Anne Truitt, Cool Warrior

I've always smiled when I read this exchange from James Meyer's 2001 interview with Anne Truitt:

JM: People often try to connect the artist's life and work In obvious ways: They refract the art through the lens of biography. I can already see a reading that goes like this: "Truitt, living in Washington at the height of the Cold War"--

AT: I'm just agog with interest at what you're going to say--

JM: --"devised an abstraction that sought to escape, and yet expressed, US Imperialist power." I'm thinking of the old reading of Abstract Expressionism's manipulation by the US Information Agency to represent an American ideology of "freedom."

AT: That's true.

Also true: Truitt's best friend was JFK's mistress, who was murdered; her kids attended preschool at the White House; and her friends--and possibly/probably her Washington Post/Newsweek executive husband--were in the CIA.

Grand Allusion: James Meyer talks with Anne Truitt [artforum 2002]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: December 10, 2009.

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