Century Defining Image



One of the levels which can be read into Abby Heller-Burnham's "The Lost Twins" is a sense of menace and/or foreboding around the pursuit of major high art consonance. If the twins are lost, its because high art appears, in this context, to be frozen into place, ossified into rigid formality, and shrouded in large, long shadows. As of later in the twenty-first century now begun, this may be what art-oriented audiences remember about Abs and I- an age which compelled us to live and create under impinging shadows of hatred, indifference, and supreme mistrust; an age, in fact, so virulently corrupt in relation to the higher arts that many had given them up for dead or drastically, permanently impaired.

The closed circle of twentieth century art significations was, I suspect, set in place to maim/discredit attempts at major high art consonance; yet Abs has the guts here to place those shadows right where they belong- at the center of a composition so tricky, labyrinthine, and thematically rich that it is worth a century's perusal. As a potent symbol of transition between drastically different centuries, "Lost Twins" is par excellence enough to be, and remain, as definitive an art-moment as this century will produce. Abs was a pretty heavy Scorpion when she wanted to be.