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Francis Russell O'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American writer, poet and art critic. He was a member of the New York School of poetry. (picture Frank O'Hara, 1965, by Mario Schifano)

Frank O'Hara, the son of Russell Joseph O'Hara and Katherine Broderick, was born on March 27, 1926, at Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore and grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts. He attended St. John's High School in Worcester. O'Hara believed he was born in June but was in fact born in March, his parents having disguised his true date of birth because he was conceived out of wedlock. He studied piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston from 1941 to 1944 and served in the South Pacific and Japan as a sonarman on the destroyer USS Nicholas during World War II.

With the funding made available to veterans he attended Harvard University, where artist and writer Edward Gorey was his roommate. Although O'Hara majored in music and did some composing, his attendance was irregular and his interests disparate. He regularly attended classes in philosophy and theology, while writing impulsively in his spare time. O'Hara was heavily influenced by visual art and by contemporary music, which was his first love (he remained a fine piano player all his life and would often shock new partners by suddenly playing swathes of Rachmaninoff when visiting them). His favorite poets were Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, Boris Pasternak, and Vladimir Mayakovsky. While at Harvard, O'Hara met John Ashbery and began publishing poems in the Harvard Advocate. Despite his love of music, O'Hara changed his major and graduated from Harvard in 1950 with a degree in English.


A group of New York-based painters and writers had same-sex desire as a recurring theme in their works and created a cultural network amongst themselves during the 1950s and 60s. This creative group included (above from left) Frank O’Hara, John Button, James Schuyler and Joe LeSueur. Frank O’Hara, John Button, James Schuyler, and Joe LeSueur watching television, ca. 1960. John Button papers, ca. 1965–2004. Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution.
Frank O'Hara was an American writer, poet and art critic. He was a member of the New York School of poetry. He then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, he won a Hopwood Award and received his M.A. in English literature 1951. That autumn O'Hara moved into an apartment in New York City with Joe LeSueur, who would be his roommate and sometime lover for the next 11 years. It was in New York that he began teaching at The New School.



Poets Dressed and Poets Undressed by Wynn Chamerberlain. It depicts poets Joe Brainard, Frank O’Hara, Joe LeSueur and Frank Lima.


Larry Rivers and Frank O'Hara


Larry Rivers, Frank O'Hara and friends in front of Larry Rivers' house in Southampton

He then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, he won a Hopwood Award and received his M.A. in English literature 1951. That autumn O'Hara moved into an apartment in New York City with Joe LeSueur, who would be his roommate and sometime lover for the next 11 years. It was in New York that he began teaching at The New School.

Known throughout his life for his extreme sociability, passion, and warmth, O'Hara had hundreds of friends and lovers throughout his life, many from the New York art and poetry worlds. Soon after arriving in New York, he was employed at the front desk of the Museum of Modern Art and began to write seriously.

O'Hara was active in the art world, working as a reviewer for Artnews, and in 1960 was Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art. He was also friends with the artists Willem de Kooning, Norman Bluhm, Larry Rivers and Joan Mitchell.

In the early morning hours of July 24, 1966, O'Hara was struck by a dune buggy on the Fire Island beach. He died the next day of a ruptured liver. O'Hara was buried in Green River Cemetery on Long Island. The painter Larry Rivers, a longtime friend of O'Hara's, delivered the eulogy.
Frank O’Hara died in the mid 1960s but reads like a contemporary voice. He wrote everything from wildly surrealist abstraction to clear, witty descriptions of the walks he took on his lunch breaks in midtown Manhattan. Artistic, arch, campy, lucid—O’Hara wore so many different poetic hats. I can pick up his Collected Poems (or the shorter Selected Poems, edited by Mark Ford) and find something to match almost any mood I’m in. There will always be a place in my heart from the poems he wrote directly to his boyfriends, which place him among the greatest writers of love poems ever: “the moon is revealing itself like a pearl / to my equally naked heart.” Related reading: Brad Gooch’s entertaining biography of O’Hara, City Poet; and Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara: A Memoir, by Joe LeSueur, who was O’Hara’s lover, roommate and bestie for many years. --K.M. Soehnlein (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1009275.html)
Books in lifetime
A City Winter and Other Poems. Two Drawings by Larry Rivers. (New York: Tibor de Nagy Gallery Editions, 1951 [sic, i.e. 1952])g
Oranges: 12 pastorals. (New York: Tibor de Nagy Gallery Editions, 1953; New York: Angel Hair Books, 1969)
Meditations in an Emergency. (New York: Grove Press, 1957; 1967)
Second Avenue. Cover drawing by Larry Rivers. (New York: Totem Press in Association with Corinth Books, 1960)
Odes. Prints by Michael Goldberg. (New York: Tiber Press, 1960)
Lunch Poems. (San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, The Pocket Poets Series (No. 19), 1964)
Love Poems (Tentative Title). (New York: Tibor de Nagy Gallery Editions, 1965)

