Discovering Artists: Anna Mavromatis, “Artists’ Books”




When my daughter was 2 we happened to spend New Year’s Eve in Rome. On the 3rd day, discussions were held about the next day’s plan. My daughter, from her spot on the floor, surrounded by preschooler play with small plastic figures, piped up. “No more churches! No more museums!”


High WASPs like art. We collect it. We like museums. We drag our children to them, at very early ages. We are glad that all over this planet, and perhaps all over other worlds in other universes, people are addressing empty space.


Art galleries, however, can be intimidating. The hush as you enter. The sound of your feet clacking on wooden floors, or rubbing against carpet. The distortion of your shadow on very white lighting. We don’t like to go to art galleries unless we know something, or someone. One of the best things about the Internet that things of beauty can be observed in complete absence of embarrassing social context. One shares only if one so desires.

I discovered Anna Mavromatis, I believe, when she started to read Privilege. Unless it was on Twitter. She is from Greece. She makes artists’ books, among other things. I won’t say much about her work, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to talk about the visual arts without sounding like the complete pompous twit.


My stepmother, who is a photographer, and speaks at conferences about her work, put it this way. When she is asked talk, she just wants to point at her work and say, “There.” So, there.

Anna blogs, too. Here. And here, where she appears to be quilting, beautifully. Maybe we will talk about other artists over time, but this seemed like a good starting place, what with the references to texts and symbols, and all. What with those last two books and how much I’d like to put them in my house.

20 Comments

  • 09/22/10
    7:15 am

    Reply

    Tabitha said...

    Rome on New Year's Eve would be amazing, I love that city.
    My best friend owns an art gallery, I help out on exhibition preview days, I love how art stimulates deeper thoughts and your phrase" people are addressing empty space" is perfection.

  • 09/22/10
    7:35 am

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    Marcela said...

    How beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
    I love art too in all its forms(some say that being Italian it's in my blood ;) and I have been lucky to have been exposed to it since very young age. My grandmother was soprano ligera,my mum used to take us to museums since we were very little, my best friend works at a Jesuit Museum in my home city, many of my friends are artists (painters, writers, musicians). Life is more beautiful when one is surrounded by art, isn't it?

  • 09/22/10
    7:41 am

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    Anna Mavromatis said...

    speech·less adj \ˈspēch-ləs\
    unable to speak, esp. as the temporary result of shock or some strong emotion
    unable to be expressed in words

    That’s exactly how I am right now: speechless!
    There is no greater compliment that the one coming from someone I respect and who's taste I admire.
    I thank you from my heart!

  • 09/22/10
    7:53 am

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    Patsy said...

    Anna! Gorgeous! I love that you don't consider anything to be final in your art practice – 'rest station' is wonderful. I would love to see your work IRL :-)

    BTW – 9/25 is Museum Day 2010 – Go See Art! For Free: http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/

  • 09/22/10
    7:58 am

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    Susan Tiner said...

    Thank you for the introduction to Anna. Beautiful work. I love the quilts too.

  • 09/22/10
    8:14 am

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    That's Not My Age said...

    I can blather on about most things but when it comes to art, I do feel intimidated and unsure of myself – I think your stepmother has the right idea!

  • 09/22/10
    8:14 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Tabitha – Having a best friend with an art gallery would be the best of all possible worlds. Thank you.

    Marcela – It sounds as though you've got an entire rapture of art.

    Anna – It is my sincere pleasure.

    Patsy – Oh my gosh. Perfect timing!

    Susan – Quilts in and of themselves are so wonderful, don't you think?

  • 09/22/10
    8:31 am

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    mbz said...

    "I won't say much about her work, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to talk about the visual arts without sounding like the complete pompous twit."

    Poppy cock Missy! You are among friends. We visit for the purpose of hearing what you're up to, what you're thinking, wearing, eating… not to judge or criticize. Pompous twittify to your heart's content.

    Anna's work is intriguing, thanks for sharing.

