Friday, July 30, 2010

Balance, Purity, Serenity

"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue." - Henri Matisse, Notes d'un Peintre, La Grande Revue, 1908.

Matisse As Printmaker will be on view until August 22nd at Blanton Museum. I highly recommend the show. Today I gave a gallery talk there for UT's Persian Student Society, PSS. We had a small lively group. On another matter yet art related, my latest Peyk article on "the Twentieth Century Modern Art Series: Cubism" is now available as pdf. (Peyk 128 - English section)

Seated Nude, Viewed from Behind,
Henri Matisse, 1913,
Crayon transfer lithograph.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Barton Springs!

Austin's summer is as usual warm to my always cold skin, and frustratingly hot for many with normal body temperature. My day started early in Houston with a nice breakfast and one hour of wandering around in Half Price Books, then a three-hour drive back to Austin, and it will end most probably in Chickpea Chateau after a light dinner. But at this moment I am enjoying a nice breeze in Barton Springs Pool.

"Mondays are quiet at Barton Springs!" at least this is what the tall talkative man who is sitting fifteen feet behind me tells his pal. He has a damp voice; it sounds like he needs to blow his nose. Their zinging voice makes me to unkindly think, "Hm, it would be a quiet Monday at Barton Springs if they kept their comments to themselves." I look at the chilling water. I experienced its therapeutic iciness for the first time last week, in my third summer in Austin.

Today however I am only a viewer. Some fearlessly jump in; some hesitate for a while and then with a calculated braveness let go of themselves and jump into the cold fresh water. My eyes are stalking this particular young man. Slender with puffy brown eyes, as if something just dragged him out of a faraway dream. He looks back at me right before he jumps in. I keep looking at him. He swims away. From time to time I catch a glimpse of his brown symmetrical head, vanishing into the horizon of this man-made cemented rectangle; a failed attempt in taming the wildness of fresh water. He is gone. The spring keeps running wild.

Barton Springs, aerial map, Austin