Sentient in San Francisco – 28 September 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 28 September 1899 – Giovanni Segantini, an Austrian painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Midday in the Alps”; “Return from the Woods”; “Alpine Landscape”; “Idyll”; “Alpine Triptych: Nature”; “The Punishment of Lust.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 September 2016 – Gloria Naylor, an American novelist, author of “The Women of Brewster Place,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Gloria Naylor:

“Not only is your story worth telling, but it can be told in words so painstakingly eloquent that it becomes a song.”
“I don’t believe that life is supposed to make you feel good, or to make you feel miserable either. Life is just supposed to make you feel.”
“A loud voice is not always angry; a soft voice not always to be dismissed; and a well-placed silence can be the indisputable last word.”
“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.”
“In a contest between new technology and old ways of life, it is the traditional rhythms that will hold. Traditional societies make up more than two-thirds of the world, the two-thirds that will not be going online to ‘save’ time but will remain wedded to the knowledge that if the bus doesn’t come that day, it will come someday. After all, there is nothing but time.”
“Spoiled. That’s all it’s about – can’t live without this, can’t live without that. You can live without anything you weren’t born with, and you can make it through on even half of that.”
“Life is accepting what is and working from that.”

This Date in Art History: Died 28 September 1899 – Giovanni Segantini, an Austrian painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Alpine Triptych: Life”; “Love at the Fountain of Life”; “Bagpipers of Brianna”; “Virágcsendélet vázában”; “The Bad Mothers”; “Vanitas.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 September 1993 – Peter De Vries, an American novelist, humorist, and editor.

Some quotes from the work of Peter De Vries:

“The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but must live with a character.”
“Life is a zoo in a jungle.”
“A hundred years ago Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter was given an A for adultery; today she would rate no better than a C-plus.”
“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.”
“The idea of a Supreme Being who creates a world in which one creature is designed to eat another in order to subsist, and then pass a law saying, “Thou shalt not kill,” is so monstrously, immeasurably, bottomlessly absurd that I am at a loss to understand how mankind has entertained or given it house room all this long.”
“Everybody hates me because I’m so universally liked.”
“Life is a crowded superhighway with bewildering cloverleaf exits on which a man is liable to find himself speeding back in the direction he came.”
“He resented such questions as people do who have thought a great deal about them. The superficial and slipshod have ready answers, but those looking this complex life straight in the eye acquire a wealth of perception so composed of delicately balanced contradictions that they dread, or resent, the call to couch any part of it in a bland generalization. The vanity (if not outrage) of trying to cage this dance of atoms in a single definition may give the weariness of age with the cry of youth for answers the appearance of boredom.”
“A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.”
“I was thinking that we all learn by experience, but some of us have to go to summer school.”
“My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too.”
“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”
“How do you expect mankind to be happy in pairs when it is miserable separately?”
“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe.”

Contemporary British Art – Ruth Mulvie

Below – “Parasols”; “Skate the Rainbow”; “Paradiso”; “The Racers”; “Pool House at the Raleigh.”

A Poem for Today

“Summer Job”
by Richard Hoffman

“The trouble with intellectuals,” Manny, my boss,
once told me, “is that they don’t know nothing
till they can explain it to themselves.  A guy like that,”
he said, “he gets to middle age—and by the way,
he gets there late; he’s trying to be a boy until
he’s forty, forty-five, and then you give him five
more years until that craziness peters out, and now
he’s almost fifty—a guy like that at last explains
to himself that life is made of time, that time
is what it’s all about.  Aha! he says.  And then
he either blows his brains out, gets religion,
or settles down to some major-league depression.
Make yourself useful.  Hand me that three-eights
torque wrench—no, you moron, the other one.”

Contemporary American Art – Charles Wilkin

Artist Statement: “My work is a loose collection of thoughts and observations in many ways and less about one specific theme. I see it as being a reflection of the world we live in, with all its ugliness and cruelty. But from that, I strive to extract the beauty and empathy hidden underneath and within us all, revealing the unknown, the unspoken and intangible things that make us truly human. For me, collage as a medium replicates this frenetic and inherent collision of people, culture, and emotions we all experience. I believe the true meaning of my work is derived directly from the intertwining of these associations, and the spontaneity of my creative process. This gives my work the freedom to live creatively in the moment, and the ability to respond to current events, despite my imagery being derived primarily from vintage magazines.”

Below – “The Wake”; “Hexes”; “Tipping Point”; “In Ruins”; “Color Burns”; “Somewhere, Nowhere.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 September 1891 – Herman Melville, an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and author of “Moby Dick.”

Some quotes from the work of Herman Melville:

“Call me Ishmael.”
“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
“No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.”
“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own.”
“There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.”
“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure. Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks. Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began. Consider all this; and then turn to the green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!”
“Queequeg was a native of Kokovoko, an island far away to the West and South. It is not down in any map; true places never are.”

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