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Spectral Images - Laura Wise

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May 29th, 2009

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03:34 pm - Spectral Images
Today has been a day off work (o rapture, o joy untrammeled), and so I journeyed down the interstate a few miles to meet chase820 and go through a local art museum.
(Here is why the idea of "staycations" has merit: I have lived here for years yet never visited this particular museum, I have no idea why.) It was lovely to visit with Chase; it was lovely to go through the Museum, too.

The Museum is small but choice, including an early John Singer Sargent, a huge Audubon painting of a heron, a Rauschenberg, a few pieces of fabulous sculpture, and an extraordinary work by Kerry James Marshall... Cool stuff. But what's staying with me is Ed Ruscha's "Inch by Inch."

It's a spectral image (suitable for one who's been thinking about Old Dark Houses), one of his pieces of light and dark -- In this case, a black canvas on which a glowing white female figure floats, with a perfectly rendered two-inch segment of a ruler painted on the right...margin? edge? It's hard to describe. (The ruler is there, according to the artist's note, to introduce "illogic" into the painting.)

The picture is uncanny, in any event. It's spectral. And I spun stories to myself about it on the drive home, will keep spinning, measuring out the mystery inch by inch. ;-)

(Because I spent money at the gift shop, I actually got a Museum poster for free -- and I got one with that image, hurrah. But where will I put such a ghostly image?)

Is there a work of art that haunts you, perhaps not so literally? Whether there is or not, I hope you find images on which to dream this weekend!

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 29th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you had a good time with Chase:)

[User Picture]
Date:May 29th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
It was a lovely few hours' socializing-plus-art. :-)

Hugs and joy and no ghosts, L!
[User Picture]
Date:May 29th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Beware that ruler. I'm telling you, the ruler is up to no good!

One of my favorite uncanny pieces of art is Dali's Shades of Night Descending. I know it doesn't look all that uncanny online, but trust me, in person it's amazing. And what a great title!

Happy storytelling. :D
[User Picture]
Date:May 29th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
That Dali piece is amazing, yes. [nods]

Happy storytelling back at you (and seriously, the napkin rings could be a nice detail [grin]). Happy weekend, too!
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Oh, I love finding local treasures! I want to see the piece in the original -- it's cool online, but better up close, i reckon.

Reminds me a bit of Kara Walker's stuff -- do you know her? Only Walker's 150% more angry (with reason).

so, she's the one who haunts me. Esp. the one called "Cut". (Um, you know I'm going to be bringing the mood down, yes?)

[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
The Ruscha IS cooler on the gallery wall -- the figure seems to float off the wall, moving as the spectator moves. V. cool.

I looked up Kara Walker's work, and, wow. Yes, that's a different kind of haunting, but definitely in an important way.

[hugs, good thoughts, hugs again]
[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
Yes -- they are a pair of oils done my my Mother-in-law which are depictions of the natural beauty of B.C. They are woodland scenes, and I love the blending of the colors, but I don't have the time for a description that would do them justice. I, am however, glad that they will be hanging in my house.

[User Picture]
Date:June 1st, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
Nell, those sound WONDERFUL. Mmmmmm, and hurrah!


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