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More artists should keep diaries. While they can be deliciously revelatory, their pleasure mostly lies in the liberated quality of the writing. When writers keep diaries, the activity is freighted: this, after all, is their art form. Artists have a tendency to be less inhibited. Andy Warhol, for example, famously wrote down everything that happened to him; his diaries sometimes read like the society pages. Other artists record in painstaking detail the challenges—mental, emotional, physical—involved in the creative act. The diaries of sculptor Donna Dennis, set to be published later this month by Bamberger Books, fit this last category.

The diaries, Writing Toward Dawn: Selected Journals 1969-1982, come just as Dennis’s work is getting long overdue recognition. “Houses and Hotels,” a show of five major works, dating from 1967 to 1994, is currently on view at downtown New York’s O’Flahertys gallery; there are other presentations of Dennis’s work to follow elsewhere this year.

—Sarah Douglas

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