What is the poem associated with a painting I don't know the artist of?
March 8, 2005 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I was at the MoMA the other day and came accross an amazing painting called The Diver. I am trying to find out the artist and the poem associated with it. Art history mefites?

1. The artist's handprints were incorporated into the dark painting, at the top, and at the bottom they came together to make was can also be seen as a skull. The prints lined up on a center line which was a lighter color than the generally black rest of the canvas. It is a large work, around 5' high. It was in the same complex of rooms with Hockney and Pollock. Does anyone know what painting I'm talking about?

2. It was associated with a poem of the same title, by a poet with the last name of Crane. In my searches, I have come up with a couple different Cranes, and haven't been able to find a diver poem associated with any of them posted on the web.
posted by scazza to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Jasper Johns' "Diver". I googled "Diver" and "MOMA."

Bonus info: great long bio and critique of Johns.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:43 AM on March 8, 2005

I believe the painting you're talking about it Jasper Johns.

The poem is by Hart Crane, and it's called "The Bridge."

(There's also a bit more here.)
posted by veronica sawyer at 9:44 AM on March 8, 2005

What everyone else said. There's a bit about it halfway down this page.
posted by katie at 9:47 AM on March 8, 2005

Response by poster: Interesting Mo, yes Johns is the artist but the work you link is not the painting. That one is very colorful, where the one I saw was dominantly black.

However, your link described it perfectly, "The band down the middle which is partly lighter in tone is certainly meant to be read as a wooden plank. It is also meant, from the footprints at the top, to represent a diving board. Matching circular vectors traversing the bottom corners indicate the sweep of the diver's arms," etc.

Isn't Johns' painting Periscope taken from Crane's The Bridge, as in Katz's article? Is the poem where Crane specifically talks about a diver from The Bridge as well?
posted by scazza at 10:33 AM on March 8, 2005

Response by poster: Ah as for the "painting," what I saw was the Diver drawing, not the painting which is the 5 part linked by Mo. The center panel of the painting version of Diver with the handprints at the bottom corresponds with the drawing, "whereas the drawing has the same marvellous fusion of the surprising and the inevitable as the flags and the targets and the alphabets and the maps, the painting seems inconclusive." They are very different, which is why I couldn't identify the drawing with the painting linked.

But if anyone knows the poem associated, I am still looking.
posted by scazza at 10:43 AM on March 8, 2005

Response by poster: Here is an image of the drawing and an interesting article about it being the most significant addition to the new MoMA, even in a group with Picasso and Bacon.
posted by scazza at 11:52 AM on March 8, 2005

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