I am beginning to realize how personal relationships are important to our lives as painters, writers, or poets. I met Laurie Simmons in her studio in New York. Comfortable in her office, she sits tall and thin with a patterned black and white scarf around her neck, her sweet terrier sitting on her lap and affectionately tells me about the photographer Jimmy de Sana who was her best friend and mentor in the art world who hailed from Atlanta. Sadly, she is now the executor of his estate. I know I would be very lucky to have friend like Laurie, who knows the value of an artist friend and is loyal to him and continues to acknowledge his importance to her life and work.
Stan Cohen, Atlanta-based doctor and poet, has some of Laurie Simmons' work in his collection. He has written a number of poems about art, several of which we are presenting in this issue; my favorite is about our mutual friend Genevieve Arnold, who was an artist and collector in Atlanta. She was a friend and mentor to me, and we had many talks about painting and being a woman artist, among other things. Sadly, this poem was written in memoriaum. Joe Massey, collector, photographer, doctor, and friend took the photograph of Genevieve presented with the poem about her.
Stephanie Buhmann, who has written previously for TAS about Hedda Sterne, writes in this issue about Roman Opalka, an artist who painted and drew only numbers. At this holiday season, I am thankful for these friends, mentors, and artists, both old and new. And of course, I am thankful for the readers of The Art Section with whom I hope to have less than one degree of separation in the coming year.
All my best,
The Art Section
Stan Cohen. Photo: Deanna Sirlin, Work by Roman Opalka. Courtesy of oomph.muirhoward.com. Laurie Simmons, Lying Gun, 1990. Courtesy of the artist.