On a trip to Berkeley, California, Molly Gilroy discovered Sylvia Fein’s hypnotic and blazing work, The Painting Told Me What to Do, 2012, an image, which in postcard form, has given her hope during lockdown.
Faith Ringgold’s striking painting, #19 US Postage Stamp, 1967, captures the complexities of the Black Power movement in 60s America and the white supremacist structures African Americans were subject to. But it serves as a metaphor for our times too, writes Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou.
Emma Hanson marks the sixteenth Postcard of the series with Tyler Mitchell’s Untitled – Two Girls Embrace, 2018, which she sees as a celebration of black womanhood, Black freedom and looks to the achievability of a Black utopia.
In the fifteenth Postcard of the series, Anna Kate Blair contemplates Pixie Colman-Smith’s designs for the Rider-Waite tarot deck and pays close attention to the Hermit, a card whose solitary figure resonates with our times.
Delving into the rich traditions of gothic literature, sentimental fiction and old folk tales, Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare, 1782, appears from another world. But not so, says Miriam Al Jamil, who recognises in the painting an awareness of human psychology foreshadowing that found in modern psycho-analysis, dream theory and psychiatry.
Reflecting on the life of Camille Claudel through Rodin’s 1884 bronze bust of the artist, Selin Genc considers her own experience of isolation and celebrates her autonomy even in the midst of lockdown.
Looking at the New Mexico desert, Georgia O’Keeffe found a new home. In the thirteenth Postcard piece, Emily Garbutt considers O’Keeffe’s vivid, evocative painting, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/ Out Back of Marie’s II, 1930, and asks when she will have the opportunity, post-lockdown, to survey a foreign landscape.
Sian Norris reflects on the female gaze as captured in Zinaida Serebriakova’s At the Dressing Table, 1909, and when looking at Dorothea Tanning’s Self-Portrait, 1944, she considers the lack of freedom we have during lockdown.
In Otto Dix’s Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden, 1926, Lottie Whalen sees both an insouciant New Woman and Dix’s embodiment of a dangerously dissolute era. Recalling a recent encounter with the painting in Paris, she reflects on the freedoms we stand to lose in the time of Covid-19.