Wednesday, February 5, 2020

SOLITUDE IN THE GLARE OF....


Today, I went looking at art as I sometimes do on Wednesday afternoon. I discovered in Andrew Edlin Gallery the drawings of Pearl Blauvelt.  

Here I quote from the handout:  Blauvelt’s Dutch ancestors settled in the Hudson Valley, north of New York City, and helped found the First Dutch Reformed Church in that region in the late 1600s. At some point in the early decades of the 20th century, the artist moved with her father to a house in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania that was heated by a coal stove and had a pump in the kitchen that supplied water from a well in the backyard. This is where she spent most of her adult life. In the 1970s, she was moved to a mental facility outside of Scranton where she continued to draw until her death in 1987.


I took photographs of these three pictures.(my photographs probably fail in reproducing the solitude, the loneliness that is depicted: the life and the desire to leave some sort of memento... rarely is such depicted and no wonder as it is finally just too close to the fate of each human being... if for a moment one is given the moment to understand this as in the phrase of Unamuno's book: THE TRAGIC SENSE OF LIFE...










Across the Bowery, in Sperone Westwater Gallery, in its own austere modern building, I looked at the art of Susan Rothenberg: well known, famous, on display in all the major world museums... hailed as one of the most important artists of the moment but  how frivolous they seem, how crude of me to say something like that...






Yet, how crude seems the crude packaging of Blauvelt by the gallery which of course has put a price tag on each of these shards of ...  and my lack of graditude for their efforts... and my inability to escape all the contradictions that my sentences so glaringly reveal... A self-taught American artist of Dutch ancestry, Pearl Blauvelt’s entire body of work — a remarkable cache of drawings in graphite and colored pencil on ruled notebook paper — was discovered years after her death in a wooden box in her abandoned former home in northeastern Pennsylvania. Now regarded as an emblematic outsider artist, Blauvelt’s images of people strolling along country lanes, horse-drawn carriages, railways tracks, banknotes, houses, furniture, and women’s undergarments, which she often labeled with precision and care, serve as the imaginative recollections of a woman who lived a humble life on the margins of mainstream society.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

THE FATE OF THE BOOK

In the West, I again found the fate of the book:  we stopped at Quartzite, Arizona... probably the largest temporary place in the US to which thousands upon thousands of RVs and every imaginable vehicle come--mostly in the winter--though it is still busy in the summer---there are ads for dental tourism in Mexico--- there were some very beautiful guns for sale at other temporary shops... DVDs: if I said a hundred thousand of them... movies and such being even more temporary than books..
Over the years we have stopped at this bookstore: at one time packed with books, many wrapped in plastic...but the heaps and heaps... now the store is slowly being stripped of its books and no new stock being added: I found these three paperbacks on the 3 for $1 table... the books were unread...and by listing and showing the covers: from the early 70s..the American Review was the most recent then of an attempt to publish a mass market literary journal...WORKS IN PROGRESS came from the Literary Guild and was available in bookstores...















I wish I had the energy to talk about these writers... many once famous and others... many I knew and was jealous of... but the desert is a good place to think... and to really know: this blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter have even less of a chance of being remembered... and while the READER'S OASIS BOOKS will also surely disappear... and knowing one's own books will also surely disappear... all... yet, one goes on... as even in such places one did see a younger person reading and in places like Ajo, in Douglas, in Tombstone one did talk about real books... and do I... maybe another day to talk about the woman I met who had been married six times and her husband had been married four times... a couple of hours of conversation: probably more interesting than these dusty books...