Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras

The last post featured the first snow in this area in many years. Here we are a few days later celebrating the Mardi Gras week end with sunny skies and highs topping 80. I love living in the deep South!

One of the greatest treasures of south Mississippi is the art work of Walter Anderson. Anderson was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His many works in different media express a deep love of nature and a transendental understanding of reality.

While Anderson was a gifted determined artist, he was a not much of a family man. He loved his wife and children, but he could not abide their company (or any one elses's) for very long. His children certainly loved him, but they were more than a little afraid of him as well.

In Dancing with My Father, Lief Anderson presents many brief meditations on her father, their family life and her own artistic development. While sometimes seeming just a bit self-indulgent, she gives us great insight into the great artist she only later came to call Daddy. Her observations help us develop a much more human and complex understanding of Walter Anderson's art.

The text is enlightening, and the line drawings by Walter Anderson which make up the bulk of the book are nothing short of wonderful. The emotion and spirit Anderson expressed in such simple markings is overwhelming.

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