A panel from Erin Williams’s Love Sick (2020). Courtesy the artist

Erin Williams visited MoMA last month, just before the Museum closed for the health and safety of New York City during the global coronavirus crisis. For this month’s Drawn to MoMA, in which artists share their own visions of life at the Museum, Williams reflects on her experience seeing Marlene Dumas’s Chlorisis (Love Sick) (1994) in the galleries, and the medical research rabbit hole it led her down. “A disease is not simply a fact; a fixed or passive thing. Like art, illness is specific to time and place.” She also wonders how our new form of isolation will be seen by artists in the future.

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Bynum, Bill. “Chlorosis.” The Lancet, vol. 358, no. 9275, 2001, p. 78., doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(00)05260-0.
Edwards, Claire, and Rob Imrie. “Disability and Bodies as Bearers of Value.” Sociology, vol. 37, no. 2, 2003, pp. 239–256., doi:10.1177/0038038503037002002.
“Marlene Dumas. Chlorosis (Love Sick). 1994.” MoMA, www.moma.org/audio/playlist/1/213.
Moore, Levi. “Lovesickness in Art and Medicine.” Hektoen International, 23 Jan. 2017, hekint.org/2017/01/23/lovesickness-in-art-and-medicine/.
Wailoo, Keith. Drawing Blood: Medical Conceptions of Disease in 20th Century America, from Chlorosis to Sickle Cell Anemia. UMI, 1995.

Erin Williams is a New York–based writer, illustrator, and researcher.