Monday, August 2, 2010

The Struggle

Jacques Lipchitz, Jacob and the Angel, 1939
Red, white, and black crayon on green paper
Manierre Dawson, The Struggle, 1912
Oil on canvas

Adam and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts last week.  These pieces demanded our attention.  I am interested in depictions of biblical stories, but that's not the only reason Lipchitz's work spoke to me.  Even though we can't articulate what attracts us to these works, we're mesmerized by the struggle.  Maybe we can see ourselves in the depiction.  Who among us hasn't wrestled with beloved people, enemies, God, work, calling, and ourselves?  Some of us struggle with art and the artist's temperament.  Madeleine L'Engle said, "Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling."  (Thanks to L√ČNA for reminding me of this quote.) 

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