Passing of John Ashbery

History, News

John Ashbery, one of the most renowned American poets — winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Award — died early Sunday (September 3rd, 2017) at the age of 90.

Francophile and art critic for the Paris Herald Tribune, ARTnews, New York et Newsweek, he held Georges Mathieu’s work in high esteem:

The new paintings of Georges Mathieu probably establish him as France’s foremost abstract painter.

and analyzed it as follows, with his rich and subtle language:

(…) It is vital for us to decode the messages that Mathieu has set down for us —for our own good — in a ravishing cipher whose elegance is somehow connected with danger. But already the difficulty of the language, the speed with which things happen, the inexorable preciseness of the forms have given us a clue. And without realizing it we have already begun to live in his world — like our own with the difference that everything is carried to its extreme — a world of pure motion in which we are not always aware of what it is that lacerates us, that makes us rejoice.