A few words on two exhibits and two books starting with Matisse’s Cut-Outs at MOMA. In his 70s when he could no longer paint, he used a pair of scissors, white paper, and gouache. His new art form emerged. Talk about talent! Talk about drive! Talk about never giving up. His gifts, spirit, and inventiveness into his 80s truly amazes. Thank you for your greatness, Matisse.
One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature (at the Grolier Club at 47 East 60th Street, www.grolierclub.org through February 7) is fun. Beloved books printed from 1600 to 2000 are on view from classics that include first editions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Winnie the Pooh, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a lot of Sendak, Nancy Drew’s, The Secret of the Old Clock(remember that one?) through the picture books of Eric Carle. Seeing original drawings was fun.
In her essay collection, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham surprises. Shocks. She can be over the top. But her courage is inspiring. And she sure can turn a phrase. Sex, the guys, her therapists, her family (her mother’s clothes compared to one therapist’s is funny), and her fears are all good stuff. Her last piece on running away as a child and running away as an adult hits the right notes here.
Anne Lamott continues to comfort like a good girl friend would in her newest book, Small Victories. As in her previous works, she is witty, touching, and spiritual. Forgiveness is her big theme again. As she says, grace bats last.
I pretty much agree: grace bats last. So does Matisse. So does family. Last, first, and always.