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Rachel Cohen

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Giacometti Difficult Hand-Writing

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Writing of Tara Geer’s work yesterday put me in mind of Giacometti, whose line in drawings and in paintings also has a quality of being written. This is from the Geer of yesterday: Giacometti's hand: He, too, is calligraphic: These details are from a Giacometti that I spent a fair amount of time with at the Harvard Art Museums, a portrait of the art critic David Sylvester. I [...] more
Morisot Daughter

Morisot – A Daughter at the Window

Monday, April 20, 2020

A daughter at the window is poignant. She is here with you, in the interior, but she is thinking of what lies beyond. Berthe Morisot, Cottage Interior, 1886. Musée d'Ixelles. Photos Rachel Cohen. Berthe Morisot painted and drew her daughter Julie probably several hundred times. There are masterpieces of Julie as a baby with her wet nurse, as a toddler swinging her foot in a chair, as a little girl with her father in the garden. I’ve studied three of Morisot’s daughter as a little [...] more

Pissarro in Snow

Out of Season

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Snow this morning. This painting – Rabbit Warren at Pontoise, Snow by Camille Pissarro, 1879 – is a regular point of reference for me, one I visit fairly often at the Art Institute. I had thought that writing of it would wait until next year. (Will we be inside again? There are questions and predictions about future waves of the disease. Hard to grasp what the year will be.) Most winters I write a little about snow and painting because snow is painting [...] more

Sargent Stone Water Stone Paper

Frederick Project: Materials

Thursday, April 9, 2020

In 2013, a show of John Singer Sargent watercolors. I saw it at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; it was co-organized with, and also shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. These two institutions have the two finest collections of Sargent watercolors. These first details are from I Gesuati , ca. 1909. [Works shown in this post belong to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; except for two, belonging to the Brooklyn Museum, noted below.] It interested me that walls were so beautiful in his [...] more

Snow

Saturday, February 15, 2014

* At this time last year, in the days when my father was dying, it snowed and snowed.   From the hospital windows, it had its beauty.  The hallway near the elevators had windows that looked down on to a sort of large courtyard, not rustic, but still made precise by the snow. People crossed and you would see dark footprints.  These would then be covered.  The footprints and their being covered, traces of particular steps and shoes, then again white -- the tiny brevity of each passing figure, of the length of time in which [...] more