Heraclitus tells us that you cannot step in the same river twice, because it’s not the same river and you’re not the same person…but this is precisely what great art and photography can accomplish. In the largest donation made to the Harry Ransom Center, two thousand Magnum prints have inspired a selection of dramatic, frozen instances from our cultural memory of the 20th century.
I’ve been busy the past two years as a digital librarian for a semiconductor company, but I’m trying to dip my toe back into art criticism. What follows are a sampling of earlier reviews.
“The sculpted bust of two young black girls byJohn Ahearn, playfully whispering into each others ear is full of humanity and joy. Unlike the mimetic idealism we see so often in historical portraits of children, Ahearn captures fleeting emotional subtleties in his realism that we know exist and that are usually lost only to memory.”
“It’s difficult to tell what is more fascinating about the exhibit, the marvelous cross-section of New York contemporary art or this generous and devoted couple….They were a couple that built relationships with artists, asking and valuing their opinions. Quotes from these artists about this couple can be found throughout the exhibit, praising their pure and authentic eye as well as their practicality.
“After years of violence and oppression through the 1970’s to early 1980’s, the art from the 1990’s show a society in transformation, re-evaluating identity, positions and expression.”