Friday, June 22, 2018

The World Split Open (3 Part Series--so far)

Each of these sections of the triptych is 36"x24", acrylic on canvas 

I didn't know about Kathe Kollwitz when I created this triptych. I only knew the lines from the poem "Kathe Kollwitz" by Muriel Rukeyser that were quoted in a book I read that examined the Madwoman archetype: 
What would happen if one woman told the truth about
       her life?
    The world would split open

In fact, I have quoted these lines in an earlier post thinking that it would be the title of the series I was working on at that time. But the timing was not right until now. 

After this triptych was completed, I decided to read the full poem by Rukeyser. But I didn't get it. Until I realized that Kathe Kollwitz was an artist and that I could immerse myself in study of her to understand the poem in its entirety. And holy shit. Did I get some powerful connection to then believe that this work I had done was appropriately titled. The connection I felt for the artist and the poem written about the artist was exquisitely painful in all of its gory and glory. Anti-war socialist? Hell yeah. Examining what could be considered the minutiae of everyday life to those of global ramifications. Absolutely. I was seeing all that in these pieces of the triptych as I worked each panel. From the cellular level to the perils of life and facing death, from the individual through to the community local and at large. Add to that, she worked largely in black and white in her drawings. This all together got me right in my core, in the very center that was the birth of my work. 

Sometimes everything fits in the most mysterious of ways.

Below are the links to Rukeyser's poem and to a bio about Kathe Kollwitz.

There are more websites about Kollwitz and of course images of her art online. I am still immersing myself in her.

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