Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mary Henderson



My second-favorite periodical, Harper's, often features interesting paintings by relatively unknown artists. This month they have Dinner Table by Mary Henderson (her painting Baseball Game is above).

I find her work very striking. There's a clash between what I regard as painfully banal subject matter and a truly masterful technique, and the void left betwixt these two opposing forces I fill in with my own experience as a college professor and a long-time sufferer of neighborhood frat and sorority shenanigans. I'm both drawn to and repulsed by these paintings as a result. According to James Joyce's aesthetic theory, Mary Henderson's work is therefore pornographic.

2 comments:

Seth Anderson said...

...so what's your fave periodical, since you mention it? Personally, I'd say that since Harper's is the magazine I've subscribed to for the longest time without interruption, it is high on my list. Top 10 lists are arbitrary anyway - I tend to identify 1-10 as equals. Or something. Obviously I've been hitting the sacramental caffeine too much this morning.

geoff said...

I give a slight edge to The New York Review of Books. I've given up The Nation after 15 years and cancelled the Washington Post and the NY Times, so I don't even have enough to round out a top ten list anymore.