The Artichoke

Artichoke: That vegetable of which one has more at the finish than at the start of dinner. ~Lord Chesterfield Artichokes are young, unopened thistle buds from the daisy family. If left to mature, the flowers can reach up to 5 feet in height. They are descendants of a similar thistle plant known as the cardoon,…

Art and Fear

Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. I guess I mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards)…

Regarding Beauty

Beauty has been a recurring theme in these writings of mine – it’s a concept constantly slipping away from any final definition. Andrew Wyeth, “Frostbitten” (1962), watercolor on paper (Private Collection. © Andrew Wyeth) In his book Why Beauty is Key to  Everything Alan Moore writes: I have always been fascinated by beautiful things: architecture, furniture, books.  Beautiful…

Winter Landscape with Skaters

I read a short text today that made me think about the artistic origin of urban sketching. Winter Landscape with Skaters is a 1608 oil on oak painting by the Dutch artist Hendrick Avercamp in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.   Urban sketching, as a contemporary phenomenon, is indebted to the Seattle-based journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario, who in 2007…

Back to work –

Back in Norway & back to work. The coming week I will be traveling to see & write about a new installation by the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, at KODE in Bergen. Chiharu Shiota gained wide international recognition after having represented Japan at the 56th Venice Biennial in 2015, with an installation called “The key in…

Finally some good news:

I’d like to think I can represent all those artists who heroically have kept going and are successful, but are not recognised or acclaimed. —Phyllida Barlow Can it be true, as some say: Old women are replacing young men in the art world  We can at least hope! After having been overlooked for decades, the…

Ekphrastic poetry

For those of us working in all kinds of genres: Moonrise, Aurora, Nebraska by Twyla Hansen No Ansel Adams but the snapshots we captured through the open car window on our eight megapixel cell phones on the side of the road off an exit ramp as truck taillights streaked eastbound opposite the earth’s rotation in…

Allow the self to be distracted — (Ars Poetica XVI)

—  wasting time is the most personal, most private, most intimate form of conversation with oneself, as well as with another. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle *   Susan Hiller: Dream Mapping (1973/74)  Dream Mapping, 1973 was an art event provocatively poised between an experiment (social or scientific) and a performance without an…

Landmarks

Katharine Harmon – YOU ARE HERE: Maps intrigue us, perhaps none more than those that ignore mapping conventions. the Bedolina Map The Rock 1 of Bedolina, the so-called Bedolina Map, is a famous engraved prehistoric rock which is part of the Camonica valley (Alps, Italian side, Lombardy region) petroglyph complex. It is known as being…

Ocean-chart

  He had brought a large map representing the sea, Without the least vestige of land: And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be A map they could all understand. … A perfect and absolute blank!   Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark (1876)  

Women’s History Month

Thank you Sherry Wiggins, for reminding me about the great work of Valie Export Body Configurations by Valie Export (1972-76) Arrangements of the body’s elements are postures, revelations, or expressions of inner states: At present I am mainly treating female postures from a feminist point of view and dealing with materials from the female environment, in…

Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to…