Burial: Green River Cemetery, East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York, USA

Joe LeSueur (1924 - May 14, 2001) was a decorated soldier when he moved to New York in 1949, at the age of twenty-five. He held jobs as an editor, critic, and screenwriter. He died in 2001 in East Hampton.

In 1951 Joe LeSueur moved into an apartment in New York City with Frank O'Hara, who would be his roommate and sometime lover for the next 11 years.

Joe LeSueur lived with Frank O'Hara until 1965, the years when O'Hara wrote his greatest poems, including 'To the Film Industry in Crisis', 'In Memory of My Feelings', 'Having a Coke with You', and the famous Lunch Poems-so called because O'Hara wrote them during his lunch break at the Museum of Modern Art, where he worked as a curator. (The artists he championed include Jackson Pollock, Joseph Cornell, Grace Hartigan, Jane Freilicher, Joan Mitchell, and Robert Rauschenberg.) The flowering of O'Hara's talent, cut short by a fatal car accident in 1966, produced some of the most exuberant, truly celebratory lyrics of the twentieth century. And it produced America's greatest poet of city life since Whitman.

Joe LeSueur died on May 14, 2001. The New York Times obituary remembers him as: Man of letters. Dear friend of the late Patsy Southgate and Frank O'Hara. Loved by many whose lives he touched.
I am lonely for myself
I can't find a real poem
if it won't happen to me
what shall I do
--Frank O'Hara, from, "At Joan's", 1959
Larry Rivers (August 17, 1923 - August 14, 2002) was an American artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Rivers resided and maintained studios in New York City, Southampton, New York (on Long Island) and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Larry Rivers was born as Yitzhok Loiza Grossberg to Russian Jewish parents. He changed his name to Larry Rivers in 1940, after being introduced as "Larry Rivers and the Mudcats" at a local New York City pub. From 1940-45 he worked as a jazz saxophonist in New York City, and he studied at the Juilliard School of Music in 1945-46, along with Miles Davis, with whom he remained friends until Davis's death in 1991.

Rivers is considered by many scholars to be the "Godfather" and "Grandfather" of Pop art, because he was one of the first artists to really merge non-objective, non-narrative art with narrative and objective abstraction.

Rivers took up painting in 1945 and studied at the Hans Hofmann School from 1947–48, and then at New York University. He was a pop artist of the New York School, reproducing everyday objects of American popular culture as art. He was one of eleven New York artists featured in the opening exhibition at the Terrain Gallery in 1955.


Frank O'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) also had a relationship with artist Larry Rivers in the late 1950s and Rivers delivered the eulogy at O'Hara's funeral in 1966. Larry Rivers (August 17, 1923 - August 14, 2002) was an American artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Rivers resided and maintained studios in New York City, Southampton, New York (on Long Island) and Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Rivers is considered by many scholars to be the "Godfather" and "Grandfather" of Pop art.




Larry Rivers and Frank O'Hara


Larry Rivers, Frank O'Hara and friends in front of Larry Rivers' house in Southampton

During the early 1960s Rivers lived in the Hotel Chelsea, notable for its artistic residents such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Arthur C. Clarke, Dylan Thomas, Sid Vicious and multiple people associated with Andy Warhol's Factory. In 1965 Rivers had his first comprehensive retrospective in five important American museums. His final work for the exhibition was The History of the Russian Revolution, which was later on extended permanent display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. During 1967 he was in London collaborating with the American painter Howard Kanovitz.

In 1968, Rivers travelled to Africa for a second time with Pierre Dominique Gaisseau to finish their documentary Africa and I, which was a part of the groundbreaking NBC series "Experiments in Television". During this trip they narrowly escaped execution as suspected mercenaries.

During the 1970s Rivers worked closely with Diana Molinari and Michel Auder on many video tape projects, including the infamous Tits, and also worked in neon.

