Gertrude Stein keeps showing up. There’s the film where Kathy Bates is G.S., cast by Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris.” Her walls are covered with paintings.I wanted to see it a second time to look at what they had chosen for the movie set. Today I found myself among those same paintings… at the Museum of Modern Art in SF. The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde. It was not planned. I was just there. Yasmin was visiting, and we wanted to see Katy, who manages the Blue Bottle Rooftop Coffee Bar at the MOMA. Katy got us tickets, coffee and took us through the large exhibit.

GS by Picasso

Rooms and rooms of the Steins’ collection. Picasso and Matisse paintings I’ve never seen in any art book.  I snapped some photos when the guards turned away. I was caught, and had to erase a photo. But somehow my camera took two of that set of 6 Picassos. Here is the one that was erased ~  ~

Today was like that. Yasmin kept finding dimes. And I had just copied several of G.S’s writings out of Great American Prose Poems, Edited by David Lehman.  The piece is called “22 Objects” from Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein.

A Box:   Out of kindness comes redness and out of rudeness comes rapid same question, out of an eye comes research, out of selection comes painful cattle. So then the order is that a white way of being round is something suggesting a pin, and it is disappointing, it is not, it is so rudimentary to be analysed and see a fine substance strangely, it is so earnest to have a green point not to red but to point again.

She is writing through colors –– red, white, green. Picture the artists around her, changing how faces, hands, and landscapes are painted, moving away from realistic renderings  and traditional hues and tints.  Here is another one.

Nothing Elegant:   A charm a single charm is doubtful. If the red is rose and there is a gate surrounding it, if inside is let in and there places change then certainly something is upright. It is earnest.

A Long Dress:  What is the current that makes machinery, that makes it crackle, what is the current that presents a long line and a necessary waist. What is this current. What is the wind what is it.  Where is the serene length, it is there and a dark place is not a dark place, only a white and red are black, only a yellow and green are blue, a pink is scarlet, a bow is every color. A line distinguishes it. A line just distinguishes it.

I feel as though I’m in the middle of a conversation with Stein and the Post Impressionists, the Fauves, the artists pushing the Parisian Art World to the edge of what would be tolerated, the giddiness of those moments, the magnetism, the brilliance and creativity…

The wall in her Parisian Apartment

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