Daybook The Journal of An Artist by Anne Truitt
04 February 2021 at 14:13
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DAYBOOK by Anne Truitt There is a tendency in creative fields to present oneself as an artist above all; parenthood or family life are usually an un discussed side note in the lives of major artists. But in American Minimalist sculptor Anne Truitt's Daybook, she shares her journals from the late 1970's to show her examination of the balance between motherhood and a rigorous artistic practice. It's a refreshing exploration in a field too often ruled by Cyril Connolly's famous statement of 1938: "There is no more somber enemy of good art than the pram in the hall." (Later, Doris Lessing was even more blunt about the challenge, writing that "There is nothing more boring for an intelligent woman than to spend endless amounts of time with small children.") Truitt places very personal observations on motherhood alongside the mental work of her art-making. Refusing to split her experience into several selves, she seeks to understand the connectedness of the roles she inhabits; the noted artist, the woman in modern society, and the single parent of 3 children. Daybook is one of the few books I know of (The Paper House by Françoise Mallet-Joris is another) to explore the subject so well. I started reading it a while back before giving it to a friend. I just picked up another copy amp; plan to pick up where I left off, somewhere around October of 1974, where Truitt follows an observation while watching the stars ("The line of gravity holding us to the earth, plumb from the sky to the globe under our feet, is the given element from which we abstract the concept of straightness in our own personal experience") with an entry about being broke ("All told, I now have available about one hundred dollars in ready money. It's too low an ebb. Yesterday my heart pounded all day and my left eye is jumping and jerking."). What artist can't relate?
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