American Art – Part I of V: Ben Aronson
“We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it. That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.” – Rose Bird, the 25th Chief Justice of California (1976-1986), who was born 2 November 1936.
In the words of one historian, Rose Bird was “the only Chief Justice in California history to be removed from office by the voters. She was removed in the November 4, 1986 election by a margin of 67 to 33 percent after a high-profile campaign that cited her categorical opposition to the death penalty.”
A few quotes from the work of Rose Bird:
“The judiciary must not take on the coloration of whatever may be popular at the moment. We are guardian of rights, and we have to tell people things they often do not like to hear.”
“It’s always the minorities who aren’t a part of the mainstream who define what the limits… of the majority are going to be.”
“My role isn’t to be politically smart. My role is to do what’s right under the constitution. And if that’s politically unpopular, so be it.”
American Art – Part II of V: Brad Noble
Artist Statement: “I don’t mind changing a painting completely. Because even if it was six months of creation to that point, it could just be one week to take it to the next level. And you can’t deprive yourself of that possibility just because you’re afraid to touch it or it’s not quite the same path you had originally thought. There’s none of that. It’s not a rigid creation.”
“Allow me to introduce myself.” – Paul Frees, American voice and character actor best known for portraying the villain Boris Badenov on “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” who died 2 November 1986.
American Art – Part III of V: James Thurber
“Two is company, four is a party, three is a crowd. One is a wanderer.”
– James Thurber, American author and cartoonist, who died 2 November 1961.
Some quotes from the work of James Thurber:
“All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”
“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.”
“Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy and wealthy and dead.”
“There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. ”
“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness.”
2 November 1947 – The Hughes H-4 Hercules, known as the “Spruce Goose,” flies for the first and only time.
In the words of one writer, “The video footage below was shot by amateur cameraman Leo Caloia. It shows the Spruce Goose on its only flight, piloted by its designer and builder Howard Hughes. It is the largest flying boat ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history (320 ft 11 in).”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Australian ceramicist Penny Byrne: “Originally from Mildura, Penny Byrne is one of Australia’s most radical contemporary ceramacists. Often tackling current events and issues like the environment and politics in her current work, Byrne began her career as a ceramics restorer and conservator. The Four Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse (Water Scarcity, Peak Oil, Food Shortages, Over population) was originally shown at a solo exhibition at Sullivan+Strumpf in Sydney, which also represents the artist.
Penny Byrne, born 1965, completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at La Trobe University, Melbourne in 1997, a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art Ceramics) at RMIT University in Melbourne, 1987 and a Graduate Diploma (Ceramics and Glass Conservation and Restoration) at West Dean College in the United Kingdom, 1990.
Byrne meticulously constructs manipulated figurines from damaged and antiquated ceramic objects into artworks that fiercely wield a political message. The use of fragile ceramics contradicts the political issues evident in her work. Byrne’s satirical viewpoint confronts a number of contemporary political issues that presents an ongoing inquiry into popular culture and international politics. Her training as a ceramics conservator informs her practice.”
From the Music Archives – “Mississippi” John Hurt
Died 2 November 1966 – “Mississippi” John Hurt, an American country blues singer and guitarist.
American Art – Part IV of V: Perin Mahler
Artist Statement: “My current body of work, titled ‘Autobiographies,’ is a series of large, multi-figure paintings illustrating various aspects of my life both personal and professional. In these works I use the format of history painting, normally associated with the heroic and eternal, to depict quotidian subjects. Using complicated structures and often large casts of characters, I’m attempting to conjure a dramatic presence from a scene that might be experienced on a daily basis. Most recently, the themes of these paintings have veered toward domestic subject matter, focusing on parenthood and its various experiences. I’m interested in the idea of responsibility both in the sense of physical care, with its concomitant associations of anxiety and fatigue, and in the habits and personality traits bequeathed through heredity. These works, almost as much still life as figure compositions, use objects to represent the burdens of domestic life.”
“The greatest comedies that were made by anybody were made in two reels, I don’t care who it was.” – Hal Roach, American film and television producer, director, and actor best know for producing the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang series of comedy movies, who died 2 November 1992.
Thank you, Hal Roach:
In the words of one writer, “Internationally renowned (Scottish) sculptor David Begbie creates body sculptures made of woven metal mesh with amazing shadow-play. His sculptures have a much greater physical presence than any conventional solid form. He is the master of his medium mesh wire and his work speaks for itself.”
A Poem for Today
“Solitude Late at Night in the Woods”
By Robert Bly
The body is like a November birch facing the full moon
And reaching into the cold heavens.
In these trees there is no ambition, no sodden body, no leaves,
Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!
My last walk in the trees has come. At dawn
I must return to the trapped fields,
To the obedient earth.
The trees shall be reaching all the winter.
American Art – Part V of V: Robert McCauley
In the words of one writer, “Robert McCauley was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, Washington. He graduated from Western Washington University in 1969, and received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Washington State University in 1972. He is currently professor and Chairman of the Art Department at Rockford College in Illinois.”