Talk | A Radical Vision: Roy DeCarava’s The Sweet Flypaper of Life | at The Great Hall at The Cooper Union | New York | Art Week

A Radical Vision: Roy DeCarava’s The Sweet Flypaper of Life

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Monday, 29 October 2018
Monday, 29 October 2018 - 6:30pm

Join us for an evening of discussion and analysis of the place of Roy DeCarava’s 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. DeCarava was a 1940 graduate of The Cooper Union's School of Art.


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.

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Free and open to the public; please RSVP and note seating is on a first come first serve basis

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The Great Hall at Cooper Union

7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

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Other shows from David Zwirner

Pratt Presents Lisa Yuskavage in Conversation with Christopher Bedford
A Radical Vision: Roy DeCarava’s The Sweet Flypaper of Life
Wolfgang Tillmans in conversation with Paul Holdengraber for NYPL LIVE!
Carol Bove
06/08/2018 to 08/04/2018



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