Established as one of America's most important postwar artists, Rivers continued, until his death on August 14, 2002, to exhibit regularly both in the United States and abroad and to create work that combined realistically rendered images within a loosely brushed, quasi-abstract background. His primary gallery being the Marlborough Gallery in New York City. In 2002 a major retrospective of Rivers' work was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Rivers married Augusta Berger in 1945, and they had one son, Steven, as well as an earlier adopted child, Joseph. The couple divorced. He married Clarice Price in 1961, a Welsh school teacher who cared for his two sons. Rivers and Clarice Price had two daughters, Gwynne and Emma. After six years, they separated. Shortly after, he lived and collaborated with Diana Molinari, who featured in many of his works of the 1970s. After that Rivers lived with Sheila Lanham, a Baltimore poet. In the early 1980s, Rivers and East Village figurative painter Daria Deshuk lived together and in 1985 they had a son, Sam Deshuk Rivers. At the time of his death in 2002, Jeni Olin, a poet, was his companion.

Rivers also sustained a relationship with poet Frank O'Hara in the late 1950s and delivered the eulogy at O'Hara's funeral in 1966.

New York University bought correspondences and other documents from the Larry Rivers Foundation to house in their archive. However, both daughters he had with Clarice Price, Gwynne and Emma, object to one particular film being displayed, as it depicts them naked as young children. The film's purpose is supposedly to be a documentation on their growth through puberty, but it was made without their consent. This matter is addressed in the December 2010 issue of the magazine Vanity Fair, and the October 2010 issue of Grazia.

Burial: Independent Jewish Cemetery, Sag Harbor, Suffolk County, New York, USA

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Rivers  & http://www.larryriversfoundation.org/


Larry Rivers by Pamela Joseph

































Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_O%27Hara

Further Readings:

The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara edited by Donald Allen, Introduction by John Ashbery
Paperback: 586 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (March 31, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0520201663
ISBN-13: 978-0520201668
Amazon: The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara

Available for the first time in paperback, The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara reflects the poet's growth as an artist from the earliest dazzling, experimental verses that he began writing in the late 1940s to the years before his accidental death at forty, when his poems became increasingly individual and reflective.

Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara: A Memoir by Joe LeSueur
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 21, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0374529043
ISBN-13: 978-0374529048
Amazon: Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara: A Memoir
Amazon Kindle: Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara: A Memoir

An unprecedented eyewitness account of the New York School, as seen between the lines of O'Hara's poetry

Joe LeSueur lived with Frank O'Hara from 1955 until 1965, the years when O'Hara wrote his greatest poems, including 'To the Film Industry in Crisis', 'In Memory of My Feelings', 'Having a Coke with You', and the famous Lunch Poems-so called because O'Hara wrote them during his lunch break at the Museum of Modern Art, where he worked as a curator. (The artists he championed include Jackson Pollock, Joseph Cornell, Grace Hartigan, Jane Freilicher, Joan Mitchell, and Robert Rauschenberg.) The flowering of O'Hara's talent, cut short by a fatal car accident in 1966, produced some of the most exuberant, truly celebratory lyrics of the twentieth century. And it produced America's greatest poet of city life since Whitman.

Alternating between O'Hara's poems and LeSueur's memory of the circumstances that inspired them, Digressions on Some Poems by Frank O'Hara is a literary commentary like no other--an affectionate, no-holds-barred memoir of O'Hara and the New York that animated his work: friends, lovers, movies, paintings, streets, apartments, music, parties, and pickups. This volume, which includes many of O'Hara's best-loved poems, is the most intimate, true-to-life portrait we will ever have of this quintessential American figure and his now legendary times.

Joe LeSueur was a decorated soldier when he moved to New York in 1949, at the age of twenty-five. He held jobs as an editor, critic, and screenwriter. He died in 2001 in East Hampton.

Larry Rivers: Art and the Artist
Hardcover: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 082122798X
Amazon: Larry Rivers: Art and the Artist

Published in association with the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, USA this is a major retrospective of Larry Rivers. Rivers, one of the original Pop artists on the 1950s art scene, is known for his rich and eclectic style. Inspired by sources as diverse as the impressionists, Napoleon and Hollywood movies, Rivers' work shows a keen sense of history and adventurous spirit. He was active not only in the visual arts but also in jazz, poetry and theatre. Rivers was a pivotal figure linking together the art scenes in Paris and New York. Still going strong at age 76, he remains the key artist in the East Hampton, New York scene where he lives and works. David Levy, director of the Corcoran and long-standing friend of Larry Rivers contributes the introduction, distinguished art critic Barbara Rose has written the lead essay and an additional essay on the themes of Rivers' work has been contributed by Jacquelyn Days Serwer, Chief Curator at the Corcoran Gallery.

More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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