"This is no mere catalog. It's a masterful recognition of two leading lights within the American mystical art movement
."—Phantasmaphile"An Opening of the Field is earnest and old fashioned (in the best sense)."
"This informative, amply illustrated, and well-researched book documents the decades-long influence of the artist Jess Collins (now known as Jess) and his partner in art and life, poet and artist Robert Duncan."
—International Association of Art Critics
"An excellent catalog
."—The New York Review of Books.
Artist Jess (1923–2004) and poet Robert Duncan (1919–1988) were one of the most fascinating artistic couples of the twentieth century, together sharing a rich, complex intellectual and emotional life that resulted in some of the century’ most satisfying and moving artworks and writings. After meeting in San Francisco in 1950, they soon created a domestic life based on mutual intellectual and aesthetic interests. In reexamining myths through a synthesis of art and literature, their deeply interrelated works stand as crucial assemblages of the meaning of our time. An Opening of the Field
presents a rich cross-section of Jess’s paintings and collages and Duncan’s colorful abstract drawings, as well as a gallery of works by the artists and poets who were intimates in their circle, including Helen Adam, James Broughton, Patricia Jordan, R. B. Kitaj, Michael McClure, Jack Spicer, Dean Stockwell, and many others.
Essays by Michael Duncan and Christopher Wagstaff examine the artists’ lives and works; William Breazeale interprets the complexity of a major Jess collage; and James Maynard offers a synopsis of the poetry scene of the time. Concise biographies are included for each of the artists and poets featured in the “circle.”