Saturday, March 01, 2008

GOODNIGHT MOON & THE RED ROOM


Last night, Mike and I went to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) for a meal and a look around. It's a great night to go because it's free and there's lots of good people-watching. I saw one of my favorite Matisse paintings, The Red Studio. It reminded me of the famous children's picture book, Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. Interestingly, this exerpt from Ellen Hauler Spitz' Inside Picture Books brings The Red Studio and Goodnight Moon together:

"Goodnight Moon absolutely refuses speed. It cannot be hurried through. In this sensee it works as a welcome antidote to the pressures we impose on our childen. Children who have been rushed though the day can relax into it. Confidently, they know what will come next; and yeg, as they trace the antics of the little mouse or encounter a new word or observe a new form, they are learning as well. They can feel, in this imaginary space, the pleasures of satisfied expectations, the meeting of hope with fulfillment. Thus, never static, Goodnight Moon is also a site of exploration. It creates a world which reminds me of an artist's studio, where familiarity become the locus for growth. Think, for example, of Matisse's painting The Red Studio (1911), with its similar electric Chinese Red; its touches of green and flecks of gold; its wine glass, chair and chest; its framed and unframed pictures; and its possible clock and window. How like an artist's studio is the bedroom of a small child? Filled with highly invested possessions, this room is also a dual locus of security and discovery, of work and of rest.
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