Panel discussion: 6:30 PM (doors: 5:30 PM)
A Radical Vision: Roy DeCarava’s The Sweet Flypaper of Life
Free and open to the public; please RSVP and note seating is on a first come first serve basis (register here)
The Great Hall at The Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, New York
Join us for an evening of discussion and analysis of the place of Roy DeCarava’s (CU, A‘40) oeuvre in American art with a special focus on the much-anticipated republication of The Sweet Flypaper of Life by First Print Press in fall 2018. This volume, which DeCarava created with the poet Langston Hughes in 1955, has been out of print for over thirty years and will be distributed worldwide by David Zwirner Books, D.A.P., and Thames & Hudson.
Leading up to the centennial anniversary in 2019 of the artist’s birth, the panel will be moderated by Thelma Golden, and will include A.D. Coleman, Radiclani Clytus, Leslie Hewitt, John Stauffer, and Hope Wurmfeld.
First published in 1955, The Sweet Flypaper of Life is a poem celebrating the lives of everyday people. While it’s about listening to a jukebox, about riding the subway alone at night, about children playing at an open fire hydrant, about picket lines and art spaces, this collaboration between artist Roy DeCarava and writer Langston Hughes evokes a unique and lively visual dialogue in a celebration of creativity and community. DeCarava renders photographic images with richly toned silver light, often at the deeper end of the scale, weaving in Hughes’s words and honoring what the authors saw, knew, and felt deeply about life in their city.
Widely considered a classic of photographic visual literature, The Sweet Flypaper of Life was reprinted by public demand several times. This fourth printing is the first authorized English-language edition since 1983, and includes an afterword by the publisher Sherry Turner DeCarava tracing the history and continuing importance of the publication.
Available for preorder from David Zwirner Books
Cover Image: The Sweet Flypaper of Life, published by First Print Press, 2018. Photo by Kyle Knodell