This first-ever collection of Jack Kerouac's visual art includes nearly every existing full-color painting collected and preserved by the Kerouac estate in Lowell, Massachusetts. Also included are dozens of black-and-white line drawings, sketches, and facsimile reproductions of Kerouac's notations from his unpublished notebooks. In writing, Kerouac's restless and relentless experimentation—what he called "spontaneous bop prosody"—pushed language to the boundaries of meaning. In painting and drawing he found a complementary means of expression. A friend and admirer of painters Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Franz Kline, and Dody Muller, Kerouac was an ardent and deliberate student who worked to develop and refine his skills and his conception of the act of painting—a conception related to the spontaneous composition he had pioneered in his books. Ed Adler's essay offers an unprecedented view of Kerouac, the visual artist. Rich in anecdote and drawing on extensive quotation from Kerouac's letters, notebooks, and published writings, Adler's essay demonstrates the biographical and thematic preoccupations common to Kerouac's writing and painting, especially Kerouac's struggle to integrate the two spiritual traditions, Catholicism and Buddhism, to which he was devoted. No consideration of Kerouac will be complete without reference to this heretofor- unseen aspect of his life and work.
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Published November 25, 2004
by Da Capo Press.
History, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction.