One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Monday, October 17, 2005

One Degree From an Irascible

While reading John Updike's review of Jed Perl's "New Art City," I was reminded of my tippy-toed, fingertips' brush with greatness.
The book focuses on Abstract Expressionism and its aftermath. My grandparents, Edward and Margaret Otis, were friends with one of the Irascibles, as the Abstract Expressionists called themselves. Bradley Walker Tomlin, one of the less famous members of the group (pictured above standing, second row, far right), went to art school with my grandparents at Syracuse University. When they married, Tomlin gave them a number of paintings as a gift (pictured right is one of these). Tomlin painted this before he had developed his signature style (pictured below).
Updike writes that the book gives "relatively curt treatment [to the Abstract Expressionists], as if the author doesn't dare look at the sun too long." Frankly, I love looking directly into the sun.