s everyday life. Berrigan’s influence in visual art did not just stop at his notebooks. Although rarely known, Berrigan was an art critique for the widely circulated magazine, ARTnews. With these reviews, Berrigan was able to fully immerse himself in the up and coming art community. While he would conduct these reviews, he was exposed to different ways to interpret art in New York City. In turn, his writing began to reflect these newfound ideas. Berrigan would find time to explore the New York museums during this time as well. Brainard would accompany Berrigan, and together they would explore the art around them. Notley, married to Berrigan, would draw a picture for every poem she wrote. She was different from Berrigan and Brainard, taking inspiration from her artwork in order to write her works, rather than the other way around. In her "Geography Book" she created for friends and family, the drawing being described in her poems comes before her writing. Utilizing the creative process was tedious at times for Notley, and with two children, found it hard to make time to create pieces of art. Due to this, Notley would go to art museums to get inspirations for her poetry. All of the research that I have found regarding visual art paint an interesting picture for the effects it had on the New York School poets.

 

CONTRIBUTION TO THE FIELD:

I believe that my website will be of use to fellow researchers and scholars about the connection of visual art and poetry for the second generation of New York School poets. I hope that through this exploration and research, others will be more appreciative of art of all mediums and be able to identify the connection between all types of art. With this website and mini-documentaries of each artist, hopefully new primary and secondary sources can arise for others that study the New York School. The mini-documentaries will also provide a quick overview of the topic at hand. With our world becoming more and more digital, these videos will be a great resource for someone who doesn’t want to spend the time reading an essay about the same topic. The video allows for a quick synopsis of the research while also providing sources to further explore the connections between the New York School poets and their visual art. This project has allowed me to investigate all types of art and how effective they can be in starting a conversation about their versatility. Along with this, I managed to upload over one hundred pictures of archival documents to the website I created. This should provide several primary resources for those who are not able to visit the Emory Rose Library themselves. Through further exploration into this topic, I hope to look into other prominent New York School poets and see if their work was also affected by different techniques of visual art.

 

Works Cited

JOE BRAINARD, www.joebrainard.org/index.html.

CONTENTdm, cdm16621.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16621coll1.

“About ARTnews -.” ARTnews, www.artnews.com/about/.

“‘Autobiography’ by Joe Brainard.” PRX, beta.prx.org/stories/69921.

“Encyclopedia of the New York School Poets.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=Mgsgw2xe-F0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_g. “Estate of Joe Brainard - Artists - The Tibor De Nagy Gallery.” Tibor De Nagy Gallery, www.tibordenagy.com/artists/estate-of-joe-brainard.

“Joe Brainard.” PennSound: Joe Brainard, writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Brainard.php.

Padgett, Ron. Painter among Poets: the Collaborative Art of George Schneemann. Granary Books, 2004.

Sturm, Nick. “‘The Pollock Streets’ Ted Berrigan's Art Writing.” FANZINE, thefanzine.com/the-pollock-streets-ted-berrigans-art-writing-part-i/.

“The Importance of Art in Daily Life- Series, Article 1.” Fine Art Photography, 19 Oct. 2017, www.montenagler.com/the-importance-of-art-in-daily-life-1/.

“Top Collections at the Archive.” Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine, archive.org/.

“Visual Art: Definition & Meaning.” Visual Art: Definition, History, Classification, www.visual-arts-cork.com/definitions/visual-art.htm.


 

Works Consulted

JOE BRAINARD, www.joebrainard.org/index.html.

CONTENTdm, cdm16621.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16621coll1.

Learn.org, learn.org/articles/What_is_Visual_Arts.html.

“About ARTnews -.” ARTnews, www.artnews.com/about/.

“‘Autobiography’ by Joe Brainard.” PRX, beta.prx.org/stories/69921.

“Encyclopedia of the New York School Poets.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=Mgsgw2xe-F0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_g.

“Estate of Joe Brainard - Artists - The Tibor De Nagy Gallery.” Tibor De Nagy Gallery, www.tibordenagy.com/artists/estate-of-joe-brainard.

“Joe Brainard.” PennSound: Joe Brainard, writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Brainard.php.

“Joe Brainard.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/joe-brainard.

“Joe Brainard's Art.” Edinburgh University Press Books, edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-joe-brainard-s-art.html.

“Nick Sturm on Ted Berrigan as Art Critic.” Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets, 7 Dec. 2015, newyorkschoolpoets.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/nick-sturm-on-ted-berrigan-as-art-critic

Padgett, Ron. Painter among Poets: the Collaborative Art of George Schneemann. Granary Books, 2004.

Sturm, Nick. “‘The Pollock Streets’ Ted Berrigan's Art Writing.” FANZINE, thefanzine.com/the-pollock-streets-ted-berrigans-art-writing-part-i/.

Sturm, Nick. “‘The Polluck Streets’ Ted Berrigan's Art Writing Part II.” FANZINE, thefanzine.com/the-pollock-streets-ted-berrigans-art-writing-part-ii/.

“The Importance of Art in Daily Life- Series, Article 1.” Fine Art Photography, 19 Oct. 2017, www.montenagler.com/the-importance-of-art-in-daily-life-1/.

“Top Collections at the Archive.” Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine, archive.org/.

“University Libraries Archives and Special Collections Blog.” Archives and Special Collections Blog, blogs.lib.uconn.edu/archives/tag/nick-sturm/.

“Visual Art: Definition & Meaning.” Visual Art: Definition, History, Classification, www.visual-arts-cork.com/definitions/visual-art.htm.

Lauren Barger | Dr. Sturm | Spring 2019 | ENGL 1102 - Poetry, Painting, and Film in New York City, 1960 - Present | The Georgia Institute of Technology

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