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Category Archive for 'Artistic Identity'

ShareA small gem of a book that artists should have on their shelves is Jacques Maritain’s The Responsibility of the Artist. Together with Jacques Barzun’s The Use and Abuse of Art, it is all anyone needs to think or talk about the artist’s ultimate purpose.
Dover keeps Barzun in print. Sadly, it does not do the [...]

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ShareBEING AN ARTIST AND MAKING ART are not the same. One is self-conscious, the other is directed outward, as Jacques Maritain observed, to the good of the work—to the perfection of the work of one’s hand (if you are a visual artist) in its service to the eye and a cultivated sensibility. The first is [...]

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ShareTHE FLATTERING NOTION—fallacy, really—that artists see more than other, unpoetic, people comes to us from the Romantics. The German brand (Hegel, Schelling, Hölderlin, Schiller, Fichte and no small bit of Goethe) has been particularly virulent. Up to a point, of course, that bit about seeing has some merit. Down the centuries, artists were better than [...]

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ShareIt is always interesting to view the work of art critics. Most often, the soul of their criticism—its preferences and loyalties—is encapsulated in their own art. Hedy O’Beil has been a guide to the art world for close to 40 years. She contributed to Arts magazine in its heyday, from 1976 to 1985 when it [...]

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ShareTHERE IS MORE THAN ONE CONTENDER for the title “Full Service Artiste.” At least, H. Niyazi thinks so. Niyazi is the invaluable art history maven and pundit behind Three Pipe Problem, a lively blog aka 3Pipe.net. He nominates David Lynch, included on 3PP’s posted list of key topics—Caravaggio, Georgione, Titian, Vermeer, et alia. (Just why [...]

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ShareWE KNOW ELIZABETH BISHOP (1911-1979) as a poet.  An eminent woman of letters, she was poet laureate of the United States (1940-50) at a time that title carried weight. Deeply private, she avoided publicity as well as the public, steered clear of academic and literary discourse. She deflected blatant biographical interpretations of her work, refusing [...]

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Confessional Arts

ShareRUMMAGING THROUGH THE HARDCOVER BIN at the local dump recycling center last week, I came across a discarded library copy of Fulton Sheen’s Peace of Soul (1949). It was famous in its day. I stopped to leaf through it, curious to see if it still held up. Or was it a phenomenon of the times, [...]

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ShareWHEN WE TALK OF BOHEMIA, we are referring to a shifting cultural phenomenon that began among the Romantics, came to dissolute bloom in the prosperity of France’s Second Empire and continued, sporadically, through the Twenties and on into the Sixties. From Thomas De Quincey (17-85-1859) to the Beat Generation, thereabouts. But eccentricity has been with [...]

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ShareARTISTS DO LOVE TO THINK OF THEMSELVES as different from everyone else. They are first on line for the latest article, book, monograph or lecture on the problems of the artist’s personality and the mysterious springs of his creative power. They bathe in popular notions of their own otherness and cater to popular illusion like [...]

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SharePHILEMONA WILLIAMSON PAINTS PRETEEN FEMALES who float in pairs across canvas with the lightness of schoolgirls at a moon-struck tea party. There is a charm, even a sweetness, to them that sets them far afield from the surrealist frisson to which the exhibition lays claim. Figures drift and turn in gravity-free [...]

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