Truitt, a Washington-based sculptor, may only please a very special audience with her art--which is severely conceptualist,...


DAYBOOK: The Journal of an Artist

Truitt, a Washington-based sculptor, may only please a very special audience with her art--which is severely conceptualist, totally uncompromising. But this journal, spanning seven years and filled with reflections on Truitt's many roles (artist, mother, breadwinner, woman alone), is another matter entirely: winning, lucent, frequently written with elegance, and broadly appealing. Certainly Truitt talks about her work here, her ""conceptual icebergs"": ""I try in them to show forth the forces I feel to be a reality behind, and more interesting than, phenomena. . . . Meetings, and just-not meetings; in forces abutting, thrusting one against another, illuminating one another."" But she is never ideological, always weighing the proper face of the artist: humility or pride? Her three growing kids force Truitt's most abstract notions back to ground--back to plain-real love and plain-real worry: worrying about making ends meet (a touch-and-go task despite a small inheritance); worrying about the single-mindedness of her purpose (has she neglected her children?); worrying, at the same time, about the hours she spends away from her studio. And perhaps most impressive of all is Truitt's serenity in the face of public scorn, preferring the difficulties of an un-commercial artist's life to private artistic compromise: artists are ""riders who gallop into the night, eagerly leaning on their horse's neck, peering into a blinding rain. When they find that they have ridden and ridden--maybe for years, at full tilt--in what for them is a mistaken direction, they must unearth within themselves some readiness to turn direction and to gallop off again. They may spend a little time scraping off the mud, resting the horse, having a hot bath, laughing and sitting in candlelight with friends. But in the back of their minds they never forget that the dark, driving rain is theirs to make again."" For women artists, Truitt's book would seem to be nothing less than mandatory reading: their particular tightrope-walking is succinctly limned--with no self-pity or complaint. But this is also a book for art-lovers of all kinds--or for anyone interested in good prose, a clear mind full of integrity, and a heart unashamed.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1982


Page Count: -

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1982