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Frank O'Hara NowNew Essays on the New York Poet$
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Robert Hampson and Will Montgomery

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312311

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316067

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‘Footprints of a Wild Ballet’: The Poem-Paintings of Frank O'Hara and Norman Bluhm

‘Footprints of a Wild Ballet’: The Poem-Paintings of Frank O'Hara and Norman Bluhm

(p.211) ‘Footprints of a Wild Ballet’: The Poem-Paintings of Frank O'Hara and Norman Bluhm
Frank O'Hara Now
Brian Reed
Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the twenty six Poem-Paintings that O'Hara and the abstract painter Norman Bluhm produced over the course of several Sundays in October 1960. It argues that Bluhm's and O'Hara's poem-paintings test whether paint and language can both be used gesturally. That is, they propose a formal and functional homology between particular methods of applying pigment to paper and words to a page. The point is not so much to convey paraphrasable content. Rather, the goal is to mark a moment and a place as constituting embodied expression. Here, Bluhm and O'Hara imply, were bodies that breathed, moved and thrived: bodies that danced.

Keywords:   Frank O'Hara, collaborations, abstract painters, paint, language

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