This blog has been lying fallow for a spell. Its keeper needed to recuperate from exhaustion. The descent of politics into mimicry of the worst of popular culture, the drumbeat of disarray in the Church, an overarching sense of dissolution—it all drains the spirit. I retreated to the studio where world-noise does not follow. Depleted resources need some time away from the clamor to be restored to themselves.
So here we are. Having caught my breath, I want to return this weblog a bit closer to its origins. Continue Reading
In Painting and Reality, Etienne Gilson argued that painting should be experienced on its own terms. That is to say, aesthetically. He insisted that audiences greet art without thinking of it as something to be understood, decoded, or interpreted. A painting is not an essay, not a set of propositions. Whatever literary, philosophical, or narrative content might be claimed for a work, the art of the thing lies elsewhere and exists to be welcomed for its own sake. To do otherwise, he wrote, is to turn a work of art into a book. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading