Prufrock's Dilemma

December Miscellany, with Lois Dodd & Germaine Tailleferre

Two Red Drapes and Part of White Sheet (1981)

I think you survive if you don’t fit anywhere.
—Lois Dodd [Faye Hirsch Monograph, p. 10]

Best is to view Lois Dodd’s paintings directly, as we did this week at the Alexandre Gallery.  If, however, commentary is desired to supplement the looking, listen to Dodd herself:

Dodd doesn’t “fit” neatly into the trends of her generation, but rather paints as she pleases. Is she out of step? Is she in the vanguard or the rearguard? Does it matter in the least?

Queen Anne’s Lace Closed (2017)

I say no. The proof is in the paintings. I suspect Dodd might agree.

Oh, we’re going to talk art now. Not do it, just talk about it. I’ve always wondered about that. I’m too much of a cave-woman type person to go for that. If you’re working with your hands, we’re hand-workers and you use your head too, of course, but you can’t just use your head; where’s the joy in that for a painter?—Lois Dodd

Listening List

Germaine Tailleferre, Intermezzo and Larghetto, for 2 pianos (1946) [review of CD containing both works is here]

Neither Tailleferre’s father nor her husbands supported her work as a composer. Her first husband, Ralph Barton, may have been the worst:

Tailleferre describes hearing gunfire as she hid near their home in southern France.

In effect, Barton had become terribly nervous and, on the other hand, loving a ravishing compatriot, so much that his existence in France had become intolerable. One spring evening, having learned that I was pregnant, he took suddenly to a fit of madness and asked me abruptly to agree to him firing a gunshot at my stomach in order to kill the child. He vowed that it would be nothing, that I would be treated afterwards without pain! . . . [ellipses original] To my horror, he became more and more threatening; he had visibly lost all reason. My only duty was to my safety. I hid in the shrubbery, because this place was deserted and there were no neighbors. I had expected no help; I heard shots. I reached in time the Grand Hôtel de Sanary where one of Ralph’s friends took me under his protection.

Nevertheless, she persisted, and we’re lucky that she did.

Partita for Piano (1957)


Credits: Sources for the quotations may be found at the links in the text. The photographs, as always on the blog unless indicated otherwise, are mine.