Mina Loy

November 28, 2006


Praised for sharp satirical intelligence, talent for the engagingly brash gesture, film-star good looks, and highly original poetic eye
Born in London
As a young girl she showed, according to Roger L. Conover

“remarkable physical beauty and resistance to conventional codes of femininity”

Married English artist and photographer Stephen Haweis
Had a passionate affair with the leading figure of Italian futurism, Filippo Marinetti and another affair with Giovanni Papini
Remained painfully shy and felt socially isolated and tied down by domestic responsibilities
Authorized a “Feminist Manifesto” in response to Marinetti’s masculinist assumptions of Italian futurism
Became involved with dadaist poet and boxer Arthur Cravan, a nephew of Oscar Wilde, and the couple lived in poverty until he died
Uses unsettling beauty in imagery, startling imaginative leaps, and complex wordplay which pose difficulties in understanding


Curie / of the laboratory / of vocabulary / she crushed / the tonnage / of consciousness / congealed to phrases / to extract / a radium of the word

-Gertrude Stein (in whole)

Loy equates Stein’s clinical isolation of the active meaning of words with Madame Curie’s discovery of the highly radioactive element radium

The toy / become the aesthetic archetype
As if / some patient peasant God / had rubbed and rubbed / the Alpha and Omega / of Form / into a lump of metal
A naked orientation / unwinged   unplumed / the ultimate rhythm / has lopped the extremities / of crest and claw / from / the nucleus of flight
The absolute act / of art / conformed / to continent sculpture / -bare and the brow of Osiris- / this breast of revelation
an incandescent curve / licked by chromatic flames / in labyrinths of reflections
This gong / of polished hyperaesthesia / shrills with brass / as the aggressive light / strikes / its significance
The immaculate / conception / of the inaudible bird / occurs / in gorgeous reticence

-Brancusi’s Golden Bird (in whole)


One Response to “Mina Loy”

  1. Rosemarie Reed Says:

    I would like to know how I can obtain the rights to the photo you have on your website of Mina Loy for a PBS documentary on the life of Irene Curie, the daughter of Marie.

    Thank you,
    Rosemarie Reed

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