The Art of 9/11
By Arthur C. Danto
The Nation, September 5, 2002

I was struck by the fact that as with the photographs, Pozzi's watercolors looked alike. If I were to curate a show about how New York artists responded to 9/11, I would certainly include his series of photographs, and all three copies of the watercolor. And I would include several of the watercolors I mentioned in an earlier column, by Audrey Flack, who felt the despair of impotence my student spoke of, and went out to Montauk to paint the sunlight on fishing boats. Audrey does monumental sculptures. I have greatly admired her immense figures of powerful females, for the feminist symbolism of course, but also for their masterful execution. She had been at work on a new colossus, intended to stand in the water off Queens. It was to have been of Queen Catherine of Braganza, after whom the borough of Queens was named. It was a brilliant concept, brilliantly executed, and Audrey modeled two airplanes, one for each of Catherine's pockets, standing for the borough's two airports. The reason the work was never completed belongs to the unedifying story of racial politics, but I mention her colossi here for the vivid contrast they point to between her sculptural ambitions and the water-and-sunlight aquarelles that met her needs after the terrible event. They are not in the least monumental. They are daringly ordinary, like skillful enough paintings by a conventional watercolorist, with nothing on her mind except to register how the world looked. The real world needed to be affirmed, and these are perfect examples for the art history of 9/11.

Had Queen Catherine stood, like the Statue of Liberty, when 9/11 took place, the two airplanes would certainly have been read as portents.
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