BLUE ARABESQUE

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Henri Matisse, Woman Before an Aquarium

Yesterday I read a very fine review by Richard Gilbert, called: Hampl’s ‘Blue Arabesque’. A memoir of leisure, looking, and artistic expression.

This is how Hampl starts:

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It’s a marvelous description of how the narrator gets captured by a work of art, almost against her own will. For me, now working seriously with my own ekphrasis-project, Hampl’s experience is tremendously exiting. She is in this first glimpse experiencing art not in a cognitive analytical mode, but as a sensual meeting.

I think contemporary art-writing has very little room for these kinds of experiences, being much too occupied by formal philosophy, it almost seems to forget that art is first and foremost a sensuous experience. And maybe that’s why poets are the best art-writers?

………………………………

MERRIAM-WEBSTER: Full Definition of ARABESQUE

1
: an ornament or style that employs flower, foliage, or fruit and sometimes animal and figural outlines to produce an intricate pattern of interlaced lines
2
: a posture (as in ballet) in which the body is bent forward from the hip on one leg with one arm extended forward and the other arm and leg backward
3
: an elaborate or intricate pattern


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