Thursday, February 11, 2010

ice maiden

Taken as a whole, the walk into Rutgers promised more than it delivered today: despite the beauty of the snow, I quickly started to loathe the people who hadn't conformed with Highland Park's edicts about snow clearance (303 S. 1st Ave - are you out there?) - and to hate even more vehemently New Brunswick, who hadn't thought to clear the footpath over the bridge, which was sixteen inches or so deep in snow, ice and slush.

But there were compensations - especially this wonderful sculpture on S. Adelaide - looking rather like an emaciated version of Margaret Thatcher decked out for Venetian carnivale (the lady's not for melting? certainly her heart seemed icy enough). These features had just melted enough for them to seem curiously blurry, especially given the contrast of the mauve ribbons and the splendid bling jewelry.

I don't know what the house number was - I should check - I think it was in the 70s, nor whether a professional sculptor lives there now. But it's certainly an area of HP with a good artistic heritage: for three years, from 1960-63, Roy Lichtenstein lived and had his studio at 66 S. Adelaide. He was teaching at Douglass College at the time - a period where there was an extraordinary concentration of important studio artists working and studying there - Allan Kaprow, for example, developing his "Happenings," Lucas Samaras, and George Segal - he of the life-sized casts of humans, arranged in social, or more frequently anti-social groups, who lived on a chicken farm in South Brunswick... I have no idea whether there's any aesthetic lineage linking this icy aristocrat to them, but she has much more in common with Segal's slightly uncanny figures than with Lichtenstein's brash pop art.


  1. You walked in from Highland Park today?! You deserve some kind of award for that, because I was pretty sure I was either going to die of hypothermia on my way to Murray from Demarest or break something after falling 10 times today (really, why would you not shovel the snow off the stairs in front of the gym?). Then again, I'm cold until it reaches 78, so I don't have much tolerance for the snowy weather. Anyway, you should check out some of the snow creations outside of Demarest... they're quite impressive...

  2. I'll be up o look at them later... More fool me - I thought it would be a pretty walk in. And my car was under a great deal of snow. That was before I realized that there was (a) a wind (b) people who Do Not Shovel (c) icy swamps every time I tried to cross a New Brunswick road... As for cold, though, growing up for - oh, twelve or thirteen years or so - without central heating, I got used to frost ferns on the *inside* of windows and developed (a) immunity (b) an unbudgeable layer of fat...