NOTES ON is an a-chronological studio diary that artist Magalie Guérin’s re-transcribed twice by hand and now in print. Through that active facsimile, Guérin documents her painting process, mapping at once her creative history and the way that history consistently transforms. Personal, professional, and creative spheres intersect like simultaneous layers in a painting as accumulated entries capture the shifting gray area between self-doubt, self-awareness, and creative breakthrough. A recurring and parallel “character” in this journal is a hat shape—an abstract form that Guérin paints over and over again. Whether anatomical or abstract, the hat shape becomes an anthropomorphic companion as witness/lover/nemesis to Guérin’s artistic endeavors. Guérin shows us not only that a room of one‘s own is useful, but what can happen when it is utilized.
“How does one become an artist? By turns earnest, exasperated, and exhilarated, Magalie Guérin’s NOTES ON provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of one painter’s progress. Transcripts of grad school crits, studio visits, and Guérin’s own diaries and notebooks are combined to demonstrate how—between an individual’s defeats and triumphs—a language of visual art is devised.” — Chris Kraus
“The success of Guérin’s studio diary lies in her willingness to bare all. Rather than cleaning things up for posterity’s sake, she gives the reader an unexpurgated look at the chaotic mix of reflection, insecurity, gossip, exuberance, and doubt that constitute the inner life of the artist at work. A fun, rich book that feels absolutely true to its time and place.” — Roger White
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