I think of your fragile and wry work often. For the past four years I have been creating floor pieces composed of material, both fake fur and upholstery, pelts, skulls, rocks and shells, and at times painted linoleum tiles or wood panels. Seeing so much of your work in Bern at the Kunstmuseum was so exciting, so meaningful. I identified with your quirky sensibility and believed that your work represented the female experience, despite the fact that you were one of the boys. To me, your work captured a female essence, an essence of imposed frailty transformed into strength. I identified with your quirky juxtapositions of unlike materials and of unlike meanings. I thought of my floor piece, All but Death can be Adjusted, when I saw Masked Flower with its organic base of a tree trunk, so brown and sensuous. Just as I was only aware of Georgia O'Keeffe as an art student, not yet exposed to many of art history's women artists, I was within several years aware of your fur lined tea cup and saucer. I saw your signature work on one of my early trips to the city from school and never forgot it. I fervently wished that I had created it-so poignant and so female. So subversive and so sexy. So meaningful. Such play and intelligence. I now play with ideas about mortality and sexuality, artifice and nature, male and female, gendered elements as well as those non- gendered elements shared by us all. But for quite a while I too just wanted to be one of the boys- a serious painter, working with earth tones and non-decorative color. I too decided not to have children. You, Georgia and myself- all of us serious about being childless. You both speak to me in more than one way- as visual artists and as women. Very few women deny motherhood as integral to their life. Thank you for being an early supporter of the right of a woman to be equal to a man rather than solely a nurturer and caregiver.
Meret, I'm still working. I'm still working, although I am an under-known, still-emerging artist in the early years of old age. My hair is gray and my chin is no longer firm. I'm not yet a spirit or ghost though I sometimes feel like one. Childless, my art is my biology. Your Masked Flower is my biology. The biology of 20th century play. Your fur lined teacup and saucer is one of my favorite ancestors. My own body of painting is my nuclear family and my extended family, my cousins and aunts, my children and grand-children. My early works are ancestors, my great aunt or great great-grandmother. My layers of oil paint are surrealistic striations. And they are also human. They are thought made physical. Emotive and, also, palpitating. They are abstractions.