(New York: [Printed at Golgonooza Press for] Limited Editions Club, 1998). 378 x 278 mm. (15 x 11").  leaves. No. 132 OF 300 COPIES, SIGNED by the author and the artist.
Publisher's khaki cloth, upper cover with dark orange morocco label, smooth spine. In a matching clamshell box with morocco label on back. With three watercolor woodblock prints by Jane Freilicher. Prospectus laid in at front. In mint condition.
This attractive volume from the Limited Editions Club brings together John Ashbery and Jane Freilicher, two close friends from the New York School, an informal group of avant-garde poets and artists. Ashbery's text is one of his notoriously opaque post-modern prose works, in which a narrator describes the 20th century performance of a masque, a type of celebratory play popular in the Renaissance, from the viewpoint of a contemporary audience. In addition to being the most lauded American poet of his generation, Ashbery (1927-2017) was also an art critic, and he uses this piece to comment on the conflict and interplay of visual and verbal media. The visuals here are provided by Ashbery's onetime muse Freilicher (1924-2014), whose distinctive, colorful paintings manage to combine, improbably, realism and abstract expressionism. Freilicher's vibrant colors were reproduced here by Keiji Shinohara, who used more than 30 separate woodblocks to create each of the plates. (ST15816-30)
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PJP Catalog: 77.134