Lawrence Ferlinghetti, La lotta continua, Il verbo Fluxare, 2000, Silkscreen and paint on cloth, 160 × 100 cm, Edition of 16
Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin
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Sixteen unique silkscreens, either on yellow or white cloth, each hand-painted by the artist.
  • Silkscreen and paint on cloth
  • 160 × 100 cm
    (63 × 39 ⅜ inches)
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  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919 Bronxville, New York, USA – 2021 San Francisco, California, USA) was a poet, novelist, playwright, bookseller, publisher, painter, activist, and founder of the San Francisco-based City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, an independent bookstore that became a landmark for the Beat Generation in the 1950s. In 1955, Ferlinghetti launched the Pocket Poets Series, a collection of paperback volumes to be easily disseminated, making poems from around the world accessible to a broader audience. Reversing the cliché of intellectualism in favor of a democratization of poetry was a crucial political stance for Ferlinghetti. The series began with his own Pictures of the Gone World, with translations by Kenneth Rexroth. The fourth volume was Allen Ginsberg’s infamous Howl. In 1956, Ferlinghetti was arrested in a First Amendment trial on charges of distributing indecent material. The notorious court case revolving around freedom of speech and expression was eventually won by Ferlinghetti the following year. He was an anarchist sympathizer and a committed activist for multiple issues of his time, such as the Cuban Revolution and the Vietnam War. Ferlinghetti’s bibliography is extensive. His second collection of poems, A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), has been widely recognized as his masterpiece and has been translated into nine languages. With his straightforward poetry, Ferlinghetti critically engaged with people from different backgrounds, borrowing visual impressions and images from American culture and modern jazz. Ferlinghetti was connected to Fluxus through Francesco Conz in Verona, who particularly supported Ferlinghetti’s interest in painting. In Verona, he coined the term “Fluxare,” meaning “to make love without touching.” A retrospective of his painting was held at the Museo di Roma (2010), and his works are in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. Ferlinghetti was named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate in 1998; he received numerous other awards and honors, such as the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal (2003), a National Book Award (2005), and a John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry (2007).

Artworks (22)