intoxicating and the lascivious plentitude of their form filles me with
primitivism..I want to tear off all my clothes and lie among the grasses...Or
else I want to run -- fast and selselessly...I also like to sit and watch the
forms and rhythms of the clouds and the essence-form of the trees and hills, and
I like to let my eye create compositions wherever I direct it, with curved and
diagnol force-lines, inter-relation of spaces and forms, all
(from the biography "The Gag Family: German-Bohemian Artists in America" by Julie L'Enfant, a good intro bio I recommend)
I like how Wanda Gag focused on intensifying a message - forms are simplified and distorted, a bit like folk-art. She was a bit of a surrealist - and used sexuality and the unconscious as the routes to art.
Wanda Gag had many lovers and did not get married until the end of her life, to Earle Humphreys, and only because he needed to be married to keep his job at a machine shop. Wanda died of lung cancer in 1946, but as was the custom then, the doctor didn't tell her what was going on, he told her husband and Earle never told her the truth. He left her estate a mess and died a few years later. Wanda's younger sister Flavia did some paintings of her own but Wanda was the one who supported the family and made a name for herself.
The Gag house was decorated with Christmas trees when we
visited - one for each of her books. Here we are standing in front of the one for "Millions of Cats" and there are paper cats as ornaments. I did not know much about Wanda Gag until our visit, so I am glad we went and I look forward to going back in the summer.