Today on the site: R.O. Blechman remembers his friendship with Maurice Sendak. TCJ 302, which we’ll preview next month, contains a lengthy interview with Sendak conducted by Gary Groth. Leading up to that, here’s the great Blechman. We hope to publish more of Blechman’s chronicles of his life and those of his colleagues and friends.
His [Sendak's] turf could not have been more different than what passed for style in 1950s New York. Back then, walls were stripped down to the raw brick, lamps were Noguchi parchment globes, candles were stuck in wax-encrusted wine bottles, and occasionally, for somebody in the graphics business, there was a floor-to-ceiling cork wall. That was how we escapees-from-home lived in the ’50s. But not Maurice. He lived in a 19th Century duplex on West Ninth Street. Dark and redolent with age, the décor was Jamesian—appropriately. His polished mahogany bookcases were lined with volume after volume of first edition Henry James. His collection was second only to that of Leon Edel, the eminent James biographer.
And elsewhere… I’m in Los Angeles this week for the LA Art Book Fair. I landed at noon yesterday and picked up my customary tiny rental car, though I somehow missed my customary stop at Randy’s Donuts.
First stop was the Ben Jones exhibition, The Video, at MoCA. It is a doozy. Ben commanded the space by installing massive video paintings and projections. It’s a meditative psychedelic experience.
And finally I landed at Sammy Harkham’s house, my home base in L.A. and favorite reading room. And so I’m here.
Now it’s off the fair to set up. I’ll be there the whole weekend. Booth S01. Ben Jones’ book is debuting, with accompanying events (a conversation on Saturday at 1 pm), and I’ll have plenty of other goodies. Come on by.