ARTWORK

Romance of Ambrose Bierce #3 [Romance (N.) from Ambrose Bierce #3]

1964/1974

(Center for Photographic Studies, Portfolio 3)

From a portfolio of ten gelatin silver prints from original Meatyard negatives (1959-71),
Printed April 1974

Edition of 130

Credit stamp, verso

7 x 7.5 inches, image
15 x 12 inches, mount

Contact gallery for price.

“Meatyard took his definition of romance from The Devil’s Dictionary (1911) compiled by American writer Ambrose Bierce from the satirical pieces he published weekly in the late nineteenth century. The American grotesque of Bierce’s tall tales is here combined with Meatyard’s Surrealist inclinations and the European, particularly French, interest in primitive masks, perhaps with the intention of creating a parody of high art. Rather than sports fans, the stadium benches are occupied by indifferent gnome-like creatures wearing macabre, oversized, dime-store masks. A blending of cultures, real and imagined, confounds the viewer, as it does in Picasso’s landmark painting of 1907, Les Demoisselles d’Avignon. While quoting Picasso, Meatyard also references current Pop art (with the numbered benches) and comments on their contradictions.

—Judith Keller, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2002), pp. 70-71

Work by Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972)