The first time I recall raising this question was a few years ago during a one-day road trip with my Fredericksburg Four buddies. Our destination was Johnson City to revisit Burton Pritzker’s art exhibition at the Texas Art House. I recall Ruth Pennebaker, who is a prolific writer and rarely at a loss for words, standing in silence for some time in front of an image titled “The Phoenix.” After a few minutes, she broke that silence and said, “This is the closest I’ll ever get to heaven.”
I consider Burton Pritzker’s images and Ruth Pennebaker’s writing rarefied art forms in different mediums, edgy and crystal clear. One uses crisp, well-chosen words, the other evocative, mesmerizing images. They show that as the years pass, life can be like a painter’s creations, evolving as the artist lives, learns and expresses their inner growth on the canvas. Sometimes this evolution startles us and causes us to wonder how the same person can create such diverse work. Viewing Burton Pritzker’s new website and latest images exemplifies this with art that takes you on a wonderful odyssey through time. As I reflect on his work, the answer to my question, ‘Is it Ageing, Maturing or Both?” is becoming clearer.