Sunday 5 June 2011

For the cell of a recluse

The sun was gorgeously caressing and not too hot, so after work I crossed over Waterloo Bridge and took a walk along the river to see the Miro exhibition at Tate Modern, open late on Fridays. The riverside was crowded all the way and my gallery attention span proved, alas, to be about thirty minutes. I know, at least, what I want to go back and spend more time with. Here are my favourite paintings from this visit, interspersed with a few photos. They tell their own story of what I could relate to on a Friday evening.

There's a mood, a mental space where words rush into my head, make patterns faster than I can write them down. I'm almost never in this space - I am too tired. After work, I need silence and emptiness and it's all I can manage, but I also need words and need to write. After work I need rest and solitude and it's all I'm capable of, but I also need people, stimulation and activity. I'm not able to balance these conflicting needs and must learn how. The alternative is a kind of death.

Miro: Drop of Water on Pink Snow, 1968

Miro: Painting on White Background for the Cell of a Recluse, 1968

Miro: Head of a Catalan Peasant, c 1925


Lucy said...

I tell myself I can't have it both ways, I can't elect to have plenty of space to myself and the need for quiet and solitude, and then feel fed up and jealous and excluded because everyone else seems to be basking in the cheery pleasure of human society, conversation and easy connections. I can't be sure if I'm just lazy and timid and taking the line of least resistance, or whether I'm doing right by myself.

Of course I do live with someone else, which in some ways makes it easier because I have familiar and generally undemanding but affectionate company on tap, and by and large we understand and accept each other, on the other hand it introduces another and troublesome dynamic into the matter of mixing with other people, and means I seldom get to sample unalloyed solitude, so it's a constraint too.

I like these paintings, especially the drop of water and the head of the Catalan peasant. Though I think the titles are a bit wilfully contrary.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing these. Maybe someday I'll see them in 3d!