Jess: TIBOR DE NAGY

By Richard, Frances | Artforum International, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Jess: TIBOR DE NAGY


Richard, Frances, Artforum International


The painter and eollagist Jess (I 923-20Q4) had a poet in his life, of course. On New Year's Day, 195 I, he exchanged vows with Robert Duncan, sage of the San Francisco Renaissance, and they lived together for nearly four decades. But the poet rhat Jess's early paintings--nineteen, made between I 9.50 and I 966, were exhibited here--brought to mind, for me at least, was Frank (VI lara, specifically his "Memorial Day, 1950": "Fathers of Dada! You carried shining erector sets / in your rough bony pockets, you were generous / and they were lovely as chewing gum or flowers! /Thank your!" Jess disparaged his own graphic skill, often choosing to copy from magazines, and the jerky innocence of his hand seems limned in O'Hara's lines, as does the eroticism, conscious of itself as overwrought yet wholly sincere, in works like Hiding Little in Big, 1959, wherein a pair of boneless swains frolic in a springtime wood composed of pigment so blobbed and gummy that it does suggest something played with by mouth and fingers. (Painted into the lower-right corner of the scene is an enigmatic artist's or lover's warning: HIDING UTTLK THINGS IN BIG--OK BUT THEY MAY BE LOST.) The bouquets in A J is for Mud, 1961, and Petals of Paint, 1964, look literally made of stuck-on gum--and the M in the former, jigsawed from wood and marled in gray-green impasto, is stuck on too. Fans of the hallucinogenically precise collages and "paint by number"-style paintings for which Jess is best known may find these lushly awkward canvases surprising. But their relationships to the later work are piquant; the paintings, too, seem assembled from disparate parts. They are romantic as valentines, and odd as all get-out.

As a young atomic chemist, Jess Collins worked on the Manhattan Project and the Flanford Atomic Energy Project until an apocalyptic dream inspired him to quit. He studied with Clyfford Still at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art institute), but it was Duncan who gave him Max Frnst's collage-novel IJne semaine dc bvnte, 1934. So Ernst was the "father of Dada" who inspired Jess directly, though he freely mixed the influence with traces of Pierre Bonnard's and Fdouard Vuillard's glowing domesticity, and the moonlit ecriness of Fdvard Munch or Albert Pinkham Ryder.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Jess: TIBOR DE NAGY
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.