The French Writer Raymond Roussel and His Legacy, at NYC’s Galerie Buchholz

The German dealer Daniel Buchholz, long a fixture on the contemporary art scene in Cologne and Berlin, has opened a gallery in Manhattan and, for his debut show, given us something wonderful that we haven’t had before: a retrospective of the French writer Raymond Roussel (1877-1933).

Born into the Parisian beau monde, as a child Roussel had Marcel Proust for a neighbor; as an adult, he befriended Jean Cocteau when the two were patients in drug rehab. Rich, gay, habitually solitary, Roussel developed a literary mode in poetry, fiction and drama based on linguistic ingenuity and the use of super-realism to lift off into fantasy. Although his work was met with public scorn at the time — Roussel was crushed and died by suicide — it has been hugely influential to artists and writers since. Marcel Duchamp and Michel Foucault claimed him as a liberating hero. Max Ernst and Joseph Cornell revered him. The poet John Ashbery has written brilliantly about him.

Read more: NY Times

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