Monday, February 02, 2009

"A Painter Among Poets": Farewell to George Schneeman

It's a tell-all title: "A Painter Among Poets" is the Granary Books salute to George Schneeman, whose collaborations gave a vivid palette to the New York School poets. Among these have been:
With Bill Berkson: approximately 25 mixed media works on illustration board
With Ted Berrigan: approximately 50 mixed media works on illustration board, three silkscreen prints, and three handmade books
With Michael Brownstein: six mixed media works on illustration board
With Ron Padgett: approximately 100 works on paper, illustration board, and canvas, eight silkscreens, two handmade books, 10 ceramic pieces, and a slide show of his poem "Cufflinks" with 80 drawings
With Anne Waldman: 20 mixed media works on illustration board
Many other mixed media works with Peter Schjeldahl, Tom Clark, Dick Gallup, Larry Fagin, Lewis MacAdams, Alice Notley, Elio Schneeman, and Tom Veitch

Here is Tom Veitch's salute to the artist:
George Schneeman, an artist long associated with the New York School of poets, passed away early in the morning of January 27. He was 75 years old.

In 2004 Granary Books published "Painter Among Poets: The Collaborative Art of George Schneeman", a retrospective of his work with poets. The book was edited by Ron Padgett, with essays by Bill Berkson, Tom Clark, Dick Gallup, Ted Greenwald, Steve Katz, Alice Notley, Ron Padgett, Peter Schjeldahl, Carter Ratcliff, and others.

I knew George in the 1960s and on into the '80s. He was a family man, and being around him and his family made the literary scene feel like one great big happy family. I also remember him as being grouchy and having a great sense of humor, usually at the same time. I could say more...a lot more. But right now I need to go and contemplate my own mortality. Friends passing away will do that for you.

No obituary has appeared yet in the newspapers, but there is a good one by Michael Lally here.

Tom later added:
There is an excellent obituary of George Schneeman in the New York Times today. It summarizes in generous terms what he was up to as an artist who enjoyed collaborating with poets, as well as his peripheral connection to the "real money" art world of the City.

The article includes a slide show of his work which demonstrates both the authenticity and the diversity of his talent. (Click on the little picture of George that accompanies the article.)

And I want to add a link for his Italian landscapes, too.

Kingdom Books has a handful of work by Schneeman in stock; order through our listing at ABE books, or take advantage of our winter sale (25% off unsigned, 10% off signed work -- ONLY if you order directly from us, e-mail

We'll miss the feeling that something new and bright and funny is about to appear in the next Scheeman collaborative.

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