John Ashbery is known foremost as a poet, but he has been creating collages for nearly as long as he s been writing poetry.
He began working in the medium when he was an undergraduate at Harvard, more than seventy years ago.
Now, for the first time ever, this volume compiles a comprehensive selection of Ashbery s collage work, accompanied by a selection of collage-related poems.
Like his poetry, Ashbery s collage work combines art historical and pop culture references, creating often humorous juxtapositions. Ashbery s approach to poetry and collage is quite similar and here, in an extensive interview with poet, critic, and longtime friend John Yau, Ashbery delves into his creative process and the parallels between creating in the two media. The subtitle They Knew What They Wanted is taken from one of Ashbery s collage-poems, which is featured in this volume along with many others.
With about seventy-five collages, exploring how Ashbery s visual art has evolved over the years, this book is a must-have for the many lovers of Ashbery s poetry, and for all those wishing to learn more about his creative output.