Jill Trappler: A way of Reading

by Ricky Burnett

Download this essay as a PDF

There are things that seem like secrets that someone is keeping, but aren’t being kept by anyone.

Cesar Aira, The Seamstress and the Wind [1]

To read a painting, one must gather some insight into its origins, look to the ground of the painting’s being. To read a painting is not to describe it. It is not to describe its effects and affects, nor is it to describe its mechanisms, though this can be helpful. To read a painting well is to begin to understand the roots of its seriousness. saying this, I wish, early on, to cleave a clear line of distinction between such qualities as pleasing decoration and the trivial logics of design, on the one hand, and Jill’s view of the painting life, a rather more stern and exacting commitment, on the other. The struggle to articulate experience is not the same as manufacturing a product for the market. This short essay is an attempt to address the threads that make up the warp and weft of Jill Trappler’s seriousness.

Read More