Sometime in late 1792, Spanish painter Francisco Goya fell ill with an undiagnosed malady. It was a long and painful period that started with headaches, dizziness, auditory problems, and depression. During this time of agony, the painter suffered from severe hallucinations as well. The cause of his illness was never determined, though his friend Martin Zapatero noted that “the nature of this illness [was] of the very worst kind.” He was forty-six, and he did survive, but with permanent hearing loss.
For a wanderer, belonging can mean many things. It can be a person. It can be a tree to sleep under. It can be something you escape from over and over again. It can be—who knows—Penn Station: complicated as a maze and dirty as a garbage can, jam-packed with people every hour, permeated by the horrid smell of piss. But the day might come where one looks around to see people spitting, fist-fighting, jumping turnstiles, and feel right at home.
There are moments in life that one thinks will add up to something decisive in the end. But more often than not, it’s revealed that they were insignificant in the grand scheme of things—assuming there is one. Lucy Ives’s debut collection of short stories, Cosmogony, is made up of these kinds of moments.
The scale and imperfect edges of Julia Rooney’s paintings at Arts+Leisure are remarkable. Affixed to the window, a handmade, colorfully agitating QR code on a two by two-foot square canvas welcomes the viewer into the gallery. Inside the space, the size of the canvases diminishes, but their impact remains.
Çağrı Saray’s drawings exist in a place between forgetting and remembering. They don’t merely stand in place, they reverberate. Like memories, they are unclear, hard on the senses. It’s difficult to perceive them. Like memories, they change their form. They live.
The lockdown was like an eternal Sunday evening. Streets were suddenly street-sized maps with no one on them, like a surreal Jorge Luis Borges story. Clocks stopped ticking, or we stopped listening. Isolation meant safety, uncertainty, comfort, and loneliness as new universes were formed inside small one-bedroom apartments and basement floors, mansions and hotel rooms.
There were days of doing nothing. Days of naps and existential crises, and other blissful days of reading and watching movies. Seasons changed as we stood still, the dark days of winter spent under blankets turned into the clear morning air of spring, and then afternoons of basking under the hot June sun.
A large-scale, wooden sculpture stands in the spotlight between the dim gray walls of FiveMyles in Brooklyn. New York City-based artist Grayson Cox’s Market Graph II (2020) is in the middle of the exhibition Apparatus, an installation curated by the artist and writer A.V. Ryan gathers together Cox and Joan Waltemath’s work in a contemporary yet timeless setting, as it takes its main inspiration from the current global crisis surrounding COVID-19 and a Giorgio Agamben essay, “What Is an Apparatus?”.
The Wanderer looks ahead. The tails of his dusky green frock coat ruffle in the wind as he summits a hilltop, his left leg forward and his knee slightly bent, casually holding a walking stick in his right hand. The sharp, craggy edges of the cliff are wet and lustrous under his feet. One can only imagine the expression on the Wanderer’s face––his back is turned and so it is hidden from the viewer’s eye.
Truitt’s works skillfully combine color and form in their truest essence, examining their connections and spatial characteristics in relation to one another. Her paintings and drawings also draw from this relationship to achieve the highest simplicity with the most meaning, this time on two-dimensional surface of paper and canvas.