L Hirschfeld The Simple Truth-www.avtt.net

Arts-and-Entertainment by Margo Feiden Al Hirschfeld was born in St Louis on the first day of summer, 1903. When he was eleven years old, an art teacher informed his mother, "There is nothing more we can teach him in St. Louis" The family moved forthwith to New York. Genius Soon he was enrolled in The Art Students League. Hirschfeld has never had to convince anyone that he’s a genius; it has always been apparent. Growing a beard By the ripe old age of 17, while his contemporaries were learning how to sharpen pencils, Hirschfeld became an art director at Selznick Pictures. He held that position for about four years. Then in 1924, he moved to Paris to work, lead the bohemian life and grow a beard. This he has retained (the beard, not the flat) for the past 68 years, presumably because you never know when your oil burner will go the fritz. Introducing NINA In 1943, Hirschfeld married one of Europe’s most famous actresses, the late Dolly Haas. Their marriage was one of the happiest I’ve ever seen. In addition, it produced Nina, their daughter. Since Nina’s birth, Hirschfeld has engaged in the "harmless insanity," (as he calls it,) of hiding her name at least once in each of his drawings. The number of NINA’s concealed is shown by an Arabic numeral to the right of his signature. Generally, if no number is to be found, either NINA appears once or the drawing was executed before she was born. Finding NINAs Several years ago, an NYU student kept coming into the Gallery to stare at the same drawing each day of the week. When the curiosity finally got to the best of me, I asked, "What is so riveting that one drawing that keeps you here for hours, day after day?’ She answered that she had found only 11 of 39 NINAs and would not give up until they all were located. I replied that the 39 next to the signature was the year. Nina was born in 1945. It’s interesting that although Hirschfeld was initially attracted to sculpture and painting, this gave way to his passion for pure line. "Sculpture," he once said to me, "is something you trip over in the dark." Absolute simplicity. I believe that Hirschfeld’s devotion to line comes from yet a more formal aesthetic – his respect for absolute simplicity. One day soon after we met, I asked, "Sometimes you do a drawing inspired by a complex play with elaborate scenery, extravagant costumes, and a cast of thousands – yet the drawing is simple. Other times the play is simple with a straightforward set, and costumes that are street clothes – yet the drawing is complicated. Is it that when you have the time you do a complex drawing and when you’re rushed you do a simple one?" "No," he replied. "When I’m rushed I do a complicated drawing. When I have the time, I do a simple one." The above was first written in 1980 and appeared in 1983 as a preface to Al Hirschfeld’s book, Show Business is No Business. Hirschfeld’s works are in The Smithsonian Institute, The National Portrait Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Lincoln Center Library, The Brooklyn Museum, The Fogg Museum of Harvard University, St Louis Art Museum, Cleveland museum of Art, and many other museums and institutions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: