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Beholding Eye Paperback – July 1, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

There are numerous small touches in Beholding Eye to recommend it . . .Jason B. Jones -- Bookslut.com April 2007

About the Author

Grace Bauer is an author and personal chef with a passion for fine foods. A member of the California Restaurant Association and the James Beard Foundation, she trained at the California Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu program. When not behind the stoves, she splits her time between New Orleans and Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: WordTech Communications LLC (July 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933456299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933456294
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Inspired by artists as varied as Artemisia Gentileschi and Marcel Duchamp, Bauer casts her eye onto art. Though this is a broadly, rather than particularly, ekphrastic collection, it is Duchamp, a particular interest also of mine, who seems to most center the book, both figuratively and literally--the middle third of the book is devoted entirely to him. And this Duchamp gets around: he plays tennis with Man Ray, does lunch with Andy Warhol, shops at the Five & Dime, eats at the Horn & Hardart. In "Marcel Dreams a Match with Paul Cezanne," they are playing chess in couplets:

How can I begin to check
the man who revised the act

of seeing in my time? A man who sang small
& yet became, in his own time, a mountain.

Putting another layer of color on the collection, not only does Bauer occupy the personae of diverse artists, as in the above couplets, but also can be found in the persona of an artist's alter ego, as here, Duchamp's, in "Rrose Sélavy No Longer Sings La Vie En Rose," ably realized with dry humor:

How many years can a woman pose for a man
in the same bad hat & ratty fur
before the world goes gray before her eyes
and even la-de-la-de-la-de-la sounds like the blues?

How many nights can she lie alone while
the avant guard goes galloping toward the future
on their hobbyhorse? I tell you, my heart may belong
to da-da, but even an alter ego needs l'amour

Bauer also writes of particular works, though rarely does she do as straight a description as in Cezanne's "Large Bathers":

Only one figure actually appears

to be in the water.
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Format: Paperback
Grace Bauer's collection of ekphrastic poems goes beyond the usual expressions of that genre -- poems in response to paintings or works of visual art. In this outstanding book, Bauer begins with poems directly connected to specific paintings or painters, always providing fresh insight. She then devotes an entire section to responses to Marcel Duchamp, exploring not only his painting but his approach to art, including creating poems from random selections of his writings, as Duchamp used random images for his well known "readymades." The final section, a collection of poems inspired by Cindy Sherman's self portraits, provide sharp and witty portraits of women in various modes of being, from "On LSD at Sunset Pier She Thinks of Wallace Stevens" to her "Steady Date with Sorrow" to the woman in "Her Red Dress" who finds "Only what hangs in that heat/is every dress she has ever owned./Every dress she has ever/taken off for a man." These poems not only help you see or understand paintings in new ways, they place you in the creative world, "an idea intended to change/forever how we see." This volume is "An Epic of the Eyes," as the first section is called. What more could you ask from a book of poetry, from any book?
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