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The Unforeseeable End
by Michael Helsem
'My eyes see the fields, the fields,
The fields, Neaera, and already
I suffer the cold of the darkness
In which I will not have eyes.
I can feel, even now, the skull
I'll be when all feeling has ceased,
Unless the unknown shall assign me
Some other, unforeseeable end...'
— Ricardo Reis (tr Richard Zenith)
icasso’s blue, unlike his Cubist, period, spawned scant progeny. His gaunt harlequins and mute enigmatic columbines remain, an elegant reminder of those last halcyon days before things went smash and worldwide fame and fortune descended harpylike on the Master. Lorena Tinajero at Decorazon (through March 21 2006) seems to have found, in that same visual and emotional territory, complete equivalence for a very different, 21c. life spent at the terminus of American and Mexican dreams. All’s missing is the circus.
First you notice the faces: simply but exquisitely rendered, usually with downcast or lost in reverie eyes, and one to a painting — self sufficient as lilies. Her drawing skills, so evident in these, practically evaporate after that; and in only a few pictures is there more than the sketchiest body or stage-backdrop of a place. (This, too, is blue Picassoesque, though he also lavished his attention on the hands.)
You can’t call her a breathtaking or groundbreaking colorist, but somehow she conveys a consistent and overwhelming storm of loneliness in every frame: even when it’s a horizon filled with a silent waiting crowd, even when it’s angels (“The Inner Creature”). Loneliness in this world is not just its weather; it’s its substance. And the beauty of her drawing makes it bearable.
In the best of them, such as the pink cream and black “Loud Silence,” you feel that the chaotic ground (palette knife and scumbling) finds its only possible blossoming and even a sort of haunted redemption in the intensely self-absorbed, unpitying solitude of the people. They’re not going anywhere. And they know it.
2 25 06
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