Monday, January 15, 2007

Gertrude Stein: OMOM Essay 23

I had a vague dislike of Gertrude Stein until I researched her for this essay. Now my dislike is intense. Read her rant on the comma (the Sidebar to this essay) and you'll see why. "About the Sculpture" compares this work to Picasso's famous 1906 portrait in the Metropolitan Museum. For copyright reasons I can’t include a photo of Davidson’s Stein in this blog: I purchased permission to use one in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan, but not on the web. You can, however, see the piece in progress in Man Ray’s photo of Davidson sculpting Stein. For "About the Subject" I found a bewildered comment by Davidson and a laugh-aloud New York Times subhead for Stein's obituary (1946). Another laugh-aloud moment ended up on the cutting-room floor of OMOM. Stein wrote of Oakland, California, where she spent part of her childhood: "What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there." Since the 1980s or 1990s, Oakland City Center has displayed an abstract work by Roslyn Mazzilli entitled, simply, There. So now there is a There there.

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