The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
Hogwash, abstract & the rest: a reply
by James Panero
was right!Support The
James Panero replies:
Dr. Rappaport, Ph.D., is entitled not to like “twentieth-century abstract art and the rest,” just as an admirer of Mozart may find distasteful the innovations of Beethoven. This is true even as some of us believe, as I do, that modern forms of aesthetic experience, rather than contributing to the “decline and fall of culture,” can in fact offer comfort, reflection, and beauty that mitigate against this decline.
Dr. Rappaport is not entitled to insinuate, however, that his particular taste should dictate ours, or, worse, that a reductive reading of history should dictate to us all. The New Criterion is a magazine about critical distinctions. This is why we can identify differences among “Mondrian, Kandinsky, Brancusi, and Duchamp . . . through Pollock, Moore, and Warhol” in a way that Dr. Rappaport seems unable to do. We will furthermore defend these critical distinctions from the mindsets that see artistic achievement only in black and white.
On the subject of the 1913 Armory Show: It says something about this particular achievement that the discussion of modern art it inspired continues today. We may come down on different sides of the conversation, but I hope we can agree with the Armory’s mission statement: “We do not believe that any artist has discovered or ever will discover the only way to create beauty.” For this reason we should consider art broadly and find the joys in its contemplation.
To read the original letter, please click here.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 February 2013, on page 81
Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Hogwash--abstract---the-rest--a-reply-7566
E-mail to friend
by James Panero
A survey of the Philadelphia art scene: On “Sarah Sze” at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, “In Daylight: Small Paintings” at Larry Becker Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, “Mia Rosenthal: A Little Bit Every Day” at Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, and “Yeesookyung: The Meaning of Time” at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia
by James Panero
On “Sideshow Nation II: At the Alamo” at Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn; “Paperazzi III” at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn; “Clouds, organized by Adam Simon” at Lesley Heller Workspace, New York; “Eight Painters” at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York; “Lori Ellison” at McKenzie Fine Art, New York; “Angelina Gualdoni: Held in Place, Light in Hand” at Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York; and “Mel Kendrick: Water Drawings” at David Nolan Gallery, New York.
by Ron Radosh
From a series of letters regarding Andrew C. McCarthy's review of American Betrayal (The New Criterion, December 2013)
March 11 2014
Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Roger Scruton
March 25 2014
Friends and Young Friends Event: A conference on "Preserving an Open Society in a Perilous World"
April 01 2014
Friends and Young Friends Event: Piano Recital with Simone Dinnerstein
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"