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Showing posts from November, 2014

The High Priestess

* John Everett Millais, The Bridesmaid (1851) 
The High Priestess dwelled in a shrine flanked by the portals of Night and Day. When I approached, she told me that her power came from the borrowed light, which sustained her throughout every sleepless hour. Never once in her life did she yield to the hypnotic spell of sweet somnolence. Her steely gaze could penetrate through the densest of fog, the most blinding of sunbeam, and the murkiest of the mounting darkness. Even the wolves were terrified of her unflagging vigilance.
Every day she saw people, large crowds of people, streaming through the portals of Night and Day. Some youths would leap through the threshold of the portal of Day with their faces all rosy and jolly, only to be led out and blindfolded to the other portal, still laughing hysterically and completely oblivious of their imminent entrapment in a nasty prank. The High Priestess would prick her ears and wait. Normally, it wouldn’t be more tha…

Review: Jean Fautrier, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Sep. 27- Dec. 7, 2014

A sense of disquiet occasioning in the viewers exacerbated when they found themselves in an exhibition room that was almost unpeopled- quite normal I suppose for a Wednesday afternoon- and under the incessant, rigid vigilance of stiff-backed guards, who seemed unnecessarily outnumbered for a show so small. Small-scale, though, there were at least 100 paintings waiting to be beholden, to be confronted by whomever that had no apprehension of what they were going to see. We felt our ignorance jeered upon, our forbearance sorely tested. The sights that passed through our eyes were atrocious, relentless, bewildering. Once we hastened out of the exit, still stunned with the horrors we could not yet comprehend, how we wished we hadn’t subjected ourselves to such ordeal, in a supposed-to-be glorious afternoon.
But we should have been cautious in advance of the ordeal, because this was a Jean Fautrier’s retrospective we were attending. Jean Fautrier, a French-born artist whose life was punctuat…