Sentient in San Francisco – 25 March 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 25 March 1932 – Harriet Backer, a Norwegian painter.

Below – “Evening, Interior”; “Pa blekevollen”; “Kone som syr”; “Blue Interior”; “Chez moi”; “Ved lampelys.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 March 1932 – Penelope Gilliatt, an English novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film critic.

Some quotes from the work of Penelope Gilliatt:

“People in a temper often say a lot of silly, terrible things they mean.”
“Rosalia is dressed in raven clothes forty years too old for her, so that she seems to be in mourning for her life.”
“A satirist, often in danger himself, has the bravery of knowing that to withhold wit’s conjecture is to endanger the species.”
“Jokes are ideally pleasurable. They are an act of assassination without a corpse, a moment of total annihilation that paradoxically makes anything possible.”
“Great comedy calls large matters into question.”
“The masters of the comic spirit are often our prophets.”

Contemporary French Art – Patrick Gonzales

Below (photographs) – Untitled #337; Untitled #29; Untitled #327; Untitled #342; Untitled #75; Untitled #341; Untitled #38.

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 March 1920 – Paul Scott, an award-winning English novelist, playwright, poet, and author of “The Raj Quartet.”

Some quotes from the work of Paul Scott:

“The past becomes a texture, an ambience to our present.”
“In India nearly everybody spoke metaphorically except the English who spoke bluntly and could make their most transparent lies look honest as a consequence; whereas any truth contained in these metaphorical rigmaroles was so deviously presented that it looked devious itself.”
“Ah, well, the truth is always one thing, but in a way it’s the other thing, the gossip, that counts. It shows where people’s hearts lie.”
“English is not spare. But it is beautiful. It cannot be called truthful because its subtleties are infinite. It is the language of a people who have probably earned their reputation for perfidy and hypocrisy because their language itself is so flexible, so often light-headed with statements which appear to mean one thing one year and quite a different thing the next.”
“The calendar was a mathematical progression with arbitrary surprises.”
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
“In this life, living, there is no dignity except perhaps in laughter.”
“An emigration is possibly the loneliest experience a man can suffer. In a way it is not a country he has lost but a home, or even just a part of a home, a room perhaps, or something in that room that he has had to leave behind, and which haunts him. I remember a window-seat I used to sit in as a youth, reading Pushkin and teaching myself to smoke scented cigarettes. That window is one I am always knocking at, asking to be let in.”


Contemporary Australian Art – Elizabeth Langreiter

Below – “Let’s Take the Gondola”; “Snow Fun”; “Sun Bake”; “Stress Free”; “Catch Me If You Can”; “Powder Turn.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 March 1925 – Flannery O’Connor, an American short story writer, novelist, essayist, and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Flannery O’Connor:

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
“Total non-retention has kept my education from being a burden to me.”
“You shall know the truth, and it will make you odd.”
“She looked at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity.”
“It is the business of the artist to uncover the strangeness of truth.”
“The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.”
“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.”
“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.”
“Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.”
“Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”
“Right now the whole world seems to be going through a dark night of the soul.”
“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place… Nothing outside you can give you any place… In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.”


Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Oleksandr Voytovych

Below – “Balance”; “Pink flight”; “Workday”; “Flying”; “Happiness”;
“Woman.”


A Poem for Today
by Marge Saiser

“Weren’t We Beautiful”

growing into ourselves
earnest and funny we were
angels of some kind, smiling visitors
the light we lived in was gorgeous
we looked up and into the camera
the ordinary things we did with our hands
or how we turned and walked
or looked back we lifted the child
spooned food into his mouth
the camera held it, stayed it
there we are in our lives as if
we had all time
as if we would stand in that room
and wear that shirt those glasses
as if that light
without end
would shine on us
and from us.

Below – Edward Hopper: “Sun in an Empty Room”

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