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Quotes of the Week

Post #1608 • June 12, 2013, 10:28 PM • 1 Comment

Lynda Barry (hat tip JRT):

When you start to think of the arts as not this thing that is going to get you somewhere in terms of becoming an artist or becoming famous or whatever it is that people do, but rather a way of making being in the world not just bearable, but fascinating, then it starts to get interesting again.

Judith Schaechter:

There is one more thing about the value of skill that I have been struggling to say in words for a long time and I am still not able to say it right but I will try. To master anything in this day and age is to buck the tide of what’s normal. It takes years and years of mighty and patient effort that goes largely unrecognized and unvalued. Contemporary art practice demands, as a compulsory matter of self-evident truth, that “real artists” follow the idea, not the medium, ultimately leaving artists largely influent in all technical, meticulous languages. It is presumed that this is all just fine and there’s no cost. Over and over again I hear glass artists, who are probably wetting their pants in fear that they will be referred to as a “Glass Artist” say that they choose glass merely because it best suits their ideas.

God forbid they should cop to a love of a single material or system of techniques over their incandescent concepts. Is it really skill that’s in disrepute or is it fidelity, commitment and love itself? Sometimes I wonder...

Let me put it this way: when a mechanic does a poor job fixing your car, on one level it’s merely annoying. And yet, on another its grandly insulting as we can’t help but be reminded of how much is missing from this modern world. I mean, if the mechanic loved you, they would have done a better job. Silly, I know. But when it comes to art, you see the point. Skill is a form of love.

David Cross (played by Louis C.K.):

I think art is more important than water.

The Calendar

Shows I will see, shows I wish I could see, and items of personal import for anyone concerned.

Through June 13: "Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets" at Tibor de Nagy, New York City.

Through June 21: "Albert York: A Loan Exhibition" at Davis and Langdale, New York City.

Starts June 22: "Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966," at the Legion of Honor, de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Through July 20: "Karla Wozniak: This Weather Is Cosmic" at Gregory Lind, San Franciso.

Through August 11: "Franklin Einspruch: According" at Hess Gallery, Pine Manor College, Boston.

Starts October 14: "Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Runs through January 5.



David Richardson

June 13, 2013, 3:31 AM

Good quotes. I always tell my antique restoration clients that I put a lot of love into their pieces, especially when it's difficult and time-consuming work. Around the shop we call it "good, steady work." Here's another quote I keep returning to from Jeremy Gilbert-Rolphe - whose 2011 book, Art After Deconstruction, I've been reading recently - from an interview in the Brooklyn Rail from 2008:

Rail: How do you see the issue and relationship of beauty to the loss of interest in nature in contemporary art?

Gilbert-Rolfe: I guess the connection would be that what was left of nature as an interest went out the door for many people when art became wholly a matter of recycled images within a fixed system à la Duchamp, Warhol, appropriation and institutional critique and so on, which is to say when we became subject to a wholly anti-aesthetic discourse. But beauty has always been something philosophers and critics have wanted to avoid. Everyone’s always wanted to get past the beautiful as quickly as possible so as to get on to the really serious issue where you didn’t have to talk about beauty and could instead talk about politics or identity as we’d say nowadays or some tantalizing but in that reassuring shred of disorder. Kant himself gets hung up in this endearing, Kant sort of way, on feminine beauty as a threat to the social. Talks himself into arguing that if she happens to have the misfortune to be beautiful a woman will want to suppress it so as to avoid disturbing a social order based on duty and obligation, or, it’s hard to look pious, even if you are, if you happen to be glamorous. So this is why I’ve talked about a fear of pleasure and a demand for instruction and the desire that the pleasurable should just be what gets you into it but then you should be ready for the sermon. Barbara Rose likes to refer to Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, and Sherri Levine as “The Three Yentas.” The Yentas are programmatically anti-aesthetic and indeed anti-pleasure—except for pleasure in displeasure. It’s all about how we musn’t go there at all, let’s get rid of aesthesis altogether and cut straight to the sermon.



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