Friday, January 21, 2011

"Grace Hartigan"

Grace Hartigan, Frank O'Hara, via here. I read something yesterday mentioning her name and realized I had no general visual sense of "Grace Hartigan", just a place on the modern art timeline. She's got startling range, unlike most of those macho paintslingers under whose historical shadow she resides. This one makes me think of Tom & Jerry. I also like how this is a diptych that isn't.

Wire, The Ideal Copy
Sam Shepherd, Cruising Paradise

I'm almost through or maybe already through with Cruising Paradise. It started out great, one single-coal-ember motel tragedy after another, fizzling out against the cold of the night but somewhere in the middle  it turned into a diary detailing that he doesn't fly and how it makes life difficult for his handlers. I think the diary portion takes place during the filming of Thunderheart in Mexico, though I can't find the German actor he mentions, but anyway, it all but lost me entirely. It's funny how it might have been saved just by a shift to third-person, like that really matters, but it does.

I thought I was listening to The Ideal Copy just for "Drill" but the whole thing is a balm. I know I've said this before, but I remember coming home from my crappy donut job one hot summer evening in 1987 to watch Wire perform "Drill" on the short lived incarnation of The Late Show hosted by Suzanne Somers with my dad. She had Red Hot Chili Peppers on the next evening, starting my lifelong distaste for the band (the unavoidable dalliance with Blood Sugar Sex Magik notwithstanding; I assume that album was all Rick Rubin's doing be cause it sticks out like and erect gym sock in the smelly hamper of their catalog).

One of the hottest British rock groups in the world today. Suzanne is a sport, the pretty girl at the party trying to get the uptight, Sartre-reader-type to loosen up a little.

Grace Hartigan - Sweden, 1959
Grace Hartigan, Sweden, 1959.

Check out Helen Frankenthaler and Ms. Hartigan cutting up at a party (from here), probably making fun of how serious everyone is acting. They are like Lucy and Ethel up in there. "Oh, lighten up, you!" they are pshawing at Fairfield Porter. Or maybe Phillip Guston just told them a dirty joke.

Nerd note: OK, Blogger, get right with YouTube and sort out yr differences. It's killing my buzz to do this all in HTML mode, and you do not want to see me with a killed buzz, do you? DO YOU?

1 comment:

  1. Grace is a major revelation to me. Her "Sweden" just kills me, I could stare at it endlessly. The raw strokes left as they are and the choice of colors then a little linear "scribble". It is lush and beautiful to me.