Art Nouveau Fish Bowl

Joe Brainard American

Not on view

Towards the end of 1960, Brainard left his native Tulsa for New York City, where he soon saw the groundbreaking Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art (1961). Inspired by the artists in the exhibition—among them Pablo Picasso and Kurt Schwitters—who layered the materials of everyday life in their work, Brainard soon began making assemblages of his own. By the mid-1970s, when this work was made, Brainard had established strong ties with the group of New York poets around John Ashbery (b. 1927). He had also developed a forceful amphetamine habit, which kept him awake for days in his studio where he would make endless collages and drawings from the piles of scrap paper that littered the floor.

Art Nouveau Fish Bowl, Joe Brainard (American, Salem, Arkansas 1942–1994 New York), Cut and pasted, printed and painted papers, opaque watercolor, with traces of graphite on paper

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