We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
The art world’s newest star
- Photo by Riverdale Salmon Students, used with Creative Commons 2.0 License.
The art world is abuzz over the recent discovery of what one veteran critic “in the know” calls “a vibrant re-expression of a post-modern minimalist rejuvenation of the expressive neo-regression of late 18th century impressionistic overthrow of form.” And he is not alone in his praise.
I can say without any qualification that, in my entire career, I have seen nothing as viscerally exciting as this newly discovered master.
And who is the cause of the waves of excitement surging through the art world?
As if preordained by the spirit of the late Max Fedam, a cache of unviewed masterpieces was discovered last Saturday hidden behind a wastebasket at the Trundle Progressive Loan and Repossession Service.
The genesis of the excitement is Hannah Ribble, described as “revolutionary” and “possessing a vibrant style that speaks for itself.” Indeed! What more could one say? The work, says one curator, “shows insight and innocence, careful detail and random, almost impulsive, execution.”
Hannah is the six year-old daughter of Louise Stainhop Ribble, an executive assistant at the Trundle organization, which specializes in rapid foreclosure and eviction. Hannah’s father, Wilberforce Ribble, is in rust prevention and travels extensively overseas.
The mother said that young Hannah comes to her office after school every day and draws while waiting for her mother. For her canvas she uses the backs of discarded foreclosure notices and inventories of seized family possessions.
“Her use of these instruments of sorrow shows a deep sympathy for the unfairness of urban life,” said Jeffrey Snaggin of Limerick Galleries. “I weep when I contemplate the collision of her purity with the gutter of existence. It is clear that we have a new star,” It was Snaggin who discovered the drawings.
Snaggin is not alone in his praise. I was stunned.
One work, “Our Turkey,” depicts the rejection, nay foreclosure, of the noble bird. The turkey sits alone amid empty bowls of food and other detritus, sad in its mutilated dignity. It is powerful, powerful imagery. To complete the sense of rejection, the work, in purple and lime green, is executed on the back of a form notifying Mr. Albert Farnsworth that his family home is now the property of the bank. Mr. Snaggin has rechristened the work “A Bird in Pain and the Finality of Rejection.”
I talked to the young artist at a birthday party for her best friend forever Allison. She had no comment.
It is not known how long the drawings were hidden. The artist’s mother said the garbage is emptied each night. However, she pointed out, the janitorial service might have missed the papers because of their position behind the power cords at an unoccupied desk. “It’s Norman’s old desk. He was fired because he didn’t meet his quota,” Ms. Ribble said. The mother said Hannah had not met Norman.
However, Norman’s rejection by the Trundle organization is clearly evident in a stunning piece Hannah labeled “Man.” The subject is a gaunt figure, rendered in black, who clearly is making a last grasp for respectability. His left arm, ingeniously depicted twice as long as his right, is thrust to the sky, reaching in vain for the birds nesting on the sun’s rays. The fact that this wretched creature is missing two fingers on his right hand adds to his misery. This masterpiece is executed in black and yellow, with a touch of magenta outlining the man’s eyes.
Art dealer Melbourne Place said he was “speechless” when he first saw “Man.” Snaggin, the gallery owner, has renamed the drawing “Mankind and the Collapse of Reason.”
The paper is smeared on the back, the result of a copy machine malfunction. However, one can see the name “Ornit”” in the corner, and “Eviction” is prominent on the face.
The number of original works by Miss Ribble is not known. According to the mother, Hannah is quite prolific. “Just yesterday she did three or four drawings of a fish. At least it looked like a fish.”
Jeffrey Snaggin said the date for the first public exhibition of Hannah’s work had not been set but that it would likely coincide with Hannah’s spring break. Snaggin said he planned to show the drawings on refrigerator doors mounted to the gallery walls. There will be a design competition for the magnets.
Several museums have expressed interest in speaking with Hannah. Her mother has delayed the meetings due to Hannah’s previously scheduled field trip to a mushroom farm.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
The 31st Chinese Export Commodities Fair (Spring) was held from 15 April to 15 May 1972, and most of the foreign traders attended for the whole month. While the main purpose of the Fair was for China to exhibit and sell its products to the western world, buyers from the Beijing Government’s import agencies attended to negotiate the purchase of raw materials, metals, minerals and other commodities from the west, hopefully paying with Chinese goods. China saw itself as a potential exporter of machinery and equipment, automobiles and other manufactured goods. In reality most of what was on display at the F Read on →
"It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future. To serve as custodians of creation is not an empty title; it requires that we act, and with all the urgency this dire situation demands." -- Desmond Tutu The climate battle is heating up. At a January 16 press conference, NASA and NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) jointly released independent analyses that confirm 2014 as the hottest year on record. Last year broke records set previously in 1998, 2005 and 2010. Except for 1998, the 10 hottest years have all occurred since 2000. The press release followed a week Read on →
In her autobiography A Backward Glance (1934), Edith Wharton wrote: “In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.” I like that concept which I stumbled upon this morning in a delightful newsletter called Dr. Mardy’s Quotes of the Week — Jan 18-24, 2015. Wharton was a great stylist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century whose books on the conflicts between societal mores and the pursuit of happiness are sti Read on →
While men slumber, daring men trawl off the coast. Through dusk, midnight, into dawn their boats dance upon waves, major and minor. But what if a rogue wave or something gone awry scuttled an ill-fated trawler long ago. Does this surreal daybreak reveal that ghostly trawler? Could it be some phantom or mirage, a Fata Morgana? Look again. It is there absolutely true and believable. High tide has tempted captain intrepid to sift for crustaceans close to shore. To his west, a colossal curl of wind-borne gravity-stricken saltwater topples and the greatest white noise—falling surf—reveals Earth’s great exhaling. Across open sea, fetch sends Read on →