Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday-Anne Truitt

I feel like I have a new friend and mentor even though Anne Truitt died in 2004. I have just come to know her through her three books: Daybook, Turn, and Prospect. Each one is a personal history of her relationships—first and foremost with her art, but also with her family—her parents and her children and their children. Her language is rich, her thinking rigorous, and her insights deep and clear. She affirms both the difficulties and the joys of making art. By sharing her journey, she gives us a guide for our own. With a warm presence that is both comforting and demanding, she leads us to an understanding of her own work and what we need to do to serve ours best.

Sometime during the course of their development, they [artists] have to forge a character subtle enough to nourish and protect and foster the growth of the part o themselves that makes art, and at the same time practical enough to deal with the world pragmatically. They have to maintain a position between care of themselves and care of their work in the world, just as they have to sustain the delicate tension between intuition and sensory information.

This leads to the uncomfortable conclusion that artists are, in this sense, special because they are intrinsically involved in a difficult balance not so blatantly precarious in other professions. The lawyer and the doctor
practice their callings. The plumber and the carpenter know what they will be called upon to do. They do not have to spin their work out of themselves, discover its laws, and then present themselves turned inside out to the public gaze.

Anne Truitt Exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1992

Anne Truitt website with lots of images of her work

Smithsonian article by Kathy June-Frisen on Anne Truitt from 2009

PBS post on Anne Truitt by Meaghan Wilson and Talea Miller including video


Unknown said...

I gifted her "Daybook" to an artist several years ago. It is great that she shared so much about being an artist.

Mo Crow said...

what a great quote!

BAYMAN said...

It seems manifestly ironic that (women) painters must work so very much harder to make a mark and one that lasts, while what artifacts they manage are frequently thrown out, trivialized, appropriated, co-opted, or dismissed (by men).
I began painting nearly 20 years after Truitt. The question still seriously asked--by academics and curators in general and, of me specifically by every man who found out I was painting--was, Why have there never been any important women artists?
Women, as of 2014, are not exhibited nearly as often as men, nor are their incomes in any way comparable.

Pystabard said...

Absolutely spot on.

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