The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 20-JAN 21

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DEC 20-JAN 21 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: New York

34. (27 Cooper Square)

Soon after moving with her husband and son into an apartment previously occupied by a radical sax player and his family, a painter decides it’s time to abandon the elaborate sculptural work she has been making and return to painting in oil on stretched canvases. Looking back a few years later she reflects, “I had gotten so far out in left field I really had no way of being personal.” Her first effort is a painting named for her two-year-old son. It’s among the slides she sends to a museum curator, who selects the painting for a biennial exhibition. Despite being included in the prestigious show, the painting doesn’t sell. A few years later she trades it for some necessary dental work. For this artist, the experience of making art is far more important than the product. As she once explains to a group of art students, “If you don’t have an exciting experience, an interesting, fruitful although probably struggling experience, all you have left is the painting and it doesn’t stand for very much.”

(Elizabeth Murray)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 20-JAN 21

All Issues