Mary Ann Caws

Post image for Proust’s Way: 100 Years of “Things Past”

“Proust? No one is less dead than he is,” said Suzy Proust, Marcel’s niece.

Right she was. Is.

Everything about this one-room exhibition (all the one-room exhibitions at the Morgan seem grand to me, just the right size and feeling) is perfectly chosen and described.

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Post image for Slithering Toward Us: “Drawing Surrealism” at the Morgan

How much more powerful to say “drawing surrealism” than something like “surrealist drawings.” It gets the action into the art, which is, often, exactly where it is. Unweighted by color, untrammeled by, oh you know, something like the history of painting and how the surrealists (in whatever grouping you choose to deal or not deal with them) dealt with that history. Very often, not at all.

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Post image for Doubling Back: Sarah Plimpton on the Page and the Wall

It was 2005. I had gone to an opening of works by Sarah Plimpton at the June Kelly Gallery on Mercer Street. Around me on the walls was art I could only address in a frame of mind rare here in the bustle and buzz of NewYork. Around us, on the walls, were great shapes, calling for some response I knew myself unable to make at that moment.

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Falling in Love with One-Half of a Painting

by Mary Ann Caws on December 15, 2012

Post image for Falling in Love with One-Half of a Painting

It was there, hanging on my wall and I loved it. I had, so many times, seen this painting on my grandmother’s wall, and had heard her say how she had loved working with and talking about art with the artist, Robert Vonnoh. It was a smallish painting of a bridge and a fisherman, faintly perceptible above the water – no fish in sight, and the fisherman, just barely so. The painting needed reframing, and I took it to a professional framer on 86th Street who had been recommended to me. Two weeks later, I went to claim it, and found that the new frame actually covered up part of the painting: the framer must have had something ready that would fit. It bothered me to think of losing part of that painting that I so loved…. But I was, eventually, to lose the whole thing through one of my instant enthusiasms.

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