Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rosie Lee Tompkins

We went to the Shelburne Museum yesterday. They've got a couple of exhibits I didn't want to miss before the place closes for the season next month, and yesterday worked out to be a nice free-from-commitment day.

The Shaker furniture exhibit was serene - clean lines, straight symmetry, beautiful simplicity. It was showcased beautifully, and made me feel very peaceful and calm. Good thing, because we had just come from the Rosie Lee Tompkins quilts exhibit, and I was needing a little calm.

My first reaction - here's a woman who REALLY needed to work out some issues. The quilts were jarring in colour, screaming emotion. I'll offer mostly pictures, you can read further about Ms Tompkins here. I'll just offer one comment. Many of the reviews of Ms Tompkins' work remark on the joy of the pieces. While I can see some liberation, some emancipation if you like, in the pieces, my personal feeling from them was of someone of struggling through uncomfortable feelings. There is much about these quilts that is primitive and childlike, but there is no innocence here. Plenty of raw emotion, laid bare.


Jane Ann said...

I agree with you--I wouldn't feel too cheerful after viewing this. It has a very "driven" quality to it.

karen said...

That's art? Okaaaay. Scarey ,needs a therapist on top of quilting art.And maybe some valium and zoloft combined.

Dorothy said...

Oh, I think it *is* art. I just didn't see the joy in it that all the reviews commented on. It is most certainly expressive, and while I wouldn't call it beautiful, it was evocative, and I think that is one big thing that makes art, ART.