A day already
downstream of the sun
and a country of its moment
of measure. Out of slack and straggle brought
into line, into curve and square
as pleasance, and let go.
Grey slab fence-post
and rail, sagged and split. In swamp water
bristleheads of straw.
And these half-dozen
flags that raise their blue out of the mould?
Of a sunken garden
remainders. Of the blue skirts of girls
as they sweep towards occasions,
or from them, remainders.
on grass, children at leapfrog, or practising
the breathlessness of statues
here, when there were lawns.
- David Malouf, from Earth Hour
"We are preoccupied with effort, the importance of working, striving, and trying… we too often devote ourselves to pushing harder or moving faster in areas of our life where effort and striving are, in fact, profoundly counterproductive."
#the art of not trying
"Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us."
"Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
#rainer maria rilke
To accompany Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt, this exhibition-specific tumblr will publish many of the postcards sent between LeWitt, Hesse, and their contemporaries, as well as featuring written perspectives from the exhibition curator’s Veronica Roberts and others. To introduce the project, Veronica ruminates on the personal correspondence between these two artists.
Just as LeWitt’s wall drawings have been keeping art students around the world busy for nearly fifty years, the copious number of postcards and letters he wrote kept the United States Postal Service in business; (no wonder the post office is not doing so well these days.) Thirty-nine particularly special postcards that LeWitt wrote Hesse are reproduced in the exhibition and its catalogue. They are thoughtful, funny, and charming—classic Sol. And being the artist he was, he thought carefully about all of its ingredients: the image on the postcard, the message inside—even the stamp he used.
LeWitt’s dry sense of humor really come through in the postcards he dispatched Hesse from around the globe. He sent her an image of Moroccan sand dunes, lobster traps in Maine, and a roaring hippopotamus in the Netherlands. One of my personal favorites is a Smithsonian Museum postcard of an Egyptian mummy bull. (Well, according to the postcard, it’s a bull; it looks a more like a bunny to me.) Wrapped in bandages with just its eyes revealed, it looks like a cross between a rabbit possessed by the devil and an early Christo sculpture. On the back, he wrote a succinct, tongue-in-cheek message: “Dear Eva, I hope this doesn’t scare you.”
As a curator, I love reading the personal correspondence of artists but I know my attachment to them goes deeper than that. I know part of the reason I’m drawn to them is to see how clearly devoted Sol and Eva were to each other as friends, always making the time to remind each other of this in ways small and big. And I know I personally respond to them because I too have always enjoyed writing letters and receiving them. People seem to appreciate receiving handwritten letters now more than ever, in part, I’m convinced, because we are drowning in the irritating efficiency of emails, which pile up like car wrecks. Unlike emails, which insist upon a response, letters are gifts with no expectations attached—a chance to say something kind without causing someone to blush or requiring anything in return.
All postcard images courtesy of Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio. Eva Hesse Archive, Gift of Helen Hesse Charash. © The Eva Hesse Estate. Courtsey Hauser & Wirth © Estate of Sol LeWitt/ Artist Rights Society (ARS)