This week, we notice how the flame that flickers at our cores can light the world a steady glow.
Author and art historian Tirza Latimer seeks out and assesses overlooked modernist phenomena with the desire to reword the formalist linearity that steps from one great artistic signature to the next. Latimer is a scholar of queer cultural objects and processes, but broadens the definition of queer to a universal condition – an outlier, a rebel, an observer, and an artist share a common thread. Whether by choice or by force, escaping the heat of society offers a space for reflection; marveling at the totality of the system is the beginning of all innovation. Latimer’s claim, a pillar of queer theory, is that a recognition of the context which engenders a work of art is pivotal in differentiating the reality of the piece from a romanticized interpretation. Admitting that the stroke of genius may be fueled by location, friend group, and a circle of books and can found a less hierarchical model for future, inclusive creative sessions. In a sense, every work of art is a collaboration. The humble tile defines and is defined by the brilliant mosaic.
Cologne-born curator and scholar Anke Kempkes facilitates the exposure of underrepresented female avant-garde artists, past and present, via her network of New York galleries. Exhilarated to sew the missing panels in the historical quilt, Kempkes draws attention to the hidden reservoir at the bottom of the well-mined discipline; she discovers that the female avant-garde speaks a separate tongue from the known male artistic vocabulary. Other subjects mentioned in her interview include domestic and societal trends that are changing for the better, the conflicting forces of child rearing and career building, and the organic progression that leads from a casual drink to a groundbreaking exhibition.
Additional interviews include: Danielle Adair and Sidney Perkowitz.
Tell everyone what you’ve been reading! Marcos Lutyens is enjoying Etel Adnan’s Journey to Mount Tamalpais, a succinct and illustrated text recounting the Lebanese poet’s discovery of self in the company and figure of a mountain. Amy Fleming, another user, is indulging in the potent and whimsical The Story of My Teeth by Mexican author Valeria Luiselli, a parable rife with Mann-ian symbolism on the maturation of objects and the narratives that cling to them like shadows.
If you are a creator who feels the urge to serve a higher creation, The Puffin Foundation has entered its next grant application cycle, open to thinkers grappling with controversial and pressing events in the modern world. Equal parts individually empowering and externally constructive, the reputable organization arms lectern-less lecturers with the means for stirring the slumbering voice of the public. American innovators in the fine arts or video medium who believe that artists bear a communal responsibility are invited to make their mark before the end of the year.
We each wield a special color of chalk, and what is the future but an endless stretch of pavement?
As usual, here are the links to the interview archive and free resources page.