The 'temporary Museum of Painting (and drawing) Home  Shows  Image Gallery  My Collection  Events  Contact  
Adam Simon
brent grant
Generic Moment #3: The Letter, 2002, 28”x28”


I don’t have the same affection for the subject of this painting as I have for the little painter. This piece was her selection—the one I refer to as “She who must be obeyed.”

It’s the computer I don’t like and I look forward fondly to the time when this painting might look as old-fashioned as:

  THE GLEANERS, Jean-Francois Millet, 1857, 33.1" x 43.7"

Millet was accused of being a socialist for depicting, and thereby elevating, the subject of peasants working in the fields. Perhaps Adam is a socialist too.

What does continually attract my notice is the contrast between the harsh red and black mechanically printed ground and the slathered and sculptured butter that makes the lady at her computer in wide stripes of yellow, lime and sky blue. 

There is also something about her posture and hairdo, Rosalind Russell maybe, that recalls the typing pool that she has replaced. But that is such an anachronistic image:


Adam’s project of “generic prototypes” (as described in the page about his Painter) struck me at first viewing as cool, intellectual and anti-humanistic. I thought they were too simply executed and that I would memorize them too easily, making repeated viewing unnecessary. But somehow, and I have never figured out how, there is a feeling of tenderness about them that only revealed itself after I lived with them. Partly it is the multiple associations that they bring up and partly it is the execution which may seem, like a Mondrian, to be mechanical in reproduction and maybe even in intention, but isn’t really.

  To see more of Adam Simon's work on his website
  Forward to the next painting in the collection
  Back to the My Collection home page