Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fate, fate, how harsh you are.

I saw a book in the library today, just lying there on a table. It was thick - almost 800 pages of illustrations, in a style that I love - very reminiscent, for me, of Maira Kalman. So I grabbed it to take home with me.

I've now had time to read and look at it more closely. It is a heartbreaking book.

Leben? oder Teater? (Life? or Theatre?) is Charlotte Salomon's opus of nearly 800 gouache paintings - relating the story of her life.
"Ride, ride, ride - through the night, through the day, through the night - and courage has grown so small, and yearning so great."
Shortly after finishing it, she was captured in the south of France and sent to Auschwitz with her husband on 7 October 1943, where she was killed a few days later.

'...I've no one left now. Fate, fate, how harsh you are."
She was 26 years old and five months pregnant when she died.


Linda Sue said...

Art endures, Art is more important and effective story telling than any other medium. Another reason to journal like you have done. Who knows whose life will be touched by your art, your story- mine has and I thank you. Art is more - so much more than decoration.
My friend Dale Gotlieb does story rugs, I think that you can google her, Her art will also endure, the wool used is nearly indestructable!
Great find, that book! Encouraging post, Art is important! Continue!

kendalee said...

What a heartbreaking story indeed! Aren't her images beautiful though? So evocative. Good library find.

Anonymous said...

a book such as this and your posting of it bring a moment of quiet shock. But also the realisation that we are now witnesses to her life ( and to yours!) and that is a great thing to give or receive.

Dave King said...

What can one say? The pictures are gorgeous, the story terrible. I didn't know of this artist. Thanks for bringing the work to my attention.

Anairam said...

linda sue - That is a wonderful and positive way to look at it. Thanks for the Dale Gottlieb reference - I ahd a look - her rugs are absolutely stunning! (I love images mixed with words ...)

kendalee - There are so many fantastic images! I chose a sample, bur rather quickly, without going through all of them. Now, looking again, there are much more striking pictures I could have posted - maybe I'll scan some more later in the week.

anonymous - Yes, that is an important thing isn't it? I sometimes think that is the purpose of any relationship - to bear witness to each other's lives.

dave - She was also quite unknown to me until I found this book. The pictures are so stunning though! I am sometimes overwhelmed by the thought of so many creative people, fantastic writers and artists, whose work I will never know about.