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Parting Shot: E. E. Cummings 

click to enlarge bearded man in small hat, E. E. Cummings, ink on paper
  • bearded man in small hat, E. E. Cummings, ink on paper

E. E. Cummings was best known for his experimental prose: clever, calculated, and complex, the words dipping and diving across the page. He also considered himself a visual artist, with a collection of oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings left in his estate created through his "twin obsession."

After his death in 1962, the bulk of Cummings's visual work was discovered in storage. From childhood doodles, circus sketches, and burlesque subjects to watercolor landscapes, family portraits, and rare ink drawings documenting his travels in the `20s and `30s, the work was as varied and controversial as his poetry. He dabbled in Cubism and abstraction, eventually evolving to more representational pieces that sought to dissect, observe, and analyze. His artwork acts as a kind of timeline of his development as an artist, poet, and human being.

Cummings's work is currently on display through June 21 at the Transverse Gallery at the Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, in collaboration with the Ken Lopez Gallery. Eecummingsart.com; Lgny.org.

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