October 20, 2017: UPDATE – we have heard from the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York that this report from Tyler Green back in 2012 was wrong. Robyn O’Neil’s large scale work, HELL, was NOT destroyed.
Happily, HELL is on display at the Susan Inglett Gallery and can be viewed online here: http://secca.org/calendar-detail.php?EventOccId=824398142.
Always like to hear some *good* art news.
Anyone in New York should go visit the Susan Inglett Gallery and view this and other work slowly. It’s well worth it.
—————————————————————————————————-ORIGINAL POST from 2012
My sympathies go out to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy who are still picking up the pieces of what’s left after the storm. Many things were lost, not the least of which include artists’ studios and archival material.
Tyler Green reflects in Modern Art Notes on the situation of artist Robyn O’Neil, whose latest large scale work, HELL, was destroyed by the hurricane. It survives only as a JPEG image now — lamentable, but better than nothing.
Green points out that lost art is common in art history for a number of reasons, be it war, weather or fire. The physical presence of a work of art is actually quite fleeting, giving us all the more reason to look at art slowly and really value our time with it.
Read Green’s article in Modern Art Notes for more on O’Neil’s work and digital preservation.
– Naomi Kuo, Slow Art Day Intern
Hearing the stories of devastation that are coming from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy are truly heartbreaking – especially for artists and galleries who have lost paintings that simply cannot be replaced or reproduced. I agree with both Naomi and Dana that we should be mindful about the amount of time spent in front of the art object, but also think about how our interaction with a work differs when it is the original piece, or a reproduction.
Its a sad thing that happened with Hurricane Sandy. My heart breaks for everyone touched by the storm including the artists and galleries who are still working to return to normal. Excellent point though, Naomi. The art will live on through our observations- all the more reason to slow down when looking.