After the Art – Issue 6 – December 2019

Welcome to After the Art’s sixth issue.

We hope you enjoy these four essays:

“Eyes Set Far Apart or Close: The Art of William Sulit, the Language of Carolyn Forché” by Beth Kephart

“Edward Hopper and the Tourist From Syracuse” by Gregory Luce

“Mysteries of the Horizon” by Kimmo Rosenthal

“Beneath the Surface / Cold Gleanings of Ice” by Nancy Geyer

We’ve also started a Facebook page, which you can follow for posts about future issues as well as exhibits, articles, books, essays, and sites that might be of interest. Continue reading “After the Art – Issue 6 – December 2019”

Eyes Set Far Apart or Close: The Art of William Sulit, the Language of Carolyn Forché

by Beth Kephart

It was the way he walked, then it was the way he moved his hand: over the buckled rectangles of Canson paper, beside the trays of color, in a room that smelled of linseed oil. I had followed him there, to the third floor of his West Philadelphia apartment, where the only window opened to the sound of a jumprope game and the smell of laundromat Tide.

We were young, but I didn’t know it. I thought that if I watched him paint, if I reckoned with his watercolors, his sketches, I could halve our differences—the making of the man traced through the making of his art. How his colors always seemed mixed with dust. How his solitary people struck me as infinitesimally lost. How the only exits from the mazes he painted were too small to admit passage. How the mood he beckoned with his brush was the atmosphere of elsewhere. Continue reading “Eyes Set Far Apart or Close: The Art of William Sulit, the Language of Carolyn Forché”

Edward Hopper and the Tourist from Syracuse

by Gregory Luce

A gas station at night, the only bright spot on a dark, lonely road. Bright red pumps, a fading red Pegasus, and a man at the pumps probably closing up for the night. It might well be the place where the used-car salesman stopped for a six-pack on the way home from the sales convention. Or possibly the station where two men, Al and Max, gassed up on their way to Summit to kill the Swede, Ole Anderson. Or where the tourist from Syracuse stopped in to ask about a place to stay for the night. Continue reading “Edward Hopper and the Tourist from Syracuse”

Mysteries of the Horizon

by Kimmo Rosenthal

“A true work of art in no way depends for its justification on its seeming connections with the place that many call the real world and that I call the visible world.” — Gerald Murnane, A Million Windows

 The above epigraph encapsulates much of the appeal of the paintings of René Magritte, which repeatedly call into question the accuracy and trustworthiness of our perceptions of the real world, while exploring the impact of our invisible world of the imagination on these perceptions. His famous “ceci n’est pas un pipe” painting was actually entitled The Treachery of Images. At first reckoning, the pairing of René Magritte and Gerald Murnane might seem incongruous, nonetheless their paths have intersected at a personal crossroads on what Murnane would likely call my most private of maps. Reading Murnane’s novel The Plains has helped me begin to understand and find meaning in Magritte’s painting The Mysteries of the Horizon (sometimes also known as The Masterpiece). Continue reading “Mysteries of the Horizon”

Beneath the Surface / Cold Gleanings of Ice

by Nancy Geyer

He must have looked like he was being stoned, the naked man who was himself made of stone. But by morning all was calm in the plaza in front of the Denver Art Museum. Tender green leaves, stripped during the night from the trees in a hailstorm (one leaf caught in the small of the man’s back) eased the sculpture’s severity and made the water a rejuvenating bath. Continue reading “Beneath the Surface / Cold Gleanings of Ice”

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