Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hopper and Idiocy

Lately,  I keep wondering if I've run out the string on the Hopper, but it keeps going on.  This is a 9x12 pastel.

You may have noticed that I've been reading again.  My current book is Forty-One False Starts by Janet Malcolm.  I will refrain from commenting now on the title essay.  In her essay on the photographer Thomas Struth, she quotes him as saying about his art school experience, "When I came there, it was a shock to realize that I had to regard art as a serious activity and develop a serious artistic practice.  Painting and drawing was no longer my hobby, a private activity that I enjoyed.  It was something that had categories.  Artists were people who took positions and represented certain social and political attitudes.  It was an intense experience to realize this.  There was intense judgment by the students--who is doing something interesting and who is an idiot painting lemons as if he were living in the time of Manet and Cezanne."

It's not clear in the essay if Struth still agrees with this confused attitude about making art.  Certainly the early-mid 70's was a confusing time for art students, especially this one.  But idiocy oftentimes is a sign of wisdom.

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