October 2013

Art, an Earthly Thing

Art is an eminently earthly thing. —Pierre Revardy (1927)
Beautiful things are those which please when seen—and, of course, I mean mentally seen, and therefore pleasing to the mind . . . . Anything is beautiful if it be made in such a way as to give pleasure to the mind which perceives it, and the question as to what should or should not give pleasure to the mind is no more and no less difficult than the question as to what should or should not give annoyance.
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It Ain't Bosh

“Charles,” said Cordelia, “Modern Art is all bosh, isn’t it.” “Great bosh.” “Oh, I’m so glad. I had an argument with one of our nuns and she said we shouldn’t try to criticize what we didn’t understand. Now I shall tell her I have had it straight from a real artist, and snubs to her.” —Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Robert Ohnigian’s studio table and works in progress. Just because Waugh wrote it does not make it true. All the same, it is hard to blame him, writing as he was in the wake of Dada’s aggressive anti-art impulse. Continue Reading
What is Beauty?

What is beauty ? The question is better left to philosophers. It is a bootless one for artists to brood over. It does nothing to enhance the work of an artist’s hand. It is the experience of beauty—sensory, emotional, psychological—not any definition that makes an artist’s work intelligible to himself. Herself. Creators of the greatest beauty possess it by instinct. Yet, the question has become a species of branding device among Christian, particularly Catholic, artists. It is the asking that matters more than the answer. Continue Reading