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Elizabeth Bishop

Objects & Apparitions

December 8, 2011 – January 21, 2012

Gregorio Valdes Untitled
Gregorio Valdes Path Through Palm Trees, Figure in Foreground
Artist Unknown Santo
Artist Unknown Birdcage
Artist Unknown Brazilian Paddle
Elizabeth Bishop Sleeping Figure
Elizabeth Bishop Mérida from the Roof
Elizabeth Bishop Red Flowers on Black
Elizabeth Bishop Table with Candelabra
Elizabeth Bishop Tombstones for Sale
Elizabeth Bishop Anjinhos
Elizabeth Bishop's small,
Elizabeth Bishop Tea Service
Elizabeth Bishop County Courthouse
Elizabeth Bishop's large
Two Brazilian iron sculptures
Elizabeth Bishop's Abercrombie and Fitch binoculars
Elizabeth Bishop Olivia
George Hutchinson Untitled
Elizabeth Bishop 43 King Street
Elizabeth Bishop E. Bishop's Patented Slot Machine
Elizabeth Bishop Pansies
Artist Unknown Carranca
Elizabeth Bishop Feather Box
Artist Unknown Madonna
Artist Unknown Votive Cabinet
Artist Unknown Gertrude Bishop (nee Boomer)
Artist Unknown Arthur Boomer "Uncle Neddy"

Press Release

“…How I wish I’d been a painter…that must really be the best profession – none of this fiddling around with words…”

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an unprecedented exhibition of original artworks by poet Elizabeth Bishop and works from her personal collection. This marks the gallery’s second exhibition of the poet’s work; the first was presented in 1996. The show will also include Bishop’s desk from Brazil, where one imagines she wrote some of her important late poems, along with vitrines containing books, photographs, and smaller objects that she collected over the years on her travels.

One hundred years since her birth, and just over thirty years since her death, Bishop is now considered among the most important American poets of the Twentieth Century. Until now, the one facet of her life that has not been explored fully is the transformative role that the visual arts played in her creative output over her lifetime. Bishop made her own art, mostly in the form of intimate watercolors, gouaches, and drawings. She collected art during her years in Brazil, and was also given (and acquired) pieces by her family and closest artist friends. Like her poems, her own artworks possess an unpretentious earthiness combined with an acute eye for detail of everyday life. She made her art quietly, privately, and gave many of them away to friends over the years. The works in this exhibition were all in her collection at the time of her death.

The exhibition will evoke the poet’s private, domestic world. It will comprise rarely exhibited original works by the artist, including enchanting watercolors and gouaches, as well as two enigmatic box assemblages that are indebted to Joseph Cornell. In addition, the exhibition will include a selection of works by other artists: two paintings by the primitive painter Gregorio Valdes, an early Calder print, a relief painting by John Ferren, among others. There will also be two family portraits and a landscape that she inherited, which she writes about in her poems and prose pieces.

The gallery is publishing a 48 page hardbound book with texts by noted writers Dan Chiasson, Joelle Biele and the Pulitzer prize winning writer Lloyd Schwartz.

The exhibition is presented in association with James S. Jaffe Rare Books, LLC.

For further information and visuals please contact the gallery at 212.262.5050 or