Wednesday, June 10, 2015

THE HUMBLE PSYCHOLOGY OF THINGS

BASKET AND PLATE OF FRUIT ON A RED CHECKERED TABLECLOTH
PIERRE BONNARD, c. 1939
BUNCH OF MIMOSA
PIERRE BONNARD, 1945
 
CARAFE, MARTHE BONNARD WITH HER DOG
PIERRE BONNARD, 1912

CHERRY PIE
PIERRE BONNARD, 1908

"A radiant still life often appears at the edge of these compositions: some fruit in a basket whose handle echoes the curve of a tilted profile; or bowls and plates whose broad, round shadows soften the stiff poses of figures. Bonnard's modest personality often concealed his feelings, but in his art--even in these golden fruits, these gleaming apples, grapes and oranges--we may see a hint of a private, sublimated sorrow or melancholy. In these simple bowls of fruit, whether details of larger scenes or painted alone, Bonnard raised to a new level the intimate dialogue of man and inanimate object--what the poet Pierre Reverdy called 'the humble psychology of things.' "

--Antoine Terrasse, Bonnard: Shimmering Color, p. 89

Here's the link to a "Talk of the Town" New Yorker piece about artist Elise Engler, who catalogued all 13, 127 objects in her apartment in a sequence of drawings called "Everything I Own."

She went on to produce several other "list paintings," e.g. "Everything In My Bag."

EVERYTHING IN HER BAG #43
12 X 12, COLORED PENCIL ON PAPERELISE ENGLER, 1999


A glass of papaya juice
and back to work. My heart is in my
pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.
Frank O'Hara, "A Step Away From Them"


SOME THINGS ON MY HUMBLE DESK


2 comments:

  1. My recently unstable, often-on-the-road, lifestyle has forced me to live as a minimalist. There is nothing I collect and my home is free of clutter, nick-nacks, and debris. Reading this post has me wondering what awareness the task of documenting all possessions might bring, but it also has me developing a mental inventory of my possessions. In doing so I am reminded of the drawer of lose photos, the thumb tacks that have since lost their box of a home, heating pads, a multitude of various cellphone chargers, and (as you documented) batteries! I suddenly became aware that I am not the minimalist I think of myself as. I feel vain and rich and messy in the consideration of the items that would make my list.

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  2. Also - unrelated to this particular post, but not enough information to justify an email - your words have really struck a cord with me as of late, aiding me in purposeful living. I, with the help of your words among the words of other greats, have felt pressed forward in excited deliberate living, feeling whole and of great significance even in the small sphere in which I live. Thank you.

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