Joe Brainard American
Not on view
A prolific artist and sometimes writer, Brainard was associated with the New York School, a community of poets and artists who congregated and often collaborated in downtown Manhattan in the mid-twentieth century. In the 1960s, unable to afford paint and canvas, he instead transformed ordinary objects and ephemera collected from his Lower East Side neighborhood into assemblages and collages. Throughout the next decade, he employed this modest yet sensual approach to materials to produce hundreds of lush multimedia works on paper, including intricate paper cutouts and minuscule shaped drawings. In their depiction of everyday things—garden flowers, the torso of a friend or lover, a can of sardines, a crumpled pair of underpants— these works capture with poignancy and wit the observed snippets that compose life.