Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Embrace/Suffering

"Talent deprived of the gift of sorrow produces only near-values."
In 1932, John Graham completed Embrace, a 30 x 36 in. oil painting on canvas. It is held by The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and currently on display at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth until August 19 as part of the American Vanguards exhibit. This show traces the influence of Graham and his circle (Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, David Smith) in early twentieth-century American Modernism. For Graham, the artist arrests the dynamics of time and space so that the captured "time-space"--we use quotation marks to denote that such "time-space," having been arrested, no longer bears resemblance to actual time or space--provides an artifact upon which the viewer can contemplate, extending the limits of consciousness through suffering. The burden of art bequeaths to the world a vehicle through which suffering abandons the perpetual motion of the world. In stasis, art suffers through the gift of its insufferable burden. Come, let us embrace the suffering of art.

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