Your works are containers of memory. The memory of Abstract Expressionism in New York City and jazz uptown. You truly integrate the feminine gesture with your personal history. I love the way you speak with a vernacular language yet are clearly involved with large questions. In your constructed walls of the 1980s and 1990s you balanced your belief in the importance of the intangible with your handling of concrete, plastic vocabulary. Why did you say that all you were doing was “ filling holes”? I always felt you were doing so much more than you admitted to me.
Both of your monumental installations, “Wreck of the UPS” and “Details of a Lost Library” function as abstract points of color within the accumulation of hundreds of cast books. I see both installations as metaphors for the universe, a wry reflection of cultural history. Hofmann’s principle of push-pull is given a vernacular quality by employing fish specimens rather than color planes. Brilliant and autobiographical. What would Hofmann say to you about your impure impulse? To see your work, it is obvious that more is more and that less is not more. How welcoming to see such a lack of the minimalist ethos. Both walls read as memorials to those not living. Each book reads as a saintly relic–a reliquary of memory and deed. A catharsis and the embodiment of your soul made into artifacts. However, your gestures Stella are small–you never worked in sweeping strokes. I see each book as a hand-held object. I love the faces embedded in your works - –fossilizations of family, friends, and nature eerily portrayed.
I now understand that you embraced my whole self Stella and didn’t carry my longtime dilemma of being intelligent as well as an ambitious artist. Somewhere in the past thirty odd years I was made to feel that one couldn’t support oneself by doing arts administration. I was made to feel that one had to be a carpenter–better yet a garbage man. Don’t use your intellect if you want to paint were thoughts I heard daily. I’m not sure where or how I absorbed this prejudice but Stella you saw through it, appreciating both my painting as well as my writing. You were ahead of me in your understanding.