Sunday, April 23, 2006
When I walked into Cheim & Read Saturday I immediately thought that maybe I would take some pictures and use my Photoshop skills to rearrange Jack Pierson's letter sculptures to say something smartass like, "SIMON SAYS". The recent blow up about Barneys appropriating Jack Pierson's format was an unusually ham-fisted bit of intellectual and fiscal property protection. For the record, while Barneys might or might not have respect for Pierson's art, John Cheim's letter seemed to display little faith in it.
That said, as soon as I realized that Pierson had incorporated Barbara Pym into the show all was forgiven. I wasn't ready for that at all. I know. I'm easy, but . . . Barbara Pym! How often does she get mentioned anywhere? Between her work and her life she's a perfect touchstone for one corner of what Pierson is exploring here, female suffering. It was especially moving to see that candle flickering beside the well-worn copy of Less Than Angels.
Start anywhere. Everything I've read by Pym has been good. I have to say that the subtle power of the everyday in Quartet in Autumn is what makes that one my favorite. And trust me, nobody's ever going to copy her style to sell socks.