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Albee On Art

from the LA Times

Edward Albee: Part-time pussycat

<b>A WRITER’S HAVEN:</b> Edward Albee and cat Abigail share a Manhattan retreat adorned with masks and rare art.

Jennifer S. Altman, xx

A WRITER’S HAVEN: Edward Albee and cat Abigail share a Manhattan retreat adorned with masks and rare art.

The playwright fills his works with piercing observations. He’s strongly opinionated, it’s true. Then again, he seems to feel pretty affectionate toward the rest of us cats.

By Charles McNulty Theater Critic > > > Reporting from New York > > >
February 4, 2009

Edward Albee, without question our nation’s greatest living playwright, lives just the way you might expect him to — in a rarefied artistic ozone that feels completely at home to him.

African sculptures and 20th century European and American paintings proliferate in his TriBeCa loft, like wildflowers on a sunny hillside. An elevator opens directly to the apartment, where a flirty feline named Abigail, a part Abyssinian acrobat, insists on making friends before allowing entry into this heightened realm, in which a Kandinsky and a Chagall stare each other down, a little Picasso etching lurks on a back table, and alarming masks and seemingly animate artifacts track your every move.

Famously fussy about language, Albee prefers to call himself an “accumulator” rather than “a collector,” though there’s nothing random about the objects in his private gallery. Asked what the display might say about his aesthetic, he dryly answers, after a meditative beat, that he “knows what he’s doing.” He lightly shoos away the notion of a connection with his playwriting, but the truth is probably closer to what he told his biographer Mel Gussow: “Art should expand the boundaries of the form and, simultaneously, it should change our perceptions. I despise restful art.”

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Posted on February 4, 2009 by Editor

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