Some of the collages date from Ashbery’s undergraduate days at Harvard; many are brand new. One set pays homage to his friend, the inventive and mercurial artist, Joe Brainard.
The show’s title refers to a 1940 movie directed by Garson Kanin from a play by Sidney Howard. Depicting a love triangle, They Knew What They Wanted starred Carole Lombard and Charles Laughton.
Below: Acrobats (circa 1972), a collage by John Ashbery. Photo courtesy of Tibor de Nagy Gallery.
Below: Chutes and Ladders (For Joe Brainard, 2008), a collage by John Ashbery. Photo courtesy of Tibor de Nagy Gallery.