New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc./Publishers, 1979. 1st Edition. Large quarto, teal cloth, spine gilt, taupe endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
"He is always in the throes of trying to get to the bottom of something...It’s a kind of itch, and the drawings go after it – whatever it is – in the same way" (from John Ashbery’s foreword). First edition of a catalog of the drawings of Larry Rivers, a prominent member of the New York School, presented alongside text of his own commentary reproduced from tapes by Carol Brightman. Larry Rivers was an artist, writer and musician working at the crossroads of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, who firmly believed that figuration and modernism were not mutually exclusive and who was known for his refusal to bow to passing trends and his devotion to his own pastiche of styles. The sensitive and Romantic delicacy of his drawings testify to his enduring interest in realism, classicism, and the history of art, as well as his ability to sketch across generic and period boundaries: his variations on Old Master paintings are shown together with portraits of friends from the jazz scene at Cedar Tavern – a legendary Greenwich Village bar known as a gathering place for avant garde writers and artists – and iconic 20th-century American poets including Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, and John Ashbery, who wrote the book’s foreword. Inspired by the show of Rivers's drawings and works on paper at the Marlborough Gallery in 1977, the present monograph includes an introduction by Carol Brightman, the journalist and teacher who taped her interviews with Rivers over the course of a year. Illustrated with 285 duotone plates and photographs (70 in color); with a detailed list of plates. Photo of Rivers to rear panel of duat jacket by Nancy Crampton. Light edgewear and toning to unclipped dust jacket. Near fine. Item #3339