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Exhibition of beat-movement artist Gregory Corso opens in Chichester

  • Corso exhibition features major visual works including his famed silent graphic novel
  • Opens on Tuesday 21 September at Oxmarket Gallery in city centre
  • One-off display curated by University of Chichester and includes original works from 1950s and 1960s


AN exhibition of the art, artistry and writings of Gregory Corso, as yet primarily remembered as a poet and writer, is on display at the Oxmarket Gallery in the city centre.

The exhibition, which runs from Tuesday September 21 to Sunday October 3, deliberately repositions him as not only a leading Beat poet, but also a perennial artist, producing drawings, illustration, paintings, cartoons, and more experimental interventions in the space where text and image meet.

Its two curators Professor Dick Ellis and Professor Hugo Frey, from the University of Chichester were uniquely positioned to put together  a unique set of items demonstrating Corso's extraordinary range of talents, and their paratexts.

They said: “Corso was not a trained artist, but his highly productive imagination led him to develop, at his best, an attractive facility, particularly in his loose sketches, cartoons and assemblages as he explored a wide variety of artistic styles and approaches. These complement and inteact with his poetry and other writings..

“Many of these were experimental in nature – for example, he even explored the potential of strip cartoons and silent graphic narratives. His influences were fecund in their range: for example, the French cartoonist, Siné, proved to be a particular influence.”

The exhibition is the first European solo show of original works by Corso, and builds upon the display of some of his work in the famous "Beat Genreration" show in the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2016.

Display opens on 23 September at Oxmarket Gallery in city centre

Co-curator Prof Frey said it brings together for the first time in a sustained way Corso’s poetic and visual outputs, showing how he was an accomplished creator across a very wide range of genres, poetic and visual.

He added: “It needs to be noted that his achievement was uneven, for, as a drug addict and alcoholic, he was in constant need of money to feed his habits, and often produced work to secure a quick cash sale. But even then he was capable of producing work possessing a compelling and even endearing lightness of touch.”

“Though Corso was not the only Beat writer to turn to other creative genres, he was particularly fecund and experimental” said Prof Ellis. “Many other figures in the Beat movement turned to the visual arts to complement their poetic outputs – as part and parcel of their commitment to experimentally break down boundaries in every creative genrem, and here Corso's interventions were particularly notable.”

For more on the Gregory Corso at Oxmarket Gallery visit

Exhibition details

  • Gregory Corso: Artist and Poet of the Beat Generation Revolt
  • Tuesday September 21 to Sunday October 3
  • Oxmarket Gallery, off East Street, Chichester, PO19 1YH
  • Curated by two world experts in the field: Professor Hugo Frey, who co-editor and co-author the Cambridge History of the Silent Graphic Novel, and RJ Ellis, who wrote Kerouac: Outside Writing; Liar Liar: Jack Kerouac Novelist.