Saturday, July 02, 2005

English Popular Art

Originally uploaded by notionnanny.
A couple of years ago a British friend gave me a beautiful old book on English Popular Art by Margaret Lambert and Enid Marx. It is a slim 1946 hardback, itself a wonderful example of book printing of that era. This image in particular caught my attention. An example of a genre within 19th century popular art, it seemed that the peddler doll in some way also attempts to represent ALL of the popular arts, as individual objects in her basket. It reminded me of Robert Morris's self-reflexive art work "Box with the Sound of Its Own Making," a small cube with a mechanism inside that plays a recording of just that. I am interested in the doll as a multi-layered representation: it is the thing and it is about the thing simultaneously. The basket presents a context, the world of traditional and popular art, as though the doll produces or provides it, while also being a product of it.


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