From a review by Holland Cotter in the New York Times of a show by the great Italian painter Giorgio Morandi:
(Near the end of his life,) "His hand had lost steadiness; his eyesight was, perhaps, failing, But he didn't rest. He kept painting. Why?
"You might ask other artist-poets this question: Joseph Albers, say, or Paul Klee or Agnes Martin or a New York artist I know who sits down at his apartment desk for two hours every day -- only two, but always two -- to embroider small squares of raw canvas with abstract patterns in silk thread. The work is close, slow and painstaking, done stitch by stitch, row by row -- letter by letter, line by line -- in calligraphic loops and tufts. An inch of embroidery, approximately the size of a sonnet quatrain, takes months to complete.
"But the work goes on. Because it is controllable reality. It is a form of thinking that frees up thought. It is time-consuming, but time-slowing, isolating but self-fulfilling. It is a part of life, but also a metaphor for how life should be: with everything in place, every pattern clear, every rhyme exact, every goal near."
The good news: a lyrical description of the making of art, perfectly capturing the transcendent allure of slow handwork.
The bad news: why couldn't Cotter have named his admirable artist-friend?