Sunday, March 29, 2009

Windows to the Soul

A Corner of the Artist's Room in Paris
Gwen John

"'I am not myself except in my room,' wrote Gwen John to her erstwhile lover, Rodin, and her room has its own personality. The soft sunshine, the wicker chair, the open book, the window opening on to Paris: perfect silence, simplicity, restraint. The coat on the chair speaks of the possibility of going out, but also the peace of staying in. Some see it as an absent self, along with the chair over which it is draped, but the beautiful room is not empty. The artist is present, creating the atmosphere as she paints. And what a beautiful reverie: partly achieved by using chalk in the primer and a lot of white to get those misty, pearly tones, partly with brushstrokes that are never put on to bear the impression of the artist’s ego, each half concealing the next"

In the Guardian, Laura Cumming recommends 10 works worth spending a whole afternoon with. She's the art critic who wrote that incredibly beautiful piece in the Observer last year on how her longing to have a child shed a new light on the way she observed art. You can read it here.

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