Simon Says, Judith Says

We sat with Anne Minnich in the Simon Schama lecture (see post), and afterwards ran into Judith Schaechter who said she was going to run up to the front and shake the man’s hand. Later, Judith wrote me some lively commentary on the talk which I have to share.

JUDITH: I loved the lecture even though I could barely follow along. He had, like, at least 10 deep concepts per sentence plus he was so WITTY! I loved finding out what was the best painting ever (“Beheading of John the Baptist” by Caravaggio).

And I will never, ever be able to look at Stubbs again.

Dr. Smith
Dr. Smith (Lost in Space)
Historian and art historian Simon Schama.

And I kept thinking: doesn’t Dr. Schama look like Dr. Smith (from “Lost in Space”)?

ROBERTA: Steve complained that…”it was just a list….that’s all art criticism is isn’t it? A list.” Hmmm. I guess I thought he had a point or two or three). …. Did you shake hands with the man?

I guess it was kind of listy. I had trouble figuring out if there was an overarching theme (besides livestock). Art historians don’t seem to want to draw any conclusions! But he certainly made some points…and I loved the images!! “Scapegoat” by William Holman Hunt is one of my favorite—but maybe he was making fun of the sentimentality and lurid color? (Well they work for me!) Just wonderful. Wasn’t it a riot how he assumed we all knew the intimate details of Pre-Raphaelite history? He would end each arcane reference with “as you all already know” …as if!

And the futility vs success of art as an immortality guarantee was pretty interesting. Certainly not immortality for farm animals! Especially if you were a horse modeling for George Stubbs.

Yeah—I went back there and at the risk of making an ass of myself was in full-on FAN mode. I shook his hand! I’m not washing it ever again!! He’s nothing if not entertaining and intelligent and frankly, that’s how I best receive info of any sort. So I can learn from this guy, conclusions or no, and for that reason, I have a crush on him. That, and the accent! Yowza!! (I got to say hi to Karen Kilimnik too)

[Ed note: Judith has a show at Claire Oliver Gallery in October. Silicon Gallery is producing a portfolio of prints soon and she says she’s been doing “lots of drawing and stuff but it takes me forever to make them into glass pieces!!”]