"How easily happiness begins by
dicing onions. A lump of sweet butter
slithers and swirls across the floor
of the saute pan, especially if its
errant path crosses a tiny slick
of olive oil. Then a tumble of onions."
- an excerpt from "Onions" by William Matthews which first appeared in Poetry in August 1989
Something about a still life painting turns its subjects into objects of desire. That is what happens in Mary Ann Currier's Onions and Tomato. I want to chop them into small pieces and make soup. Three onions and a tomato, round, shiny, and luscious, guarded by a utility knife and a pot that functions as a mirror as well as a receptacle
Mary Ann Curries (1927-2017) had a predilection for onions. Currier chose onions as a favorite subject for their humble origins in fields of muck, the subtle variations in their color, and because they maintained their freshness while she finished painting them. She painted only from real fruit and vegetables, never from photographs although the realism of her paintings is breathtaking.
Currier was born in Louisville. Her parents emigrated to the United States from Germany after World War II. She studied art with many GIs, often being the only female in her classes. She did advertising spreads, stationery, and then moved on to portraiture, finally finding her niche as a still life painter. She had her first exhibition at the relatively late age of fifty.
Jane! I had no idea. Over the winter break, my pan fell in love with red onions. I managed to concoct the most delicious soups. Perhaps I have finally lived up to 'The Onion" and to my Great-Grandmother, Perpetua, who has been remembered in our family over the decades as having been an amazing cook.
Rouchswalwe, reading Matthews's poem makes me hungry. There is nothing quite so satisfying as making soup - other than eating it! Happy New Year to you.
Post a Comment