The Sunday Arts & Leisure section of the NYT carried a first page story about an artist who started achieving success in her 90's. A curious tale about someone who pursued her work apparently in relative isolation -- only a couple of shows over the many decades, nothing sold, and so on, although she lived mostly in Manhattan. A kind of heart-warming story, I suppose, although I wonder about the many who labor on and never get even the late recognition. Anyway, Ms. Herrera does geometric paintings. Now she is getting recognition and sales -- gallery representation, paintings selling at $30,000 and above. And now seen as increasingly important. To wit:
“Those of us with a passion for either geometric art or Latin American Modernist painting now realize what a pivotal role” Ms. Herrera has played in “the development of geometric abstraction in the Americas,” Mr. Sullivan said.
That is a very odd statement. I don't see how she could play a "pivotal role" if no one knew what she was doing. That she was doing geometric paintings before others does not make her work pivotal to anything. I don't see how it could be pivotal.
Lautreamont was important to 20th century literature, but not 19th century even though he wrote in the 19th century, because no one read him until the 1920's. Pivotal to the history has to mean causally active, and Ms. Herrera surely was not.