japonisme: mew

25 January 2012


there's so much to say about today's selection of images, but i won't say it all because to tell you the truth i am simply not interested in who patented what technique and who showed what when. i shall remind you, though, that what all of these artists were doing at that moment of time was nothing short of revolutionary in that they were breaking free of the academy's formal classicism. though each has his own distinctive style, they are clearly friends and brothers, and students of the new japonisme that facilitated that break.


a woman moves through dog rose and juniper bushes,
a pussy clean and folded

between her legs,
breasts like the tips of her festive shoes
shine silently in her heavy armoire.

one blackbird, one cow,
one horse.
the sea beats against the wall of the waterless.
she walks to a phone booth
that waits
a fair distance from all three villages.

it’s a game she could have heard on the radio:
a question, a number,
an answer, a prize.
her pussy reaches up and turns on the light in her womb.

from the rain,
she says into the receiver,
we compiled white tables and chairs under a shed
into a crossword puzzle
and sat ourselves in the grid.

the receiver is silent.
the bird flounces
like a burglar caught red-handed.
her voice stumbles
over her glands.
the body to be written
in the last block—
i can suck his name
out of any letter.

all three villages cover their faces with wind.

Valzhyna Mort

Source: Poetry (December 2009)

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous evan said...

It's like some weird physics experiment- item A influences item B influences...

...and then there's synchronicity, even though maybe it's not synchronicity- two artists countries apart sit down & draw the cat on their bed. Each piece of work looks like the artists were each sitting in the same room at the same time...

27 January, 2012 11:32  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

yes, though in this case, these guys were all in france and all knew each other and were close!

27 January, 2012 12:04  
Anonymous evan said...

I think that's very cool, too. I'd love to be in a community of artists where ideas are exchanged & maybe a couple of us, or all of us decide to maybe experiment with perspective, technique, composition etc. The trick would be to find artists who can keep their egos in check.

One of the most violent arguments I've ever witnessed between artists was three of us were sitting around tossing out ideas. One of the artists in the discussion picked up on an idea that one of the other artists had tossed out there & ran with it. The artist whose idea had been used went ballistic, claiming the idea had been HIS & stolen. I disagreed- artists sitting around exchanging ideas...well...it's an exchange...you put an idea out there (verbally, anyway), unless you put a disclaimer on it, it's free to get used.

28 January, 2012 07:55  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh what a can of worms you've opened there! i think maybe that's one of the reasons i always work alone!

but also, yeah -- can you imagine the fun?! i mean, this was all new to all of them -- the styles, the techniques... time of massive experimentation and growth. to do it by yourself in circumstances like that, you might spend your whole time wondering what you were missing! (not to mention the needs for validation while flying in the faces of tradition.)

28 January, 2012 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very happy to find so much Müller's etchings on this site! You have well understood his taste for japanism, a very slight one ... and a long story! For Steinlen and Müller, ...they lived in the same house, rue Caulaincourt around 1900 ... with many cats! Congratulations! It's very nice!

21 April, 2012 06:55  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i didn't know that! that's so cool! (and explains a lot!) were they lovers?

21 April, 2012 10:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They live in the same nice little house, which looked like an English cottage from the Rue Caulaincourt, and because of the denivellation has an extraordinary view over Paris from the other side (Rue Lamarck). Müller and his Marguerite had a studio ground-floor (that they left to Renoir in 1902) and Steinlen, his wife, daughter and cats were under, with view (!! Rue Lamarck side). Colette, Steinlen's daughter, was often with the Müller's (as the cats!), so one can find Colette Steinlen and her cats on Müller's etchings, or Colette beside the piano ... I am curious about your interest for Müller. Would you tell me more about?

21 April, 2012 13:12  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

that is a wonderful story -- thank you! it looks like his pair of swans lithograph was the first i collected online, back in 2006 just before i started this blog. but i had been amassing a large library of books on the subject of art at that time for at least 20 years before that. so i don't know for sure when his name became etched upon my brain, but probably online.

and then of course it was "love at first sight."

what about you?

21 April, 2012 14:11  

Post a Comment

hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

<< Home

newer posts older posts