Sunday, December 03, 2017

Fulbright Global Scholar Award in Chile: Day 03 - Solitude

Agnes Martin. “Summer” (1964): Synthesizing both Abstract Expressionism and minimalism. From Peter Schjeldahl’s 2016 article in the New Yorker titled “Agnes Martin, a Matter-of-Fact Mystic.” By Peter Schjeldahl,

Leave it to by Maria Popova to remind me of the importance of being alone.

“Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,” young Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Keats saw solitude as a sublime conduit to truth and beauty. Elizabeth Bishop believed that everyone should experience at least one prolonged period of solitude in life. Even if we don’t take so extreme a view as artist Agnes Martin’s assertion that “the best things in life happen to you when you’re alone,” one thing is certain: Our capacity for what psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has termed “fertile solitude” is absolutely essential not only for our creativity but for the basic fabric of our happiness — without time and space unburdened from external input and social strain, we’d be unable to fully inhabit our interior life, which is the raw material of all art.
She’s talked about it through the lens of many artists and writers. I’m especially attracted to the following posts:

Agnes Martin:
Louis Bourgeois:
Virginia Wolfe:
Adrienne Rich:

At a time when I am happy in my Davidson bubble, I know it’s good for my soul, artwork and everyone in my life to slow down a bit and escape into a productive state of solitude. But I miss all the ease of routines and the love of my family, but I’m trying to make the transition to Chile as fearlessly and efficiently as I am able. In the meantime, a few good reminders about adapting to a new place and adopting the right mindset:

More about my Fulbright Global Scholar Award to Germany, Chile and Hong Kong
More about the Fulbright Global Scholar Award in general

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