Dinner with Paul Cadmus in the Village. He showed me a hundred drawings or more; the nakedest and least disinterested are the best, particularly those of Jared French. Until lately they have shared this apartment, an oddly un-American interior; good shabby antiques; a quantity of books and music, charming evidence of self-education. Late in the evening a youth named Lloyd Goff, who was Paul’s assistant, wandered in, at his ease, sleepy, perhaps tipsy. Soon he threw himself on the couch and fell asleep… Paul and I talked and talked, reminiscence and theory, in that particular mood of ours, or of his: smiling relaxation, solemn boyish idealism, who knows what else…
Goff then woke up and undertook to say goodnight, but the next thing I knew, there he lay again, sprawled face down on another couch, his clothes all drawn on the bias and tight upon his very fine little back and buttocks. At last I gave up whatever impulse it was that had kept me so late. Paul fondly accompanied me to the subway. Perhaps, he said, he would make a drawing or two before he went to bed; our talk had been so stimulating, and a sleeping model suits him… — Glenway Westcott, 1937*
Falling between last year’s Nick Mauss: Transmissions at the Whitney and next month’s Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern at MOMA, THE YOUNG AND EVIL—curated by Jarrett Earnest at David Zwirner—looks at the between-the-wars Neorealist-Romantic circles around the artists Jared French, his lover Paul Cadmus, his wife Margaret Hoening French (collectively known as PaJaMa), Cadmus’ sister Fidelma—who was married to Kirstein—Bernard Perlin, Pavel Tchelitchew, George Tooker, and Jensen Yow.
Taking its title from the 1933 collaborative novel by art critic Parker Tyler and poet Charles Henri Ford (Tchelitchew’s lover), the exhbition features never-before-exhibited photographs—many from the Kinsey Institute—rarely seen major paintings, sculptures, drawings, and ephemera of this American Bloomsbury, which included Katherine Anne Porter and the ménage à trois of writer Glenway Westcott, publisher Monroe Wheeler, and George Platt Lynes, who photographed (and often modeled for) them all.
THE YOUNG AND EVIL exhibition catalogue will be published later this year by David Zwirner Books, featuring new scholarship by Ann Reynolds and Kenneth E. Silver.
Through April 13.
533 West 19th Street, New York City.
*Continual Lessons: The Journals of Glenway Westcott, 1937–1955, edited by Robert Phelps with Jerry Rosco (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1990), 8–9.
Also see: By With To & From: A Lincoln Kirstein Reader, edited by Nicholas Jenkins (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1991).
From top: Paul Cadmus, Stone Blossom: A Conversation Piece, 1939–1940, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Juliana Cheyney Edwards Collection and Seth K. Sweetser Fund, © 2019 Estate of Paul Cadmus / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Paul Cadmus, Monroe Wheeler, 1938, © 2019 Estate of Paul Cadmus / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Jared French, Murder, 1942, courtesy the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, John D. Phillips Fund; Fidelma Cadmus Kirstein, Two Women, circa 1930–1939; Pavel Tchelitchew, Portrait, 1935; Pavel Tchelitchew, The Lion Boy, 1936–1937, private collection, New Jersey; Pavel Tchelitchew, George Platt Lynes, circa 1937–1942; Paul Cadmus, Shore Leave, 1933, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, gift of Malcolm S. Forbes, © 2019 Estate of Paul Cadmus / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.