Friday, May 15, 2009


Loving, in this case, is not an adjective. It's a gerund. As in: I am loving Art.

Sometimes I find it almost painful to love great art---serious, brilliantly conceived, divinely inspired, well-crafted, personal art. It's painful because it doesn't fit inside my hungry being. It's too big. It stretches my consciousness to the bursting point. It spills out and slips away from my most earnest efforts to contain it. I guess I must accept the fact that really good art can't be completely contained. That is an awesome fact! Sometimes looking at masterpieces makes me dizzy. I have to close my eyes before them and take a breath and struggle to absorb them; to be absorbed by them. Sometimes, when I am standing before a true work of art, I start to weep inside and tears appear in the corners of my eyes. It doesn't happen all the time. It doesn't even happen frequently. But when it happens, I am forever changed.

I am remembering a small Annunciation work by Leonardo DaVinci that hangs in a dim corner of a small room in The Uffizi in Florence...
And now my thoughts leap to a tearful reunion I had with one of Rodin's Burghers of Calais in a stairwell at the Chicago Art Institute...
My memory bombards me with Art for which I harbor respect and mind's screen flashes quick images of works by Ribera, Cezanne, Gorky, Guston, Hopper, Diebenkorn, Martin...I celebrate the enormity of the possibilities great art has to elevate the spirit, to inspire, to heal...

...oh, I'm beginning to wax a bit too poetic, too mega-dramatic, methinks.

My plan, this morning, was to write about a current personal experience of awe...but I seem to have gotten self-conscious---even here in the privacy of my sun-filled writing room. So, without intending to, I retreated into the relative safety of past masters! I became self-conscious because what I want to say is difficult to say without the words sounding like hollow Gallery Owner-ese. And these feelings/thoughts are too important to me to risk sounding like a commericial gallery owner writing self-serving business-type hype.

I know/believe that the show opening tomorrow at Linda Durham Contemporary Art is... Remarkable. Rare. World-worthy. Amazing. Brilliant.

It's been a long sleepy winter at the Gallery. The months-long, rotating show of works from our Inventory offered the relatively few January-to-May gallery visitors a fine look at the strength and beauty of the work we represent. It was what it was! It was what we do in the "off season." The weather was tough. The financial world was in deep disarray. The town was quiet. I spent most of those months wondering what in the world would happen to the Art World---given the perilous political/economic times that we all faced---and still face. I had some gloomy thoughts that I worked hard to keep at bay. But gloom sometimes had its way with me. And so, in a gesture towards optimism, I catapulted my hopes forward to May when our so-called season would begin. I survived my harnessed fears of doom. They disappeared...completely...yesterday! Poof! Whoosh!

Thank you Erika Wanenmacher and Lucy Maki!

All day Thursday, I wandered around the Gallery, in a state of semi-bliss, looking and (re-looking) at two rooms full of MASTERFUL paintings by Lucy Maki and observing the progress of Erika Wanenmacher's REMARKABLE "Ditch Witch" installation...I couldn't stop smiling. Two exhibitions, opening on Saturday. Two excellent exhibitions worthy of International praise and respect. The more I reveled in the beauty, power, originality and integrity of these two bodies of work, the more I realized and embraced a treasured facet of the Art Business, my Art Business:

What makes me most happy, most satisfied and proud about having a gallery is (surprisingly?) not those moments of financial success. No, it's excellence. Excellence! It's the privilege of participating, in a small way, with the extraordinary art of my time and community. It's about introducing the Art World to the work of brilliant, passionate artists. It's about mounting and presenting that work to a curious, inspiration-seeking public. It about being astonished and then...having the opportunity to astonish others!

Don't miss this ASTONISHING show!
Walk, run, ride your bike, skip, drive, fly to Santa Fe.

Lucy Maki's Architectonics
Erika Wanenmacher's Ditch Witch

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