Art History Writing Competition

31 Jan

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Department of Art History and Grey Art Gallery, the Art History Writing Competition will recognize the best poem or short prose piece (500 words max.) written by an art history major in response to the exhibition An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle, on view at the Grey Art Gallery from January 14 through March 29, 2014. The Department of Art History and the Grey will award $200 to the winner, $100 to the first runner-up, and also announce an honorable mention. All three authors will be invited to read their entries at a special event at the Grey on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 6:30 pm. The winning entries will also be published on the Department of Art History’s blog, Fields of Vision, and on the Grey’s blog, The Grey Area.

Please email your submission as a Microsoft Word attachment with subject line “Art History Writing Competition” to Be sure to include your full name, University ID (N#), and NYU School in your email (however, please do not include this information in the submission itself). The submission deadline for this contest is Friday, February 28, 2014. Adjunct faculty judge Thomaï Serdari will conduct a blind review of the submissions and select a winner and a runner-up.


Grey Art Gallery, NYU, 100 Washington Square East

Exhibition on view: January 14–March 29, 2014

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle is the first exhibition to focus on the work of this genre-bending group of West Coast artists. Jess (1923–2004), who produced fantastical paintings, collages, and assemblages, and Robert Duncan (1919–1988), who wrote poetry in eclectic, myth-laden verse, were one of the most fascinating artistic couples of the 20th century. After they met in San Francisco in 1950, their work became increasingly intertwined, their dense, allusive creations permeating one another. An Opening of the Field includes 180 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, films, and ephemera—many of which have never been shown in public.

The show features numerous works by the visual artists and poets in their circle, such as Wallace Berman, George Herms, and R. B. Kitaj, revealing the complex and fertile interplay between poetry and art in San Francisco during the 1950s. An Opening of the Field is organized by Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum with guest curators Michael Duncan and Christopher Wagstaff, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. A copy of the catalogue will be available on reserve in the Art History Reading Room, Silver, 3rd floor.


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