Reading “ON [____]SCAPES” and some new scenes from the Edge of Manhattan

“ON [____]SCAPES: Let me know you made it there okay. Send a postcard? Wish You Were Here.” – Daonne Huff, Studio Museum in Harlem

We need a break, a change of view, an escapadean escape—let’s get some air.
-scape: a view or picture of a scene—usually used in combination, a noun (Merriam-Webster). Add land, city, sky, space, quiet, sound, etc. etc. etc. as is applicable for you and your viewpoint.

Daonne Huff

 …Indigenous ancestralscapes…

Daonne Huff

For someone who has tended to feel like an air plant much of their life, these drives were an attempt to feel the connections, to incite the spirits to take me in as kin.

Daonne Huff

…can I be refreshed, restored, replenished for a moment before going back into the heat, into the work, into the day-to-day struggle and toil? 

Daonne Huff

Hughie Lee-Smith’s paintings explore the tensions created in an atmosphere of physical and psychological alienation. Here, the tied ribbons and fading colors of the rooftop mural suggest that people were once present in this now-abandoned scene. Through compositional techniques—including shadowing, perspectival manipulation, and the use of symbols such as the question marks at center—Lee-Smith creates a sense of isolation that speaks to the ambiguity felt by those on the margins of society.

Hughie Lee-Smith (Eustis, Florida), Festive Vista,1980, The Studio Museum in Harlem

Some new scenes from the Edge of Manhattan

We lived in joy, the joy of living without interference, without persecution, without unnatural threat. The joy of running. The joy of digging. The joy of hunting earthworms through the dirt. The joy of the wind against fur. The joy of muddy paws. The joy of sleeping next to mate and kits. The joy of climbing trees. The joy of swimming in streams. The joy of mating and raising children. The joy of digging burrows. The joy of playing in meadows. The joy of snapping at fireflies at dusk. The joy of napping on smooth stones, on moss, on beds of ferns. The joy of the warmth on fur.

Dead Astronauts, Jeff Vandernmeer

The twenty-five pictures are not portraits, for example, the genre that Bey has mined and enriched for the past forty years, but unpeopled landscapes.

Dawoud Bey’s Shadowy Landscapes Trace Paths of the Underground Railroad, Matthew S. Witkovsky, ARTnews

Lenape Words (Unami)

English: leaves (as on a plant)

Lenape: këmpàhko


English: The leaves are green.

Lenape: Nèl këmpahko àskàskweyo


English: trees

Lenape: hìtkuk


English: sky

Lenape: mushhàkw


English: summer

Lenape: nipën


English: We are now experiencing summer.

Lenape: Yukwe ta nipënëmihëna.


Additional Excerpts

His landscape photographs used a kind of pictorial conventionality. In series such as A.O.N.B. (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an institutional acronym), 1982-5, and The Forest, 1986, Arnatt saw this as a consequence of an interest in typological and genre pre-occupations which were artefacts too (in the sense that subject-matters are emphatically, again, art historically marked by type). In the 1980s he would talk of his interest in art historian Norman Bryson’s adoption of the expression ‘rhopography’ (the overlooked; the insignificant). Later colour works deployed all of the artifice he associated with picture making, including (Notes from Jo, 1991-1995) apparent self-effacement or ridicule. A strategy that connects later works to early works.

Keith Arnatt Estate, About

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