Category Archives: Art

Sean Scully, Painter Poet by Donald Kuspit

I think the key to Scully’s art are the 13 etchings he made to accompany James Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach, 1993 and his 10 Etchings for Frederico Garcia Lorca, 2003, along with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, which, as Scully said, “made a lasting impression on him.”  Joyce and Beckett are Irish, as Scully is, and Lorca was Spanish.  The homosexual and republican Lorca was a misfit in Franco’s fascist Spain; he was murdered by it.  Joyce and Beckett were alienated from Irish society; Scully was what might be called a natural born alien and outsider in it because he was an Irish Traveler, “a traditionally peripatetic ethno-cultural group originating in Ireland,” sometimes mistaken for or confused with Gypsies, “generally found in Eastern Europe.”  They are two distinct cultures and societies, with different languages.  In 2011 there were around 29,500 Irish Travelers in the Irish Republic, and they are generally regarded as inferior whites, as the scholar Michal Wolniak notes, and as such marginalized, and perceived as “mad, primitive others,” as he writes.  Sean Scully, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1945 to working class Irish Traveler family, could not help but have an inferiority complex. 

Luxuriant Tufted Portraits by Artist Simone Saunders Exude Black Joy | Colossal

I celebrate the wins. I know the darkness in this world, so do you. It can drag us down. And when I post, positive messaging is key for me. To share light and love and to look at the world as vibrant and colourful as it can be….It’s reflected in my textiles, to uplift narratives often tethered to dark undertones, with the gift of bright hues. I’m not asking anyone to “smile”, because life will hurt. But hold onto your light… keep grasp of your love.

Samuel R. Delany’s Atlantis: Model 1924 and the Origins of Blackness

“Atlantis: Model 1924” belongs among the most important fiction in Samuel R. Delany’s vast bibliography, precisely because it distills so much of what makes this black, gay Harlemite science fiction writer such a unique figure in American letters—including his family’s history, his thinking on race, sexuality, and gender, his artistic methods as a writer, and his creative approach to literary criticism. “Atlantis: Model 1924” follows the life of a 17-year-old black kid named Sam on his journey from North Carolina to Harlem in the fall of 1923. The character is based on the author’s father, and the storyline is based on Delany’s family history. Two of the fictional Sam’s siblings — Elsie and Corey in the novella — are based upon the famous Delany sisters, Sarah (Sadie) Delany and A. Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany, who became internationally known centenarians with their bestselling book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (1993).

Paper Constructions Confine Skeletons to Uncanny Spaces in Jason Limon’s Paintings | Colossal

San Antonio-based artist Jason Limon (previously) conjures paper sculptures of 18th Century-style gowns, organs, and hollowed skulls with acrylic paint. The uncanny structures trap his recurring skeletal characters in cramped boxes and funhouse-esque constructions, where they attempt to disentangle themselves from their surroundings. Rendered in muted pigments, or what the artist calls “repressed tones,” the paintings utilize the anonymity and ubiquity of the bony figures to invoke emotional narratives. Limon explains:

Mai-Thu Perret’s “Diana” Surprise –

The Swiss sculptor, known for giving form to utopian narratives and making feminist fantasy tactile, takes an unexpected classical turn.

Source: Mai-Thu Perret’s “Diana” Surprise –

MAI-THU PERRET SURPRISED HERSELF recently by producing a quasi-classical statue. Debuting this week at the Frieze Art Fair in New York, it’s a startling object: an updated version of the goddess Diana, standing straight-backed, made in ceramic except for the hands, which are finely cast in bronze. The sleek 5-foot-tall figure wears a sheath dress resembling a tunic, and her feet are clad, incongruously, in sneakers. But the strangest touch is an agglomeration of breast-like lumps around her midsection, a surreal motif drawn from another ancient source: the Ephesian Artemis, a fertility deity.

 Diana’s uncanny quality is not what Perret finds surprising. It is, rather, the idea of creating a traditional statue at all. During her more than twenty years of making sculpture—with mannequins, clay, neon, and other materials—the Swiss artist has studiously avoided conventional figurative modes, preferring instead the messier arena of found objects and contingent art-making, aslant conventional models of artistic authorship.

A viewer with The hundred flowers that come with the spring, for whom do they bloom? I, 2022, ceramic, 40 1/2 by 35 1/2 by 55 inches. Photo Mareike Tocha

Michelle Segre

Mandelas and Nebulas.

Michelle Segre, “I Talk to the Trees” (2021), yarns, canvas, muslin, acrylic polymer, wire, thread, sponges, and lotus root, 144 x 187 x 33 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, NY. Photos by Adam Reich)
Instead of looking in awe at the latest testimony to precision fabrication, we stand in front of a large handmade object in which craft is neither obvious nor fetishized. What about the fact that the yarn and the loose, impermanent weaving of frayed strips of colored cloth invite viewers to closely examine how the work was made, as we might do while looking at the layered skeins of paint in Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)” (1950)? What do we make of the disarray, the unfixed weavings and joinings? I cannot think of anyone else who makes artworks like Segre’s, particularly on this scale. And yet they don’t feel monumental or overwhelming.

More work:

Remission You Say

That piece of art right there is how I’ve felt for over 9 months now, but my Oncologist says I’m in remission. Which with Multiple Myeloma means I get to go on maintenance for, probably, the rest of my life. Maintenance means I get to keep taking the Revlimid on the schedule and dose I am on now, I only have to go to the hospital every 2 weeks for my Velcade shot, instead of every week. My Zometa is on the same 4 week schedule til the end of the year, and then I’ll be getting it every 3 months (this is the med that strengthens my bones which the Myeloma has eaten away. Big news is no more Dexamethasone, which means I might be able to sleep weekends, and not be up at 2:30 AM. 🙂
That’s my really big news for the week.