A few years ago I sat myself down in front of “Red Currant Jelly” (1972) painting by Mary Pratt when I was at the National Art Gallery. We had been traveling through the East Coast and had only briefly saw one painting of hers. I thought for sure I would find some of her paintings when we were in Newfoundland…but no that wasn’t to be. I was thrilled when I came around the corner at the NAG and saw the painting.
I love the hyper realism of her work. I love that she uses tinfoil to capture the light and reflecting colours from the sky and jelly. To me it seems that her work is about light!
As I listened to the narrated audio about the work I had to laughed at the “art” speak of the gallery. I really chuckled when the person who wrote it didn’t actually know what the back bowl was. If you have never made jelly you wouldn’t know that to keep the jelly clear you have to remove the scum while it is cooking. The back bowl is filled with the scooped off scum. Sometimes ART Speak doesn’t really reflect the artists intentions at all. I think this one is a case in point.
Mary Pratt said “The work I do is involved with the superficial. I paint objects that are symbolic of nothing but a very mundane life. I am not moved when I first see them by their moral or social implications and nostalgia simply irritates me. Their surface qualities are the light and shados, colours and textures that first appeal to me. I simply copy the superficial coating because I like the look of it!”
I can see her life filled with four children at the time, which means a great deal of cooking in all if various formats. Why wouldn’t she be attracted to capturing vignettes of her day to day life.
See you on Monday!