  • 09/22/10
    9:32 am

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    Ms. Givens said...

    http://littlejohncontemporary.com/Kroll/index.html

    David Kroll is my favorite.

  • 09/22/10
    10:31 am

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    RoseAG said...

    My mother is a docent so I spent a lot of time on family trips at museums.

    They make my sister feel sick and so she always retires to the cafe for something to settle her stomach.

    My best kid-museum strategy is to rent the mp3 player that gives talks about the exhibit. It's the rare child who can't be molified by having a device to fool around with during a museum visit. Sometimes they even listen a little.

    I think it's nice to have art around, and I like the concept of a book with pages that could be touched and turned.

  • 09/22/10
    10:43 am

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    materfamilias said...

    Thanks so much for the introduction to a wonderful new-to-me artist.
    I've always been impressed by galleries whose programs introduce children and newby art admirers alike to their exhibitions in a welcoming, non-threatening way. Although I've also had the eye-rolling from my kids about yet another nutritious cultural visit. On visits to Paris and London, I'm always charmed by the groups of children sitting on the floor underneath a Renoir or a Holbein or even a Bacon, listening to a docent point out various features of the work or trying to reproduce elements of it for themselves on with paper and pencil. Art for every day, please!

  • 09/22/10
    11:00 am

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    Michelle said...

    A post like this makes this artist's daughter very happy!

    x M.

  • 09/22/10
    11:02 am

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    Bruce Barone said...

    You made my day!

  • 09/22/10
    11:08 am

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    Duchesse said...

    Artspeak is incomprehensible to me but when I catch my breath, as with her books, that tells me all I need.

    When my BIL was around 5, he protested museum line-ups, saying "I'm tired of having my nose in people's behinds."

  • 09/22/10
    4:43 pm

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    Belle de Ville said...

    I find works on paper so intriguing, thank you for posting about Anna Mavromatis. I will definitely check out her blogs.

  • 09/22/10
    5:59 pm

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    North of 25A said...

    Great post. I remember taking an art history course in college where you had to discuss the work in specific, descriptive language. There was even a term for this that my missing memory cells have since robbed from me. I do recall that it was quite a challenge. I appreciate artful discussions nonetheless.
    Best,
    Colleen

    PS Finally finishing up my post on Murray tartan!

  • 09/23/10
    4:06 am

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    metscan said...

    I´m a bit late here commenting, but I too like these books much. I could easily use one or two of these for my own interiors. They are so delicate and beautiful! Thank you Lisa for showing something so wonderful : )

  • 09/23/10
    7:21 am

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    lauren said...

    lovely post, lovely pieces. did you happen to have sparklers for new year's eve in rome? if not, can i imagine that you did anyway?

  • 09/23/10
    10:45 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    mbz – You made my day by saying both poppycock and missy:). OK. You asked for it:).

    Ms. Givens – I like his work very much. Reminds me of Flemish still lifes meet Chagall. However the description of it on the page is exactly why I'm afraid to write about art….

    RoseAG – I saw those devices when I was at the MOMA this spring. If I hadn't been with other people, to whom I wanted to talk a lot, I would definitely have tried it out. And I'm not even a kid.

    Mater – There are some art institutes that do this really well, I agree.

    Michelle – It was my absolute pleasure, and how nice to meet Anna's daughter:).

  • 09/23/10
    10:49 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Bruce – How nice to hear!

    Duchesse – Oh I'm so happy you like the works. Your BIL is a stitch. Classic.

    Belle – I agree. I too like works on paper.

    Colleen – I loved your post on Murray tartan – I tweeted it – Thank you!

    Mette – I agree, now that you mention it, these do fit in your spare environment.

    lauren – No sparklers. I was pregnant and had a 2 year old with me. I was probably asleep by 9pm. But I had sparklers in my imagination, so I'd love the company.

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  1. [...] I’ve run a few Discovering Artists posts myself, featuring my stepmother’s photographs, Anna Mavromotis’ paper work, and Sandra Salin’s flowers, as well as this piece that I purchased, over the Internet if not [...]

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