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on the occasion of viewing Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors, November 25–April 12, 2009, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

for Bonnard

What we call color is a delusion.

If you ask me,

There’s more color in Atget

Than in all Matisse

Or Monet.

“For Bonnard” (2009). Oil on board, attribution unknown.
“For Bonnard” (2009). Oil on board, attribution unknown.

Yesterday, in the evening under gray skies I went walking among the dead, their angel-crowned monuments low under the skeletons of trees.When it rained, the rain water washed the black soot and ash from the angels’ faces, leaving them marble white.
Why does beauty matter or even exist? It is well known that our sense of beauty is located in our perception of things and not in the things themselves. Then what is it in us that allows for this perception?

Turn out the lights on a painting and it is as dark as anything else in
the room.

—Ben La Rocco


Ben La Rocco


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2009

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