THE STORY: Jonathan Waxman is the artist as superstar, plunged into the exorbitant hype of the American art world where a publicist is as necessary as a brush and canvas. Just before his works are celebrated at an exhibition in London, Jonathan journeys to the village where his former lover, Patricia, lives with her British husband, Nick. Archaeologists working on a dig, their spare existence is spent sifting through a Roman rubbish heap to discover the past. In their cold, remote house, Jonathan discovers an early painting of Patricia he’d done when they were young lovers. The subsequent struggle for the painting embodies the unreconciled passions of the past. Patricia has never forgiven Jonathan for leaving her, Nick despises Jonathan and the kind of art he produces, and Jonathan has never been able to recapture the inspiration and purity he felt when he painted Patricia. In taut scenes that dart from past to present and back, the characters are forced to deal with the unanswerable question of anti-Semitism, the legacy of the Holocaust and assimilation, the sadness of lost love, the role of the artist and the location of the human soul at the end of a ragged century.
Winner of the 1992 Obie Award. This is the story of an American mega-artist so successful he’s had the obligatory profile in Vanity Fair and can claim astronomical prices for his works sight unseen from a waiting list of wealthy patrons. In England for a retrospective of his paintings, the artist goes into the countryside to visit his original muse and lover, the “sacrificial shiksa” whom he abandoned in his quest for the opulent life which now devours him. “…you can tell when a play has gripped its audience, for no one seems to breathe, let alone shift in his seat. This phenomenon can be observed…at SIGHT UNSEEN, a smart and sad comedy by Donald Margulies.” —NY Times. “You certainly should catch…the exciting SIGHT UNSEEN.” —NY Magazine.