Thursday 8 May 2008

Shadow Lives

On Monday we visited the exhibition of American Prints
at the British Museum.
It is headlined as The American Scene
and features classic images of American life:
small towns and big cities,
Prohibition and the Depression,
War and survival,
brutal sport and stark industrial landscapes.

Martin Lewis (1880 - 1962) Shadow Magic, 1939

As I walked around I found myself drawn to the pictures
featuring the lives of women and those by women artists.
It is only a small selection
but it gives a tiny insight into private worlds,
quite diferent from the larger perspectives
of the majority of prints.

John Sloan (1871 - 1951) The Women's Page, 1905

This woman sits and reads a magazine
surrounded by evidence of poverty and deprivation.

Martin Lewis (1880 - 1962) Quarter of Nine, Saturday's Children 1929

Here the shopgirls of New York,
“Saturdays Children” who work hard for a living,
step out with energy and optimism .

Doris Lee (1905-1983) Helicopter, 1948

I discovered Doris Lee for the first time!
How I love her naive style which records domestic life
with such intimacy and detail.
This picture reminded me of Angie at Children in the Corn

Edward Hopper (1882-1967) East Side Interior - New York 1922

This image touched me.
She sits by the window
on the boundary of her internal domestic life
and looks outwards at the world.
It captures what blogging is all about for me.


Mary said...

I really like those by Martin Lewis for some reason.

I am yet to be able to articulate what blogging is for me. You have come close to describing it.

Eleanor said...

Oh my. I love those prints. It is so generous of you to share the experience with us!

That last one really does capture the feel of blogging. I am already scheming how I might get a copy of it and hang it above my desk.

Anonymous said...

I notice that she sits at her sewing machine looking out the window...

do you mind if i knit said...

Thankyou for showing us those prints, the one by Doris Lee I'm particularly drawn to, I want to find out more about her. You've enriched my day!

blackbird said...

Edward Hopper is always so sad - don't you think?

(started this comment, drove to school, came back, drove to train, finished comment)

BreadBox said...

LOML and I both like folk artists a lot: when we were in Halifax we saw a very big permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia of Maud Lewis's artwork: simplistic, untrained, but fascinating. And her story is even more amazing.


Anonymous said...

How fun to "see" some of the prints you saw!

You're right, Doris Lee is wonderful.

I plan to Google her now!

Ali said...

'The boundary of her internal domestic life' - great phrase Alice.

Ginnie said...

Alice, your words add so much richness to the art - thank you!

Anonymous said...

How nice of you to think of me amoung such beautiful and sometimes stark images. I can see why you thought of me! :) And I am particularly drawn to the last one as well. I don't think I've seen anything that captures a moment in a woman's life more honestly.

Fairlie - said...

I'm also always drawn to paintings and drawings of domestic life...or of work. They are such a window into past lives.