Timothy Keane – Abstract

No Real Assurances: Late Modernist Poetics and George Schneeman’s Collaborations with the New York School Poets

Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / Dec 2014 1(2)

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Painter George Schneeman’s collaborations with the New York School poets represent an under-examined, vast body of visual-textual hybrid works that resolve challenges to midand-late century American art through an implied alliance with late modernist literary practices. Schneeman worked with New York poets intermittently from 1966 into the early 2000s. This article examines these collagist works’ from a formalist perspective, uncovering how they incorporate gestural techniques of abstract art and the poetic use of juxtaposition, vortices, analogies, and pictorial and lexical imagism to generate nonrepresentational, enigmatic assemblages. I argue that these late modernist works represent an authentically experimental form, violating boundaries between art and writing, disrupting the venerated concept of single authorship, and resisting the demands of the marketplace by affirming for their creators a unity between art-making and daily life—ambitions that have underpinned every twentieth century avant-garde movement.