15 January 2012

Bo Bartlett and Saint Luke

I hadn't thought about Bo Bartlett and his realist paintings for some time. And then, last Saturday morning, Moira and I were going to the cafe in Amenia for a coffee and a visit to her studio which is at the top of the same building. A young artist that Moira knows from the Wassaic Project was sitting at a cafe table with a couple friends. We had a nice chat, it was crowded, we went up to the studio. As is so often the case when you meet someone, I didn't catch the name. Moira said he was Man Bartlett and his dad was Bo Bartlett, the painter. I remembered the haunting realist paintings I'd seen several years ago at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. This video is Bartlett's words describing his medical librarian mother who brought home issues of JMLA with old-master covers and about telling your stories in your art and also about letting them go.

One of Moira's in-progress paintings is an Evangelist portrait drawn from imagination but based on looking at many early medieval illuminations. There's an ox in the upper right so it must be Saint Luke. I misspoke and said "Saint Mark" and then found a postcard in my postcard stash of a manuscript at the Morgan which has Saint Mark with the ox of Saint Luke. Hmm. No wonder iconography can be so compelling, so appealing.

The image of the Evangelist is drawn from americanlady's photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanlady/3831120935/in/photostream I'm not sure why the white spot appears in the center, perhaps the residue of the scanned postcard's journey through the mail.

1 comment:

Sherman Clarke said...

The video is chopped on the right margin. You can view it on youtube.com at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O9G3jp8xHI&feature=youtu.be&a