I Saw The Figure 5 in Gold,1928, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Charles Demuth

.
The Great Figure
William Carlos Williams
.
Among the rainand lightsI saw the figure 5in goldon a redfire truckmovingtenseunheededto gong clangssiren howlsand wheels rumblingthrough the dark city

.

Excerpt of the description for I Saw The Figure 5 in Gold from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:  ”The Figure 5 in Gold is one of a series of eight abstract portraits of friends that Demuth made between 1924 and 1929, which were exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery 291. This particular painting pays homage to a poem by William Carlos Williams. Like Marsden Hartley’s painting Portrait of a German Officer and Arthur Dove’s assemblage Portrait of Ralph Dusenberry, as well as Gertrude Stein’s word-portraits, this portrait consists of not a physical likeness of the artist’s friend but an accumulation of images associated with him—the poet’s initials and the names “Bill” and “Carlos” that together form a portrait. Williams’ poem “The Great Figure” describes the experience of seeing a red fire engine with the number 5 painted on it racing through the city streets. While Demuth’s painting is not an exact illustration of the poem, we can certainly sense its “rain/and lights” and the “gong clangs/siren howls/and wheels rumbling.” via metmuseum.com
.  

Artemis:  for previous Charles Demuth posts and bio see archive  HERE

I Saw The Figure 5 in Gold,1928, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Charles Demuth

.

The Great Figure

William Carlos Williams

.

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
fire truck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city
.
Excerpt of the description for I Saw The Figure 5 in Gold from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:  ”The Figure 5 in Gold is one of a series of eight abstract portraits of friends that Demuth made between 1924 and 1929, which were exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery 291. This particular painting pays homage to a poem by William Carlos Williams. Like Marsden Hartley’s painting Portrait of a German Officer and Arthur Dove’s assemblage Portrait of Ralph Dusenberry, as well as Gertrude Stein’s word-portraits, this portrait consists of not a physical likeness of the artist’s friend but an accumulation of images associated with him—the poet’s initials and the names “Bill” and “Carlos” that together form a portrait. Williams’ poem “The Great Figure” describes the experience of seeing a red fire engine with the number 5 painted on it racing through the city streets. While Demuth’s painting is not an exact illustration of the poem, we can certainly sense its “rain/and lights” and the “gong clangs/siren howls/and wheels rumbling.” via metmuseum.com
.  
Artemis:  for previous Charles Demuth posts and bio see archive  HERE
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