‘It’s More Than It Initially Appears’

Curators have increasingly come to recognize the depth and complexity of Jennifer Guidi’s art. “It’s more than it initially appears,” said one museum director. Credit… Alex Welsh for The New York Times.

The comment attributed to a museum director about Jennifer Guidi’s painting reminded me of Mark Twain’s remark that Wagner’s music is “better than it sounds.”

“I’m thinking of color as a way to connect — a way to engage — that invites people into a sense of aliveness,” Guidi said. “More colors. More dots. More energy. More vibrant. More vibration.”

A bit of fun can be had with the dulcet, polka-dot-and-moonbeam language of this review. Where’s the harm? Gentle bemusement is the rhetorical reward when movers and shakers of the arts community rally around an artist in furtherance of the addition of zeros to her work’s financial accomplishments.

One of her paintings, “Elements of All Entities,” sold last fall at Christie’s for $625,000, more than four times the low estimate of $150,000 (her work sells privately for $100,000 to about $500,000).

“Till Sunbeams Find You (Painted White Sand, Orange, Pink, Hot Pink, Yellow, Turquoise, Lavender and Purple, Black Fill),” 2021-22. Credit… Alex Welsh for The New York Times.

“She is straddling the space between the spiritual and the hallucinatory… They’re very much these meditations on the ambience and the atmosphere of our West Coast environs — where the sky meets the sea”… “She quietly absorbs the world around her and distills it into meditative and hypnotic, often pulsating imagery.”

“The Various Planes on Being and Life (Painted Natural Sand, Red-Orange-Yellow-Blue-Purple-Dark Purple Mountain, Painted Black Sand, Yellow, Red, Pink, Green and Orange, Painted Black Sand, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink, Black Ground),” 2022. Credit… Alex Welsh for The New York Times.

(Robin Pogrebin, “Where the Sky Meets the Sea: Jennifer Guidi Leans Into Beauty,” New York Times, 11-4-22)

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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4 Responses to ‘It’s More Than It Initially Appears’

  1. I love the droll Mark Twain quote!


    • JMN says:

      Twain is probably our greatest humorist. This quip of his as given me joy forever, Sue. I wonder if there’s a comparable figure in your Australian literary tradition? I daresay there is. We have a lesser figure who has also left memorable nuggets: His name is Will Rogers. I cherish his saying, “I’m not a member of an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” (!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • One quip we have here about pastoralists/farmers is, “the bigger the hat, the smaller the property” (A previous PM John Howard would go out to the country wearing a huge Akubra hat and looked very silly!) We also love Groucho Marx’s quote about never wanting to be a member of a club that would accept him. And his “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read”!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • JMN says:

        Fabulous, Sue! I’m glad you shared these with me. I need to check what an Akubra hat looks like. I think it’s also Groucho who said, “If you don’t like my opinions, I have others.”

        Liked by 1 person

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